Custom Self Built Theater

TheWarrior

TheWarrior

Audioholic Ninja
Ah crap. I didn't order the XLR cables either.... At least I can move the subs upstairs and pretend they are thumping my chest.

Until next week!
 
Adam

Adam

Audioholic Jedi
Can you use unbalanced connections until your new cables arrive? I'm guessing that you have RCA cables around. Oh, man...new subs sitting idle. I'd be going crazy! :eek: :D
 
TheWarrior

TheWarrior

Audioholic Ninja
I haven't had a subwoofer in years, and never had two. The only reason I'm using XLR is because I will have long runs to have one sub on each side of the room, otherwise I'd run up the street and grab RCA.

Also ordered a Radio Shack ANALOG meter and the Avia 2 test disc, and found 100ft of CL3 Monster cable for $30!

Today I will be testing the circuits in this room. I think there are 3 - 15 amp breakers for the living / dining room. If thats the case it will be easy for me to tap one to have an outlet hidden behind my wall mounted TV and the use the second for the electronics, and the third for the subs. Thats assuming an ideal layout.

I'll need to later convert to a 20 amp for the electronics once I go back to surround sound. But I've spent enough money this year, so an amp and processor will have to wait.

First level of room correction will be getting installed today. Hehe. Picking up the rugs I ordered to keep the couch and bed frame from scratching my shiny new floors!
 
TheWarrior

TheWarrior

Audioholic Ninja
This just in:

ERMAGHERD!

I scrounged up an old RCA cable and plugged in ONE of the PC-12's last night. It was a true Wow moment. For music, it did exactly what I was expecting, it blended nicely and covered the drums and bass guitars my RBH's are not capable of producing.

Then I put on U-571. I depth charged my house. My buddy came over for the demo and we both just giggled with excitement. I don't have the TV up yet, so we experienced the whole first destroyer scene with our ears.


The specifics:

Sub is run from my XDA and then out to the UPA-1 to the speaker. I think I clicked over a 2 ms delay just when I first turned on the sub and scrolled through the options. No filters were activated either. My point being this sub is nowhere near set up for my awkward room and still gave me a Wow experience. The speakers are wall mount type, and are just leaning against the wall for now. (I rode out on my motorcycle, and then just drove in this past Tuesday with the trailer)

So from here I will wait until the Radio shack meter comes in, Avia 2 and the XLR cables to complete set up. My buddy is anxious to help after our demo last night. Looks like I will be going with one sub up front, and one in back. He is also a film editor/camera man so he is going to come with his quality Mic and install the test software so we can also complete a full room analysis. We figure one full day for speaker/ sub placement. The next to double check our findings and to start hiding cables.

This is just the icing on the cake for me. Just moved in to my first house. And now I'm finally getting to piece together a well mannered stereo, and once I've returned to a positive cash flow, a new processor and amp will have all 5 speakers singing again.
 
TheWarrior

TheWarrior

Audioholic Ninja
Sub Placement- Ported vs. Sealed

The new AH article got me thinking about my subs as I have optional output settings on the PC-12's.

Avia 2 and the SPL meter are in, just waiting on the XLR cables to begin placement testing.

So my question is will the ideal room placement be affected by the sub being ported or sealed? Or can I just leave them ported and then tweak after placement if I decide I like the sealed sound better?
 
TheWarrior

TheWarrior

Audioholic Ninja
Yes, and sorry I have failed miserably with these thread updates.

I have everything installed and am finishing the cable hiding and drywall patch work. 3 days off starting tomorrow, so I will photo everything and post a proper write up.
 
TheWarrior

TheWarrior

Audioholic Ninja
Again, my sincerest apologies, did not realize I was developing a following. I have been quite busy with work, work on the house, and of course the inaugural F1 GP weekend at COTA. Seat licenses at T15!











Managed to catch the COTA girls during a Finish Line photo shoot, quite flattered that they turned away from the pro's to the guy in the pit lane with the little Panasonic point n shoot :)




Stay on target! Ok so first a snapshot of the room layout:







What we have here are an Emotiva XDA-1 providing line level input to dual SVS PC-12's that filter to dual UPA-1 amps for the RBH WM-30's.

This room already had 1- 15 amp circuit just for the outlets, seperate from the lighting. I added and additional 15 amp circuit for the 42" ST30 Plasma, and picked up a little APC C2 surger/filter.



I'll add another circuit when the day comes to buy an amp and processor for the rear channels, but for now this is just fine!
 
