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About this blog

We're getting ready to build a media room on the lower level of out house, so I thought I'd create a blog that would document the¬†trials and tribulations of undertaking a project like this. The image above is obviously not the room, but it is a pretty wild home theater room. But I'm jumping ahead... ūüôā

All my life I've been an audiophile as I've always loved good quality music. Even when I was in high school I was always reading the catalogs from various companies that were around back then and dreaming of 20 watts per channel. Yes, that was a lot in the late 60's when "stereo" was the big thing. My first "real" speaker was an Advent and I thought I was living the high life. 

Once I got to college, I spent a lot of time listening to music at a HiFi store in Knoxville, and that's where I discovered the Ohm F's that I eventually purchased, even though I went through another pair or two of speakers before purchasing the Ohm's. To power those I bought a Phase Linear 400 power amp and Phase Linear 400 preamp along with a Thorens turntable. Little did I really know how good that speakers was and what it would be worth today. 

After I got out of college I ended up selling the Ohm F's (big regret) to get a car, and it wasn't until the mid 80's that I jumped back into the stereo business. I actually worked at Stereo Village down in Buckhead (in Atlanta) for a while before getting a real job. It was then I purchased a pair of Ohm Walsh 4 speakers (that I still own), a Carver M1.5t power amp (that I still have, refurbished), and a Carver C4000t preamp. The company "Carver" was started by Bob Carver who also created all of the Phase Linear equipment that I had owned before.

So here I am again... and this time pretty much starting over from scratch. 

I have figured out most of the equipment that I'll be using but a few pieces are still up in the air, so I have a few decisions to make on what path to travel. We have a very good idea how we want to the room to look, and I'll be talking more in detail about that as we proceed. 

I was originally going to have Atlanta Home Theater to do this job but due to COVID and how much work they have going on right now, it just wasn't going to work out, so I have contracted with Quest Acoustical Interiors to do the room design and I'm sure I will have them do the project management as well. 

Here are the items that will be included in the project design (just copied and pasted).

  • Acoustical Treatment Recommendation
  • Acoustical Treatment Locations
  • CAD Drawing of the Floor Plan
  • CAD Drawing of the Front Elevation
  • CAD Drawing of the Rear Elevation
  • CAD Drawing of the Side Elevation One Side (Two if required)
  • Projection Screen size and location included on drawings
  • Speaker Locations for 7.4 system (4 or more subs)
  • Speaker Location Immersive Surround Formats (up to 32 speakers): Explore the limits of the technology!
  • Seating locations
  • Seat Platform location and dimensions for optimal sight lines
  • Acoustic analysis graphs: Ray traces, Response Model, Sweet Spot Analysis
  • Electronics Recommendation

Build-out details ready for your contractor:

  • Seating Platform complete build-out details
  • All elevations build-out details (front, rear, sides)
  • Screen wall and stage build-out details
  • Column design, locations, and build-out details
  • More professionally designed build-out details... avoid surprises when you fire your system up
  • Detailed Electrical Plan
  • Complete Low Voltage Plan
  • Detailed Reflected Ceiling Plan
  • Complete Lighting Plan and recommended fixture specifications
  • Projector Cabinet (hush box) build-out details for quiet projector operation

Conquer every aspect of high performance theater design:

  • Full Sound Isolation Build-out Details (Plan Specific); Quiet theaters sound amazingly better.
  • Complete Framing Plans (every detail)
  • Over the Top Themes or Exquisitely Detailed Interiors
  • HVAC and Mechanicals designed for the quietest and most comfortable performance

The room will be calibrated and that is approximately a two day process. I'll talk a LOT about that when the time comes since that is one of the most critical parts of the job. Luckily the person that will be doing the work (Adam Pelz)¬†is the best in the country, so I am REALLY fired up about that. ūüôā¬†Along with proper room design and acoustical treatment, Adam will be able to wring out the best of what the room and equipment will allow.¬†

I'm debated on whether to add a projector and that is the route I decided to take. My primary focus is music, but obviously movies are important. I already have a media computer (I will probably build a new one) running JRiver Media Center that will be integrated into the system. I have about 32,000 songs or so in my collection and many of those are high resolution FLAC and DSD files in addition to the SACD's and DVD-Audio discs, and not to mention some movies/concerts and other items. Since the media computer is already connected to the household Sonos system via a Sonos Port, there is no need to have any specific integration for that. We will tie in all the lights and window shades (and whatever else we can) to our existing Control4 system. I'll create a separate post about the equipment that I will be using.  I am going for a 5.3.6 Atmos type system, and I'll talk about that in another post. 

