I had my first home Theater System back in 1996 in the basement of a townhouse in Virginia.  The system consisted of Totem Acoustic Staff speakers, a B&K AVR 307, Velodyne ULD15 (purchased in 1992 - more on this later) and some other A/V components.  I moved a couple of times and brought the stuff with me.  Fast forward 22 years (2018), I decided it was time to build out my home theater system.

Note that I had been living in my current house for 7 years but with a finished basement.  I bought the house as new construction and had prewired with all of the necessary in-wall speaker wire, network cables, etc....and had pictures for all of the wires.

Well I ended up having to open up the entire front wall and about half of the ceiling above the main listening area to rewire and brace the wall a bit better to hang the 75" 100 pound TV.  Another reason was because of speaker placement and where the wire needed to be re-run....this was due to lighting fixtures and ductwork for the HVAC.  During the process I was able to stiffen the wall and added additional insulation and sound dampening material to the ceiling.  No rattles and sound is fairly contained in the basement...with exception to some deep foundation rumbling bass on

How did I pick the components?  First of all I am running a 5.2.4 (Left, Center + a sub), Right, + a Sub connected high level inputs and LFE, 4 dolby Atmos channels, and two rear surrounds).  I'm wired up for two more channels on left and right sides.  Lots of research, listening, listening, more research, and finding a place I was comfortable dealing with.  Since I did all of the construction, installation, and configuration work myself I saved a lot of money and was able to put it into the speakers and front end amplification and receiver.  I've always liked the way Totem speakers sounded and the Tribe IIIs on wall speakers were a great fit, plus my wife did not want any speakers on the floor so it was either in-wall or on the wall.  Totem has the best sounding on-wall speakers in my opinion and paired up with the Parasound A-31 and the Anthem receiver it's just superb for music and especially home theater.  The Totem Kin in ceiling speakers are great and provide super effects and the Totem Tribe in-ceiling angled rear surrounds were expensive but way worth it.  They really tie all of the effects together nicely; great sound, imaging and detail.

So how it is all powered up?  I'm using the A-31 for the Front , Center, and Right front speakers, each are 4 ohm speakers so the A-31 is being driven to 400 W per channel and it doesn't even get warm after a great workout from a movie.  The rear surrounds along with the 4 dolby Atmos speakers are all being driven by my NAD M27 - what an awesome compact Amp!.  It's pretty hefty at about 45 pounds.  I picked this unit up as a floor model for a was absolutely in mint condition for about a third of retail.  It does get hot which is why I installed two ACfinity fans with a temperature control module and LCD display which kick on once the Amp hits about 95 degrees.  Prior to installing the fans the Amp would creep up to about 110 degrees but now it hovers at about 98-100 degrees, even after running for several hours.

So as I was turning up the system with my old Velodyne ULD15 it finally decided to crumble...literally the surround was dry rotted and left a mess on my floor.  My wife to the rescue...I explained what had happened and she was actually sympathetic and said "you've had that subwoofer for nearly 25 years, you should buy yourself a new one".  Well I did....and I didn't ask her twice.  I first bought a Paradigm Prestige 1000 - great sub by the way.  I liked it but it just didn't fill up the room.  I then decided to trade it in for a REL 212/SE and why not?...I also picked up the T/9i for the center.  I'm running the 212/SE with both the REL high level Neutrik Speakon cable and a low level LFE....both through RELs Longbow wireless set up....easy and sounds outstanding.

So how does it sound? Sweet! Awesome! Beyond expectations!  Seriously, watching Interstellar at about the 1 hour mark is unbelievable!  There are other parts in the movie which are also amazing .....I feel like I'm in the spaceship with the crew.

Room Details

Dimensions: 25’ × 18’  Large
Ceiling: 9’

Components Toggle details

    • Totem Acoustic Tribe In-Ceiling Angled x 2
    Fully boxed 47 Hz - 25 kHz =/-3dB
    • REL 212/SE
    4 x 12" woofer (2 active/2 passive) 1000 Watts, -6dB at 19 Hz
    w/Longbow (both high level and LFE connections active)
    • REL T/9i
    10" woofer 300 Watts, -6dB at 28 Hz
    • Custom AV cabinet
    88" W x 28" H x 22" D
    Removable shelves
    • OPPO OPPO UDP-203
    4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc Player
    • Sony XBR-75X940E 75"
    • Zero Surge 2R20W x 2
    Provides surge protection for for REL Sub 212/SE, Parasound A-31, and NAD M27
    • Panamax MAX 5300
    Power surge protector for all electronics except for amps
    • Microsoft X-Box One
    • DirecTV 4K DirecTV mini Genie
    • Apple 4K Apple TV
    • 3 x Totem Acoustic Tribe 3
    Left - Center - Right (Front channels)
    • Totem Acoustic KIN In-Ceiling IC62

    4 x Dolby Atmos channels – 6.5” In-Ceiling speakers (46 Hz – 30 kHz)

    • NAD M27
    7 Channel Power Amplifier - 180W continuous per channel with all channels driven
    • Anthem MRX-720

    Multi-channel A/V receiver

    ·      11.2 Pre-Amplifier & 7 Amplifier Channels

    • Parasound A-31

    Three-Channel Power Amplifier

    ·       250 watts x 3 @ 8 Ohms / 400 watts x 3 @ 4 Ohms

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I bet that system sounds good! Good choices all around.