TheWarrior

TheWarrior

Audioholic Ninja
Hiding all of the cables, as well as installing a new outlet obviously requires putting some holes in the wall. One advantage I have is that I am rennovating this house so I had already removed all of the moulding and old carpet. But nonetheless, never shy away from a little drywall patch work, its really quite easy to do. Big holes just need 2-3 coats, sand it down flush and paint! The holes themselves were plugged with the drywall cutouts, and then a piece of scrap wood screwed behind so the cutout has a firm place to rest. Here's the progress so far:









Today I'll be sanding them flush and repainting, or rather, another coat of primer as thats all the walls are right now. Colors can wait! Oh, and need to drill another hole to get those XLR cables off the floor...

More specifics:

The subs came in recently and I have been overjoyed by their simplicity and ease of installation. Honestly, all the adjustments are not quite so necessary for my needs. I definitely prefer them ported, even just plugging one or two ports yielded a boomy quality but I will test again when these subs are brought back to LFE use with a future processor upgrade.

-About the subs:
Blended beautifully! Crossover set to 80 hz, and I found the additional filters to take away from the overall presentation so I left them all off. It is important to note that in choosing placement, I had a friend swap places with me as we both moved the subs around the room. (and the speakers) It is no joke that 3 inches makes a difference! And having a sub behind you adds a sense of realism that just surround sound cannot provide. I am astounded by the results. The RBHs have never sounded so good now that they are playing in their preferred range.

I picked up Avia 2 and an SPL meter, but I failed to understand my arrangement does not allow the tweaking that Avia provides. I was able to level match the subs with the SPL meter, but that was it. Its great for the video calibration but will go unused until I add a processor.

Whats next?

For now, room treatment:



This gable ceiling produces an echo. When I added the carpet I did notice an improvement with the harshness of the high frequencies, but there is still a fair bit of listening fatigue.

Measurements:
Basic measurements are 13'5" wide by 20'6" long with a 16' gable peak. However the ledge from this photo:



And then the staggered arrangement in the rear (early renno pic)



Make it difficult for my amateur skills to figure out what is best to do. Hey GIK Acoustics, its your turn! And for all the other viewers, please chime in! I need all the help I can get before getting all 5 speakers hooked up again!
 
TheWarrior

TheWarrior

Audioholic Ninja
Who has a good link or book they recommend to study room acoustics?

I've studied alot of the info on this site, but fail to understand the best solution for my ceiling. The echo in here has to be dealt with before any more components are bought!
 
TheWarrior

TheWarrior

Audioholic Ninja
Wow, haven't posted here in a while, and still getting alot of views!

I apologize for my lack upgrades/updates. Was getting set to have GIK Acoustics send me 5 Art panels of the SF Bay bridge (my lady is from there, so I thought the best way to win her over was to put a huge image of her home on the wall) But I ended up buying a car instead. Believe it or not, its my first car EVER. I have been riding motorcycles full time for 13 years.

For GIK Acoustics, I had a very pleasant experience working with their Acoustician. What he told me was that the echo was not coming from the angled gable ceiling, but from the side triangular walls, and that was the first point of treatment. Then of course the glass window, some 4" padding in the peak of the ceiling, and a bass trap in the alcove by the front door. Seeing as how Art Panels aren't cheap, I was going to start there, and work my way in.

So thats future upgrade number one.

Number two (and three) is to eliminate the XDA-1 from the signal chain, and upgrade to a BDP-105 and run it as a DAC, straight to the amps. The BDP-93 will end up in my office (the third bedroom) which is becoming a little mini theater. I've still got my old barely used Samsung CRT at my dads house, so Ill plug that bad boy in, still have my old receiver and get myself a nice quiet sanctuary away from the main living area. Not that peace and quiet are hard to come by (no kids! WOOO) but it would still be nice.

Four will come in the form of DIY speakers. I am very interested in the Seas designs, and which room they go in will dictate which model I build. First choice (and thats if I'm allowed to put floor standing speakers, next to the dual floor standing subs, in the living room) is to build the Thor Transmission Line. I've studied the design and I love the concept. Not to mention, its a very simple crossover, good for getting my feet wet! But in the event I am denied, I will switch to the Bi-frost for my office, and then probably never leave.

So thats the fantasy/ eventuality list. Only changes I've made to the arrangement are to move the cat tree(i was thinking about allowing her access to the 'parapet' ledge above, but changed my mind) and that allowed me to move the sub to the far side of the living room, going in to the 'dining' area. This was a much needed change. The bass tended to be a bit boomy with the sub up front like that, but now is much more balanced.

