Audioholics Showcase Dwelling Theater Overview and Digital Tour

initially printed: June 4, 2013

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The  Audioholics Showcase Dwelling has gone by way of a variety of modifications since its creation virtually 15 years in the past. With over two miles of cable run behind dry wall, 50+ audio system positioned round the home, 50+ channels of related amplification comprising of virtually 10,000 watts of energy, and over 1/4 of 1,000,000 {dollars} in gear, we’ve acquired sufficient AV gear to make an IMAX envious. There are three state-of-the-art dwelling theaters and distributed audio all through the home with dwelling automation dealt with by Control4 which actually simplified the operation of all the gear on this dwelling a lot that even my mother-in-law may use it. Having an excellent management system actually is useful for events or company features if you wish to stream music all through the home concurrently and independently in numerous zones when wanted. Take a look at what we use as our reference take a look at mattress for conducting evaluations and writing technical articles.

Current updates as of 5/13/19 embrace:

  • Anthem STR separates for two-channel listening.
  • Yamaha CX-A5200 and MX-A5200 in theater room for full 7.2.4 Dolby Atmos/DTS:X Immersive Encompass Sound and 4K Processing.
  • Marantz SR8012 11.2CH AV obtainr within the household room system.
  • 2 pairs of RBH SI-615 in-ceiling audio system (Theater room) and a pair of pairs of RBH MC-615 in-ceiling audio system (household room) for high entrance & rear peak channels.
  • Control4 dwelling automation was added all through the whole dwelling to regulate all the gear, together with lighting.

Our  YouTube Video digital tour offers you a peek inside our showcase theater room previous to the Atmos/DTS:X and Control4 dwelling automation upgrades.

Audioholics Showcase Dwelling YouTube Video Digital Tour Previous to Atmos/DTS:X Upgrades

Whereas there are people who contemplate reviewers fortunate as a result of we get to check out all the newest gear the business has to supply, as Audioholics we frequently discover ourselves getting hooked up to gear that we actually like. And swapping out previous gear for brand new might be extra of a trouble than it’s price. Parting with previous gear might be such candy sorrow, however we often discover a strategy to preserve the “golden” gear built-in into our techniques. It was with nice disappointment that we needed to say good bye to our beloved Denon AVP-A1HDCI 10CH Preamp and matching POA-A1HDCI 10CH energy amp however the lack of Dolby Atmos/DTS:X immersive encompass and 4K UHD video help pressured our hand. With that in thoughts, let’s take a tour of the Audioholics Showcase dwelling as of April 15, 2019.  Take a look at what we use as our reference take a look at mattress for conducting evaluations and writing technical articles.


The wall of movie show posters to stroll you up the flight of steps to the Audioholics Showcase Theater Room 

We start our journey climbing the steps in the direction of the Predominant Theater room. As you stroll up the steps, you may be greeted with memorable film posters held on the wall to place you within the temper for watching an excellent film. Wanna comedy romance, strive 50 First Dates, or fantasy, strive Narnia. What about if youʼre simply hanging with the boys and wanna watch Goodfellaʼs? With almost 500 DVDʼs and 100’s of Blu-ray’s and Extremely-HD Blu-ray’s, SACD’s and DVD-A’s, in our assortment, weʼve acquired you are leisure wants lined.

The Predominant Theater Room

That is the Audioholics “reference” room the place we do flagship product evaluations and conduct our yearly speaker face off articles. We use this room as a result of it is acoustically the perfect sounding theater room amongst our employees reference techniques. Auralex despatched a crew of two who spent almost 14 hours/day for 4 days treating this room to realize the absolute best sound within the listening area. After Auralex was carried out, we added personalized curtains constructed to dam out the sunshine from the home windows and in addition carry that theater theme all through the room. We additionally painted the ceiling black for gentle management. To complete the look, we put in some sconces from Dwelling Depot and dimmer switches from Control4.

See the Auralex Therapy Plan for the Audioholics Showcase Dwelling for extra info on the preliminary acoustic therapies.

We have now additionally just lately handled the far proper ceiling with 1″ Auralex Sonolite absorption materials which was a lot wanted after we modified the flooring from carpeted to laminate.  

Since that is really the Audioholics “reference” room, it is also the place solely the easiest gear will get admission to be a part of the first reference system – one of many perks of being firm President 🙂

The Video Aspect

We have just lately upgraded this method with the Epson Professional Cinema 6040 3LCD 3D UHD projector.  This child is a big step up in image high quality from the 6020 mannequin that used to grace our reference room, particularly with it is e-shift expertise to offer close to 4K UHD decision. THX mode has a close to prefect colour and with solely minor changes to black stage, we hit the goal ISF calibration stage with ease.