That's it in a nutshell. I just signed the contract this weekend so we could get started and I can't wait. I need to try to get this done before we go on our Rocky mountain trip in late spring early summer, not sure if that will work but we'll see! The room is evolving so what I've typed here in this opening page will change, and I will document that as the design evolves.

Guess what? The guy that is doing the design, Shawn Byrne, works at the Topeka NWS office, been there 18 years and a meteorologist for 28. Invisible Threads. ūüôā¬†

I'll have more in the coming days as we get started with the process, it ought to be interesting.:-)


Entries in this blog

Final Design and Equipment List (Project on Hold)

EDIT: The room has been put on hold indefinitely due to a new adventure that we've decided to undertake. I finally have the as-built drawing from Shawn Byrne and the first revision of the equipment list from Adam Pelz. The as-built is 21 pages of drawings that I won't show here, but this is one of the pages.   Here is the equipment list for the moment. This shouldn't change very much as this point. There are miscellaneous bits and pieces like cables and other connections that w


NorthGeorgiaWX in Media Room

Design Update - 03/09/22

After all of this time, they are finally making progress on the room design! I finally have some detailed drawings and they are now working on the as-built plans.  This image shows the placement of the speakers in relation to the seating position and screen. The magenta speakers are ceiling, and the aqua color speakers are in-wall. It would be nice to have a larger room, but I have to make do with the space I have.  Fortunately, the ceiling, side and rear speakers will be the Wisdom Sa


NorthGeorgiaWX in Media Room

Design Update - 11/27/21

As you can see, this has been a slow project, but we're finally getting somewhere. I have more plans and now have a speaker list and screen size. This is going to be a 7.2.4 home theater system, and that's really about all you can fit into the room. Again, my primary focus is on music and sound quality so the video part takes a second seat. ūüôā¬†But with a 9 foot wide screen and the correct projector, that's not going to be too bad either.¬† Here's the room. To get your bearings, the top o


NorthGeorgiaWX in Media Room

07/18/21 - Room Design Update

Things are progressing, although never as fast as I'd want it to.  The room is a struggle to work with since one side has large glass windows and the other side is open with a bar, stairs, and a hallway. There are large bedrooms on each end of the media room so the room can't be expanded those directions.    They did a modal review of the room and initially placed the subwoofers in these locations. THe subwoofer where the arrow from from was not going to work in that positio


NorthGeorgiaWX in Media Room

More Power....

I relate to Tim Allen in more ways than one. ūüôā¬†But I certainly agree that everything could use more power. ūüôā¬†I'm doing things to our cars right now that give them more power, and it takes lots of power to drive a media room, so this will be my new "engine" that¬†I'll be using for my power.¬† I've always owned high power amplifiers from early on. The speakers that I've owned have been inherently¬†inefficient do to their¬†design¬†and required a lot of power to drive them, and their¬†low impedance m


NorthGeorgiaWX in Media Room

Hardware - The Heart of The Matter - The Sound Processor

Every home theater system has a sound processor of some type to manage the inputs and outputs as well as the sound processing. On low end systems you would have a receiver that would handle those chores, and as you move up you might have a dedicated preamp that handles the same task. as you know, there are many different types of sound formats in use and they all require decoding in order to send the sound to the correct speaker. Some receivers/preamps even have their own automated calibration s


NorthGeorgiaWX in Media Room

Hardware - Speakers

Ahhhh.... the nitty gritty. Yes, we have to make the room look nice AND sound nice, but to get the "sound nice" part, you need to start off with some hardware. It's like a car. It's one thing to make it look nice, but to make it fast, you have to throw hardware at it. ūüôā¬†Just like the weather, there are a lot of pieces that go together to make a good system, and along with the hardware, one of the most important pieces is the room itself. That is a whole other post as it gets complicated, so I'll


NorthGeorgiaWX in Media Room

Our Vision for the Media Room

There are all kinds of home theater rooms with as many different styles as there are people, but I'm not sure I like the term "home theater" for the room that we're going to create, because "theater" is not the primary reason for the room. I love music, doesn't matter what kind, as long as it's good music. ūüôā¬†But more importantly, one thing that makes all the music better is a good sound system. With that in mind, the room will be designed around the best "sound" that I'm willing to pay, and trus


NorthGeorgiaWX in Media Room

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