That 'Lil' Old Media Room in Texas

A continuing labor of love!


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!


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)


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


  • 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.


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
  • 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

  • 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.


Power Cables -’ve-got-the-power-cables.4181/



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 :-)




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.
Hi Travis, I did consider the SVS subs and they looked good. I settled on and purchased 2 Rythmik F18’s . I am currently writing a review that I will post here on AV NIRVANA on the new User Reviews Forum. I am finishing up the listening tests today and will proof it once or twice more. It may even be posted today.
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.
Hi Grayson,
Thank you! I’m a only a semi-handyman so all of the actual construction was done by my homebuilder to my specs. I did all the wiring of the system of course, hung the projector and dialed everything in . I just installed a pair of Rythmik F18 Subs and will post a review on the new User Reviews Forum later today or tomorrow. Thank you for the DAC suggestion! I’ll definitely check it out!!
Tom, I have to say that is a really nice room you've put together and the gear is very drool worthy. It must look and sound top notch in person.
If you haven't already, check out MultiSubOptimizer (MSO) for your minidsp/sub project.
Had to chuckle at your comment to @tesseract , "My usual upgrade path is to get an idea... obsess... buy ... try... and then sell the stuff I upgraded". It was way too familiar.
Tom, I have to say that is a really nice room you've put together and the gear is very drool worthy. It must look and sound top notch in person.
If you haven't already, check out MultiSubOptimizer (MSO) for your minidsp/sub project.
Had to chuckle at your comment to @tesseract , "My usual upgrade path is to get an idea... obsess... buy ... try... and then sell the stuff I upgraded". It was way too familiar.
Thanks! It is getting to where I ca ALMOST step away and actually enjoy ( sure, like that will happen!) I’ll sure check out the MiniSubOptimizer as I get into that project.
I have to say you did a great job on the room, and equipment selection. I also agree with you for the most part in cables. The ONLY time I have heard cables make a difference is when using a tube preamp powering a solid state power amp. Years ago I read that it was because of the high output impedance of the preamp that wires made a difference in sound. I then purchased a Classe DR6 preamp which had a 1ohm output impedance, and a pair of their 10 amps and there was absolutely zero difference in swapping out cables. Since then I have just run basic cables that are decently made. I do have to admit I like the look of the Audiophile cables, and if I ever was able to afford a pair it would be for looks only and not because they supposedly sound better.
Glorious project. Thanks for sharing and looks like a killer space with goosebump capabilities.

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