Don't know if anyone has even heard of a love-sac, but its a giant 6' diameter bean bag chair. I brought that over from my dads to add some more seating, and with out realizing it, also helping to absorb some sound! Not entirely sure its not sucking out the good as well, but when I roll it right in front of the couch, the room sounds much more tame.

So thats my story, and I'm sticking to it!
 
TheWarrior

TheWarrior

Audioholic Ninja
Xmas is coming!!!!!!

Going to GIK Acoustics on Monday to pick up Art Panels, 244, 242 and a free standing trap! And then spend the whole day on a ladder!

AND..........

I am gluing 3/4" and 1/2" MDF together for THOR cabinets!!!! Can't tell you how excited I am! It will probably be another month til they are even close to finished. But once I order the drivers, I think that will kick my butt into overdrive and possibly cause me to ignore other responsibilities...

Much to come!
 
TheWarrior

TheWarrior

Audioholic Ninja
......And....

I bruised my foot and ankle stepping on shoes at the bottom of the stairs and now can't drive to Atl to pick the panels up. Yup. I'm hopeless!

+1 Week!
 
TheWarrior

TheWarrior

Audioholic Ninja










Got the panels from GIK Acoustics this morning and put 'em up for the wife to see when she gets home! In total there are 9. Three mounted high on each side of the couch, with a free standing bass trap in front of the window nearest the speaker, and 244 traps hiding in corners soaking up the rest.

Result? Outstanding! The sound is now clearly coming from the front rather than, well, every where. The bass is so well controlled, I was able to turn both subs up by 50%, as well as increase my 'normal' listening level simply because of the lack of excessive reflections. Yes, my room has really been that bad for so long. I knew it, but chose to deal with it. And now for a sigh of relief....

Edit: I got a little excited while playing Rush: Gold and have since turned the subs back down. It was addicting hearing the bass guitar so well, but the vibrations were a bit much.

Also refinished the stereo cabinet. Was in desperate need of a better sanding than I gave it originally. And so my new electric sanders went to work, along with testing out a hand rubbed finish from General Finishes. I used their Vintage Cherry dye, with Arm R Seal semi-gloss top coat. Appx 10 coats.











I unfortunately deleted an email I had with one of GIK's acousticians whom also recommended bass trapping the entire ridge beam of this gable ceiling. Now that I can hear the room like this, I do believe he was on to something. Its subtle, but with that little corner next to the front door controlled by a 244 and the front window with a free stander, I do notice the bass energy that seems to be coming from above me. Something for the future...

So that completes this phase, and I hope to have the Thor's finished by February!
 
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TheWarrior

TheWarrior

Audioholic Ninja
Oh, and yes I just installed new windows, and still need to put the trim back on...
 
fuzz092888

fuzz092888

Audioholic Warlord
You should ask a mod to move this to the Pros and Joes section, or start a new thread over there. I knew you had started a HT thread, but couldn't find it until I did a little google-fu.
 
TheWarrior

TheWarrior

Audioholic Ninja
You should ask a mod to move this to the Pros and Joes section, or start a new thread over there. I knew you had started a HT thread, but couldn't find it until I did a little google-fu.
Wow... seems like its gotten plenty of attention where it is... must be the F1 pics lol

Since I still haven't even built speakers, should change the title to Custom Self Renovated Living Room. It'll be a few years yet before I get the new unit built out back, that will in fact, have a custom, mostly self built theater with in!
 
afterlife2

afterlife2

Audioholic Warlord
Nice setup. Does the rack has a open back? Cause I can see the heat just pouring out. Your place could use a nice PJ setup. You do have the room. :)
 
TheWarrior

TheWarrior

Audioholic Ninja
Nice setup. Does the rack has a open back? Cause I can see the heat just pouring out. Your place could use a nice PJ setup. You do have the room. :)
Yes, its deeper than necessary so lots of breathing room and unstrained cables! Which gives me pause, as I just broke the Emotiva optical cable the other day when I was transferring it out from a receiver.

The TV was bought when we lived our bohemian life in a Laguna Beach studio. It was perfect for the 6' viewing distance!

More than likely it will be a 55"-60" OLED unless I can find a lightly used Panasonic Plasma. I won't sell mine, it'll get repurposed in another room. They're too good, and I was so close to nabbing one before they disappeared. Ah well...

In a couple of years, a projector will have a dedicated home! Need to build a work shop, would be foolish to waste the space above it!
 
Grassy

Grassy

Full Audioholic
Nice one Warrior, that rack system looks really nice. Your getting there mate, keep up the great work. If i was in town i would have done that plastering for you.:) It all takes time mate.
 

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