A Carada Criterion 112” display is being utilized to eek out the perfect black ranges the Epson 6040 can supply. Additionally, you will discover the Furman energy conditioner strapped to the ceiling. That is plugged instantly right into a devoted 20A line and feed to the projector. An influence conditioner is an important measure to guard your projector from surges and low line circumstances which are inclined to wreck havoc on lamp life. If we had the possibility to do it over once more, we might have as an alternative run the facility line on to our APC S20s that gives battery backup and line regulation as effectively.

For the supply, we’re utilizing an Oppo UDP-205 audiophile reference Extremely-HD Blu-ray participant.  This participant does all the pieces proper and represents a reference customary at ANY worth level. With Oppo stopping manufacturing, each the UDP-203 and UDP-205 are wanted gamers that you simply’d should pry out of our lifeless arms to surrender. We even have a 4K UHD FireTV for streaming Netflix and Amazon Prime in addition to Verizon FIOS.

The Audio Aspect

For the previous 12 months we have been utilizing the Yamaha CX-A5100 11.2CH Atmos/DTS:X AV processor and matching MX-A5000 11CH Amplifier as the first gear within the theater room. We’re in transition now to updating to the brand new Yamaha CX-A5200 11.2CH Atmos/DTS:X 4K Preamp/Processor and matching MX-A5200 11CH amplifier so keep tuned for full take a look at experiences on each models.  The MX-A5000 at the moment powers ALL of the audio system with aplomb on this system besides the Standing 8T mains that are powered by the Anthem STR amplifier.

Standing Acoustics 8T Towers and 8C Heart Channel

The Yamaha handbook PEQ through the online editor proved invaluable in tuning the bass response of the Standing Acoustics 8T Speaker system coupled with the opposite subwoofers within the system.  That is really a singular speaker system that few, if any, different commercially made loudspeakers can match.  The 8T’s are easy at any listening stage.  In our assessment, we discovered distortion ranges under the precise acoustical analyzer gear we use for measurements.  Compression does not exist in these audio system at even above humane listening ranges.  The linearity is so very good that we discovered room correction to not be wanted.  Nonetheless, that is one thing we could discover with extra superior room correction techniques sooner or later.

The Tools Racks

There are two gear racks on this room which host the gear for the primary theater, two-channel and the bed room techniques. The first rack on this room is from Center Atlantic and stands almost 7ft tall. It’s really a singular rack in that it has a inbuilt wire administration system and slides out on rails to make servicing gear simpler. It is also constructed like a tank and might maintain as much as 2,500lbs. This can be a good factor as a result of when all the gear was tallied up, it weighed in at roughly 600lbs. It is comforting to know we’ve acquired some wiggle room for the longer term in case we improve to some heavier gear. Presently, the Center Atlantic rack homes the Yamaha CX-A5100 and matching MX-A5000 11CH amplifier, two RBH SA-500DSP subwoofer amplifiers (powers bed room system in-wall subwoofers and SI-1010 sub in the primary theater room), 2 APC AV S20s (every individually run on devoted 20A traces), Yamaha MCX-2000 MusicCAST, an Integra DRX-4.2 9.1CH HD-BaseT AV Receiver, Marantz UD7007 Blu-ray participant, Verizon FIOS Motorola HD DVR, XBOX OneS & XBOX360 together with a Control4 EA-3 controller, Pakedge SX-24P8 1Gig 24 port managed swap and WAP. With all of this energy safety and battery backup, no Florida thunder storm can threaten this method and there’s sufficient juice to energy the whole theater for almost two hours ought to we lose energy. Sure we’ve acquired our priorities straight! That is the room we go to throughout brown outs.


Audioholics AV Racks:  Center Atlantic (left pic); Audiav & Center Atlantic Racks (proper pic)

The secondary rack is an Audiav Crystal which is elegant and in addition extraordinarily sturdy; able to holding the heaviest gear the business has to supply. On this rack, resides the Marantz TT-15S1 turntable, Anthem STR Preamp,and STR energy amplifier,  and Oppo UDP-205 UHD Common participant. The Oppo UDP-205 is used within the main theater system to play UHD Blu-rays and stream video content material from my community laptop. The balanced outputs of the UPD-205 are utilized for important two-channel listening of SACD’s and excessive decision streaming from my community drive for the Anthem two-channel system.


Audioholics Two-Channel Rack

In an effort to correctly energy the Standing Acoustics 8T speaker system, we would have liked an amplifier able to delivering uncompressed output in any respect listening ranges.  We just lately changed our  Emotiva XPR-1 Mono block amplifiers that sadly died with the Anthem STR energy amp. The Anthem STR gear is basically particular when it comes to operate, efficiency and construct high quality. We love the way it effortlessly integrates with the house theater system on this room permitting for simple switching between theater and two-channel modes of operation.

