That 'Lil' Old Media Room in Texas

Description

That Lil' Ol' Media Room in Texas – 2022 Update!


Media Room  front wide left rear corner 2.jpg



This current Media Room is the result of three previous media rooms, countless stereo systems, and quite a few years of planning, growth, and tweaking :-) I still have a way to go and have several upgrades/tweaks planned for the upcoming months. It is a labor of love, and many hours of listening and watching have been enjoyed here. My goal was that the media room would be a dual-purpose space for both listening to music and watching movies. For the most part, I feel I have succeeded.


Media room front from left side 2.jpg


We moved into our current home in 2009. The Media room was custom built over the oversized two-car garage and is 18.5' x 22.5' with 9.5' ceilings at the center. All four walls have about a thirty-degree tilted-in soffit area where the side and rear surrounds are mounted. The ATMOS speakers are ceiling mounted, and the front speakers are freestanding. The wiring for the surrounds was pulled by the builder/contractor and is 14 ga. I pulled the ATMOS wiring myself, adding it later (now, THAT was a lovely job!). The front speakers (LCR) are wired with my take on "audiophile" speaker wire and are twin Belden 10ga in a Bi-Wire/Bi-Amp configuration.

There are two niches that I had built-in for media storage. First, while I thought I had plenty of room, that has not proven to be the case. My collection is starting to crowd the space, and I may have to move the crap to storage boxes to free up more room for those Silver Disks and my slowly growing LP collection!

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Media Room Diagram 06082022 GE Update w-border.jpg


The Stuff!
Signal Processing and Amplification

  • Marantz AV7703 Pre/Processor
  • Parasound Halo A21 - 2 Channel Power Amp
  • Parasound Halo A52+ - 5 Channel Power Amp
  • Parasound ZoneMaster 450 (for the ATMOS) - 4 Channel Power Amp
  • Yung 300 subwoofer plate amplifiers (2) for the Tactile Transducers
  • Mackie VLZ-1202 Mixer
  • OPPO UDP-203 - UHD Universal Disk Player
  • AppleTV 4K
  • Yamaha CDC-755 - CD Changer
  • Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC with Ortofon 2M RED cartridge
  • Apple MacBook Pro (Circa 2014)

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Display
  • JVC DLA-RS500 Projector
  • Vutec Fixed BriteWhite 2.35:1 Screen 136" diagonal

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Speakers
  • 2 - GoldenEar Triton One. R front, right and left
  • 1 - GoldenEar SuperCenter Reference
  • 4 - BG Radia SA320i in-wall Planar Ribbon/Hybrid Speakers for surround and rear speakers
  • 4 - Polk CS-6 In-Ceiling Speakers for the ATMOS (Middle and Rear ATMOS)
  • 2 - Rythmik F18 - 18" powered subwoofers (900 watts RMS ea)
  • 2 - Earthquake Sound Q-10B Tactile Transducers (AKA Buttkickers) - One mounted on the rear row raised seating platform and one on the front row shaker platform.
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Power Conditioning
  • 2 - Furman Elite 20A Power Conditioners
  • 2 - Leviton 20 amp in-wall surge protectors at equipment racks
  • 4 - Leviton 15 amp in-wall surge protectors at all subwoofer positions.

System Control
  • URC MX5000 Remote Control
  • URC MSC400 Master System Controller

Acoustic Panels
  • 4 - GIK 2'x4'x2" Diffuser/Absorber Panels
  • 4 - GIK 1'x4'x4" Diffuser/Absorber/Bass Trap Panel

Equipment Rack
  • Middle Atlantic 19" double width rack
Gimcracks
  • Isolation Platforms for the OPPO Blu-Ray player and the Pro-Ject Turntable. - The platforms are 18 "x18" concrete pavers sitting atop Penn Elcom rubber Isolation feet.
  • Isolation Platforms for LCR speakers - 18 "x18" Concrete Pavers resting on Penn Elcom Rubber Isolation Feet.
  • Tactile Transducer Shaker Platform for the first row of seating. - Double ¾ Inch MDF Glued and Screwed together. Resting on Penn Elcom Rubber Isolation Feet (18)
  • SVS SoundPath Subwoofer Isolation system on the Rhythmik F18's Subs
  • I added a turntable clamp/weight and replaced the mat with a new cork mat. Each of these tweaks made an incremental improvement (at least I perceived an improvement) in the sound I was getting from the turntable.
  • Lutron remote control lighting switches controlled by URC MX5000

