Description

This is the current iteration of my dedicated listening room, originally built nearly 25 years ago. The suspended hardwood floor and thick plaster and lathe ceiling are 100+ year old originals. The walls were purpose built DIY using room-within-a-room airtight construction, Roxul mineral wool in the wall cavity, and 5/8" drywall over 5/8" OSB on the inner walls. The floor and ceiling joist spaces are filled with blown-in fiberglass pink. Dedicated HVAC and air exchange via a whisper quiet Mitsubishi Mr Slim mini-split and a hospital grade ERV. AV system electrical is provided by three dedicated 20a lines with isolated grounds and identical length 10/3 BX armored wire feeds.

The gear contained within along with the extensive room treatments represent a decade long quest to successfully add and integrate multi-channel music and cinema to a room that was originally intended for stereo music only. After a series of failed attempts to achieve acceptable 2-ch sound quality by running stereo sources into high-end Meridian multi-channel pre-processors and active DSP loudspeakers, I changed strategies. I created two entirely independent source, pre-amplification, and bass management signal chains which share only the L & R front speakers and the subwoofer array.

The two independent system signal chains are kept electrically separate with a pair of handy balanced stereo ARX 12v relay triggered switch boxes hidden behind the rack. The 2-ch system is the default but when I switch on the Anthem pre-pro, the ARX switch boxes automatically re-task the stereo pair of active speakers and the subwoofers to M-ch duty.

2.1-ch sound and then 5.1.4 M-ch music sound quality were prioritized in that order with loudspeaker choice along with loudspeaker & MLP placement. The LCR speaker trio and MLP are five or more feet from front and rear walls in the 20.3'x14'x11' room. When compared with good stereo room acoustic treatment practice, the treatments may appear excessive. However the additional sidewall broadband traps each address the primary reflection of a specific loudspeaker and there are five rather than two loudspeakers at bed level. Floor to ceiling stacks of ASC TubeTraps have their integral diffusers oriented so as to only absorb bass frequencies. Finally the proliferation of DIY poly-cylindrical diffusers along with the rear wall SevenAudio 1D fractal diffuser eliminate slap echo high-up on my walls and help to create a spacious and unexpectedly huge stereo soundfield. Stereo playback often offers soundstage depth, width, and even height which exceed the physical dimensions of the front half of the room.

Thanks to the five identical bed loudspeakers and room treatments, DVD-A and SACD M-ch music recordings and movie soundtracks manage to create highly specific virtual sound sources to the sides as well as front and rear. Media with great Atmos and DTS-X immersive audio is laugh-out-loud fun with SFX coming at you from all points. The four sealed Seaton Submersive subwoofers, each with a pair of opposed 15" drivers and 2400 watts, benefit from substantial room-gain due to my rigid wall construction. With the smoothing provided by the floor-to-ceilng 16" and 20" TubeTraps and a couple bands of parametric EQ, the system's REW measured low frequency performance extends below 10Hz before rolling off. So the subwoofers definitely contribute to the sense of space with recordings performed in large live venues.

Finally it's worth discussing the video performance. The best possible M-ch sonics are achieved with an identical vertically oriented LCR loudspeaker trio. This necessitates an acoustically transparent projection screen like commercial theaters. I chose the woven S-SE 4K Enlightor screen as it had the absolute minimum sonic compromise when dropped for viewing and an awesome moire-free picture. Unlike perforated plastic screen materials, there is no audible combing effect when the left and right speakers are toed in to achieve an optimal soundstage- just a barely perceptible 1dB broadband mid and high frequency roll-off. Of course for music listening, the motorized screen is retracted up out of the way for zero sonic compromise. When listening to multi-channel music using the Oppo player, I have a tiny 15" 4k flat-screen display adjacent the gear rack to aid in on-screen menu navigation. At just a 9-1/2' viewing distance the picture on our 105" AT screen is a perfect match for the big, ballsy sounding surround audio. For 2:35-2.4:1 aspect ratio movies, the huge Isco anamorphic lens ensures maximum resolution and brightness from our faux 4K JVC projector.

