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Old 12th November 2008, 07:51 PM   #1
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Default Designing my Dream Theater audio system

Within the next 5 years i hope to be starting my dream project. A no comprimise home theater system witch will be built outside my house from the ground up. I wanted to share my goals and my ideas of what i think will get the job done.

My goals

:Huge dynamics and low distortion are a must for this system.
:silly amounts of excellent quality very deep tight bass.
:it has to sound huge, it needs to pull you into the action and forget about the boundries of the room you are in (a modest goal )

What I think will get me there

I have an idea of the speaker system I want but I am unsure of the components that will drive them (this is the mystery right now)

Speakers will all be the same on all channels and will be in wall designs. I was planning on getting eight Yorkville U15 cabs. 2 behind the SMX screen as a center speaker, 2 as left and right front, 2 as side channels, and 2 as rear channels. the drivers and crossovers will be removed from the cabs and placed into in wall cabs.

Subwoofers will be 16 18" Exodus Audio MealstromX drivers in an Ib. I'm thinkin 8 manifolds each containing 2 drivers each. I want the subs to be placed around the room so i can get even coverage in the room.

So i have an idea of the speaker system itself but I'm unsure of the electronics. I need a good 7.1 pre amp and amps to drive all these speakers.

Input is welcomed

P.S. please no suggestions of amps or pre amps that claim "audiophile" voodoo or magic and no $10,000 8 watt tube amps

THX
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Old 12th November 2008, 08:00 PM   #2
BHTX is offline BHTX  United States
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Instead of literally throwing away so much money on the speakers (and to end up with something not so great at that), why not do it right?
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Old 12th November 2008, 08:03 PM   #3
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Forget about all the conventional bass systems. Go with Double Bass Arrays on the side walls. Depending on the crossover frequency and the depth of the room, you'll need anywhere from 8 to 24 subs (or more... but that's huge).

What's the size of the room? What's the size of the display?
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Old 12th November 2008, 10:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by 454Casull
Go with Double Bass Arrays on the side walls.
Too late to edit my post, but I wanted to mention that you could put a DBA on the front and rear wall if the screen is not flush mounted on the front wall.

EDIT: Why buy the speakers if you're just going to rip out the drivers and crossovers? So you can get the Unity horns?
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Old 12th November 2008, 10:35 PM   #5
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Wow!

Where do we start? I guess we don't have to worry as you're not doing it for 5 years so you have lots of time to think about this.

16 subwoofers will never get you deep tight bass. deep yes, tight no. You need PA drivers for that. You might want to consider going for a couple 21" subs and XO them at about 50 Hz. These can be powered by plate amps.

Then you can get yourself some nice 15" PA drivers for the bulk of the work. 4 per side ought to be enough unless you plan to de-feather a chicken in this room. I run 3 15's per side in horns in my PA set-up and can get over 120 dB at 4 meters. Enough to cause pain. Real, undeniable, non-reversible, damaging pain.

For your mid and high I would think horns and compression drivers. Not those little Unity thingees, some real big manly horns. No reason to go dinky at this point.

Amps? Two 1K watt plate amps for the bass.
A receiver that has enough pre outs to connect an external amp for the mid basses and one for the horns and go active with your XO's

This could be fun but depending on how far you want to go, it'll cost ya! I have many thousands into my stuff and it never seems to end. Just when I think I'm done, this darling looking woofer will pull at my coat tails and say "hey big boy, wanna take me home?"

Well you get the picture. I think you should call someone local to come over and give you a free consultation. It might get you headed down the right path.

Cheers.
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Old 12th November 2008, 10:51 PM   #6
BHTX is offline BHTX  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by MaximumPuffer
Designing my Dream Theater audio system
Click the image to open in full size.

..
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Old 12th November 2008, 11:15 PM   #7
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Go here and read or perhaps consider purchasing his book:

http://www.gedlee.com/Home_theatre.htm

Probably lots of other home theater dedicated sites others could recommend.
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Old 13th November 2008, 01:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by BHTX


Click the image to open in full size.

..

My absolute favorite band of all time. Have seen them 3 times at the Eagles Ballroom in Milwaukee WI.

As far as dream theater setups go, I'm actually getting the chance to make one of mine a reality for someone right now. I never have the time or money to do anything nice for myself.

Each of the front 3 channels consists of a pair of the TD10M's, one of our new 6.5" drivers, and the RAAL 140-15 ribbon tweeter. These are really the elite of all drivers for the application. While there are other options that can play louder than the RAAL ribbon, it will still play plenty loud and there are few options that can match the detail and clarity. He has a whole rack of QSC and Crest amplifiers from a previous installation along with 2 dBX driverack 260's for processing. The front 3 channels will all be 3 way active. The subwoofer will consist of 8 of the IB15's taking advantage of a large storage room behind the 12ft wide screen. With the VLF gain in the room, we can expect to see levels upwards of 120dB down as low as 10hz.

Here is the current room as is. The stripes you see on the walls aren't really there. There are flat and semigloss burgundy stripes. Very subtle but in the pictures they really stand out:
Click the image to open in full size.

Here is the proposal I made with photoshop showing the 2 planned columns with lighting coming out from the top of the columns. There are 2 columns already on the right hand side of the room as it opens to a bar area, so the front columns match the room well.
Click the image to open in full size.


John
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Old 13th November 2008, 06:22 PM   #9
gedlee is offline gedlee  United States
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I've built lots of Home Theaters and my own is often stated as the best the person has ever seen (or heard). Several comments:

Don't forget about noise control. All that sound is going to be a problem at some point unless you live alone. No wife, child, neighbor, etc. is always going to be tollerant of YOUR tastes and the times that you feel like watching a "manly" movie with lots of bombs and guns and so forth. My theater is sound proof and I can watch whatever I want whenever I want, even while the kids or wife are asleep. It is not at all uncommon for me to be up till 2 am listening to loud music while the family sleeps. This is a very difficult thing to achieve and has to be planned into the room from the get-go.

Next, no matter how much you spend on speakers, amps, etc. the sound won't be very good if the room and the setup isn't very good. AND, if the room and setup are done right then you don't really need to spend all that much on the sound system. If the room is sealed - for noise control - then the bass requirements for small rooms are pretty meager. All thats required is to get good LF damping (again this HAS TO BE done when the room is built) and a few distributed subs of modest capability. The bass will knock your socks off. Its not about SPL, its about smooth well distributed sound with no strong peaks or dips and this is far more about setup than it is about loudspeaker power.

As far as the speakers go, well my opinion there is a matter of record and you can take it of leave it. Your probably far away from me, but you are welcome to come see my setup any time. Once you do you'll know what you need to do - copy it.
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Old 13th November 2008, 08:40 PM   #10
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Hi Dr. Geddes,

Slight sidebar here - do you provide referrals to anyone who has purchased/built your speakers (with their consent of course)? I'd love to hear them some day, but any serious travel to do so is not feasible right now. If there was anybody close to me (within a hundred miles or so) I would definitely make the trip.

Thanks.
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