Cables
  • Balanced cables between Pre/Pro and Amps - Mogami 3080 cable and Amphenol XLR - built by "World's Best Cable."
  • HDMI Cables by Blue Jeans Cable 35' BJC Series One - Projector, 6' BJC Series One - OPPO UDP-203, all other HDMI are 3' or 6' BJC Tartan 24 Series cables
  • I built all of the RCA-type interconnects (well, most of them anyway) using Belden 1694A cable and solder-type REAN (Neutrik) RCA connectors.
  • Speakers in-walls and in-ceiling use 14 Gauge contractor-grade speaker cable
  • LCR - Belden 5T00UP 10 Gauge x 2 bi-wired with locking banana plug and spade connectors at each end. I built an "Audiophile" speaker cable that can be seen below. They look VERY lovely and "audiophile-ly"! But, as good as they look, it made zero difference in the sound over the simple separate wires draped across the floor.

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Power Cables -
https://www.avnirvana.com/threads/you’ve-got-the-power-cables.4181/

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Thank you for providing the opportunity to display my system. Forums like this are fantastic for exchanging information and ideas, especially for inspiration and encouragement to those of us who share this passion/hobby/obsession.

This system continues to satisfy and provide me with many hours of joy and diversion. You should hear Pink Floyd's Welcome To The Machine in 5.1 on this system :-)


Cheers!


Tom

Comments

Very nice setup. Looks great and the decorations are awesome! Way to go! Especially, like the guitars!
 
Very nice... love the color scheme.

I've yet to hear the Radia speakers, but have wanted to for a while now... they just don't seem to make the big shows I've been to.
 
Very nice... love the color scheme.

I've yet to hear the Radia speakers, but have wanted to for a while now... they just don't seem to make the big shows I've been to.
Hi Sonnie, Thanks!
BG used to show up occasionally to CEDIA and some of the high end audio things. Unfortunately they were bought by Christie (the projector folks) and they promptly shut down the home business about three or four years ago. They continue to build and sell versions for cinemas....
https://www.christiedigital.com/en-us/cinema/cinema-products/cinema-speakers/screen-channel-loudspeakers
All of the BG products feature planar ribbon drivers of their own design. My main LR speakers are the Radia 520i that are a two way design with two 6” woofers and a 50” planar ribbon driver. The rest of the speakers use a combination of 3” ribbon tweeters and 7” ribbon mids. I love the sound of ribbons and think the clarity and transparency they impart is second only to some of the better electrostatics out there. I also installed BG’s in my family room 7.1 system. You can still find some dealers with a buyout stock of some of the BG models (in-walls for the most part).

One of the founders of BG passed away and I think the sale was precipitated by that. Their head designer helped create/design the Wisdom Audio speakers. If you see them at a show you need to check them out!
 
Very nice setup. Looks great and the decorations are awesome! Way to go! Especially, like the guitars!
Thanks! Music is another strong interest of mine. I just wish I could play them like they deserved to be played!

T
 
Great room Tom! Welcome to AV NIRVANA (in a big way!!!). That's quite a gear list you have there... and a massive cinemascope screen! What time is the first showing tonight???
 
Nice room and equipment. I really like your comment at the end, which makes this all worth it. The enjoyment these systems can provide is just great, and one of my favorite things to do is go enjoy music or movies in my theater.
 
Thats a great room! I really like the A/V rack. It sure keeps the equipment nicely organised.
Hi Tony, Thanks! The rack is a double width (2 rack spaces) from Middle Atlantic. It’s on casters so I can push it out by a foot or two and allow access to my Ethernet switch and DirecTv distribution stuff. I will eventually get around to rack mounting the Marantz and the Parasound A52+. i had a terrible ground loop issue that I finally tracked down and did not want to commit the them to a rack mount until that was corrected. Now that that is fixed I will take some rime to install the rack mounts.
 