So there you have it, the story of how I managed to successfully refute the naysayers that claim you can't integrate high sound quality stereo and home theater without compromise. Feel free to constructively comment or ask any questions you have. Be well.
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Room Details

Dimensions: 20’ × 14’  Medium
Ceiling: 11’


Components Toggle details

    • Jay's Audio CDT2 Mk2 Transport
    • PS Audio DirectStream DAC
    • Oracle Audio Technologies Delphi mkVI Reference w/ Turbo PS
    • SME V tonearm
    • Benz Micro LP-S MR moving coil cartridge
    • Foundation Research V5 Phono Stage
    • Coincident Speaker Technology Statement Linestage Mk II
    • JL Audio CR-1 Subwoofer Crossover
    • (2x) ARX RS-1 12v Remote XLR Switchboxes for 2-ch or M-ch signal chain switching
    • Oppo UDP203 Universal Disc Player w/ extensive Oppomod modifications
    • Apple TV 4k AV Streamer
    • Anthem AVM60 HT Pre-Processor
    • (2x or 5x) ATC SCM20 ASL Pro MkII active monitors on Skylan Stands
    • (2x) Meridian 557 Power Amplifiers for Atmos overhead channels
    • (4x) ATC SCM12i Pro monitors on K&M ceiling mounts for Atmos
    • DSPeaker Anti-mode 2.0 Dual Core subwoofer delay and modal EQ
    • (4x) Seaton Sound Submersive HP Subwoofers
    • JVC DLA-X990R Projector
    • ISCO 3L Anamorphic Lens on motorized sled
    • Seymour-Screen Excellence EN4k acoustically transparent motorized 105" 2.37:1 "Superscope" screen
    • Balanced Power Technologies BP-2 balanced power conditioner
    • (2x) Balanced Power Technologies BP-3.5 Sig Ultra balanced power conditioners
    • (10x) Foundation Research LC-1 power conditioner/cords
    • (7x) Foundation Research LC-2 power conditioner/cords
    • Furutech Reference III wire loom for 2-ch components
    • Grimm Audio TPR/Xhadow XLR custom wire loom for M-ch components
    • Mogami 2534/Vampire XLR custom wire loom for subwoofer array
    • (3x) Furutech DPS4.1 custom power cords for B-P-T power conditioners
    • DIY Thinwall welded stainless, carbon composite, and Corian equipment rack
    Built entirely to my specifications. Each component is individually leveled and then isolated by it's own sandbox. Stainless rack frame built by welder and metal worker extraordinaire, Hugh Black of True North Cycles. Carbon composite top shelf fabricated by aviation and sport specialist, Apex Composites. Individual Corian sandbox platforms fabricated by a local kitchen counter top company.

    All components interface to their respective sandbox with BDR cones and pucks/pits.
    • IsoAcoustics Gaia II isolation feet for all 5 bed loudspeakers
    • SVS Soundpath Isolation Feet for all 4 subwoofers

Comments 7

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Owner
To Barron and the five other gentlemen whom have left such positive comments on my current system post thus far, thanks so much for the kind words gentlemen.

vincehoffman

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Wow.  I love ATC, it would appear that you do too!  Your room is off the charts.  I can not believe these setups Im seeing lately.  Yours is so over board and I absolutely love it!

b_limo

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Nice solid equipment rack!

romans1832

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Impressive!
Nice work.

dougsat

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Wow.  I don't know what else to say, you should be proud, lots of thinking and work went into the design and build, wonderful!

thosb

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I have not had the pleasure (yet) to be in Vince’s room, but I have had the pleasure of his company. 

He is an interesting, knowledgeable, and generous person. 

Expect his room to be done right and sound fabulous. 

Ag insider logo xs@2xowentdc

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That's a truly amazing setup and serious room it must be great for music and movies!

jond

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