Great room Tom! Welcome to AV NIRVANA (in a big way!!!). That's quite a gear list you have there... and a massive cinemascope screen! What time is the first showing tonight???
Hi Todd, Thank you for the welcome! It’s great to find a spot where like minded folks can exchange ideas and swap stories:-) some of the gear is new and some was purchased years ago (as in the Yamaha CDC) and the DTI subs. Let me know if you are ever in the Dallas area and we’ll put something on :-)
 
Nice room and equipment. I really like your comment at the end, which makes this all worth it. The enjoyment these systems can provide is just great, and one of my favorite things to do is go enjoy music or movies in my theater.
Thanks! I love this hobby/obsession/passion! It’s is so great to know there are others out there that share in it as well :-)
 
Wow, Tom, nice job! Just reading through the equipment list had me drooling. My dream is an over-the-garage media room, cool to see this.
 
Wow, Tom, nice job! Just reading through the equipment list had me drooling. My dream is an over-the-garage media room, cool to see this.
Thanks! I love (sometimes to my wife’s dismay :-) tinkering and trying new things. My usual upgrade path is to get an idea... obsess... buy ... try... and then sell the stuff I upgraded on eBay. The over garage room came with a accommodating builder with our last house build six years ago. In most cases they worked with me in what I wanted. If we build another house I will try some other things for sound and light control. Got to get busy and sell the old Parasound amps now :-)
 
Hey Tom, that's a very impressive room and system you've got there! Congrats! I was watching the Roger Waters' The Wall Atmos blu-ray this morning and I bet that would sound awesome in your room.
Jack
 
Hey Tom, that's a very impressive room and system you've got there! Congrats! I was watching the Roger Waters' The Wall Atmos blu-ray this morning and I bet that would sound awesome in your room.
Jack
Thanks Jack! Love me some Pink Floyd! I have Welcome to the Machine in 5.1 SACD and it does sound great. Regular two channel is also pretty good on the system. Pink Floyd, Yes, King Crimson, Little Feat, Steely Dan, Eagles.... I’m pretty much stuck in the 60’s and 70’s. To me, many of the best recorded, and best sounding, music came out of that era.... that’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it! ;-)
 
Hey Tom, that's a very impressive room and system you've got there! Congrats! I was watching the Roger Waters' The Wall Atmos blu-ray this morning and I bet that would sound awesome in your room.
Jack
Looks like we have similar music tastes. Turn it up and enjoy!
 
I also want to mention that I took advantage of the balanced sub outs on the Marantz by attaching RDL balanced to unbalanced conversion boxes on the backs of my old Definitive Tech PF15 subs. The RDL box uses passive studio grade transformer conversion There is now only about a foot of unbalanced cable connecting the subs. My goal was to reduce or eliminate the last little bit of hum the old subs were outputting. It worked and the subs are now nice and quiet.

Next upgrade.... Subs!
 
Nice room, that is one massive audio rack. You must be kicking some killer audio.
Thanks! Audio side pretty good but still tweaking.... Slowly making meaningful (I hope anyway :-) improvements. Next upgrade replacing my agin subs.. got my eye on some Rythmik FV15HP’s
 
Wow welcome to AV NIRVANA, you have one heck of an equipment list. I would love to have a dedicated room like yours someday. I would suggest looking into SVS subwoofers, they make quality products and have a excellent warranty.
 
AWESOME room, Tom! I especially like how you put the side and rear surrounds into the 30 degree angle portion of the ceiling. I can visualize how well the sound would envelope the listeners. Am I correct to assume you performed the construction and installation of this theater single handedly by you alone? It's quite an accomplishment to say the least!

As for a DAC to replace your Cambridge DAC Magic, I can recommend the SMSL M8A. It is very revealing sounding with excellent bottom end.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XW8WS1R/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 

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