Encompass Speaker Structure Audioholics Theater Room

The encompass speaker system was fully revamped to accommodate Dolby Atmos and DTS:X immersive encompass codecs. We switched out the 66-SE/R bipole aspect surrounds for RBH’s new monopole SV-661WR on-wall audio system with twin 6″ drivers and an AMT tweeter in a MTM configuration.  We added 2 pairs of SI-615 in-ceiling audio system for peak channels and retained the SI-740 in-wall audio system for the encompass backs. The tip result’s now we have 8 encompass audio system offering a totally discrete immersive bubble for each rows of seating. All 8 encompass audio system and the Standing 8C middle channel are powered by the Yamaha MX-A5000 11CH energy amplifier.

For 2-channel sources, we’re spinning vinyl on a Marantz TT-15S1 turntable and utilizing the balanced analog outputs of the Oppo UDP-205.  Two-channel Valhalla is achieved on this setup.  No want for powered subwoofers, DSP processing or any multi-channel gimmicks.  Generally the spouse and I like to simply sit again with a pleasant glass of Riesling and actually deal with how great a high notch two-channel setup can sound. I even have full functionality to allow Anthem’s ARC room correction to each digital and analog sources. I tweaked it so the room correction is proscribed to 500Hz and added a slight enhance under 20Hz and the top result’s merely a sonic marvel.

Marantz TT-15S1 Turntable

I’ve to confess, I believed it was a bit cliche including a turntable to our system nowadays.  In each measurable means, vinyl is inferior to CD, not to mention increased decision codecs like SACD or DVD-A.  But, the vinyl expertise is so immensely pleasing that until you hear it for your self, you will not know what you are lacking.  Including a turntable to my rig was top-of-the-line choices I’ve made. The Marantz TT-15S1 turntable is producer by Clearaudio and options their very personal Virtuoso wooden cartridge.  This desk sounds fabulous particularly with the latest calibration tweaks we have carried out to it.  Listening to top quality 180G information offers you that sense of a stay efficiency that’s typically missing in digital recordings, particularly when they’re hyper compressed.  Positive vinyl is a bit noisier than the CD equal, and the stereo separation is not nearly as good both, nevertheless it’s additionally extra natural sounding too.  As well as, listening to vinyl makes you do one thing you usually do not do with digital music – decide to take heed to the entire album.  My spouse loves the sound and really feel of vinyl and it will get her up right here extra usually listening to music with me which is an effective factor.


You betcha!  To spherical out the system, we have thrown in a pair of Velodyne DD-15+ subwoofers, that are solely used for the multi-channel system.  We have now these tuned to simply clean out bass response throughout all listening seats for a extra constant and even sound.  We may actually flip them off and simply run the Standing 8T’s fullrange and nonetheless get earth shattering bass for films, however further cone space distributed across the room is at all times a good suggestion.  Apart from, I take pleasure within the truth I can actually make my spouse nauseous when watching LFE heavy films like Darkish Knight Rises on Blu-ray or Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse on UHD Blu-ray 🙂



Velodyne DD-15+s positioned to the aspect and again partitions

We really haven’t got a devoted subwoofer channel configured for the Yamaha CX-A5100.  Sure. there’s cause for this insanity.  The Standing 8T Speaker System is so effectively built-in as a fullrange speaker that we determined to run it like that even for multi-channel purposes.  If we have been to run the DD-15+’s through the subwoofer outputs of the Yamaha processor, it might sadly not be capable of route LFE information again to the Standing audio system.  We discovered the perfect and most tactile bass response by operating bass from all channels + LFE to the Standing 8T towers and Velodyne DD-15+ subwoofers concurrently.  We achieved this by bypassing the sub outs of the Yamaha and operating every DD-15+ sub to the primary Left and Proper channel outputs, respectively.  We employed the DD-15+’s personal LPF and EQ processing to clean out the bass response and higher combine it with the Standing 8T speaker system.

In-Room Bass Frequency Response Throughout each Rows of Seating (no smoothing)

The Cables

You gained’t discover any cable snake oil in our techniques; simply probably the most sturdy and greatest measuring cables daybreak all the techniques within the Audioholics showcase dwelling. For speaker cables we used Blue Denims CL2 accredited 10AWG speaker cable all through the whole home, together with all the in-wall pre-wires and out of doors audio system. The interconnects are all Bluejeans 1694A with Canare terminations. All the digital toslink and HDMI cables are from Bluejeans cable.  For the Standing 8T and 8C speaker system, I make the most of the gorgeous Kimber 8TC speaker cables.  They could be audio jewellery however additionally they measure nice too!  The Kimber cables present a low resistance, low inductance connection between our amps and audio system to attenuate losses.  That is precisely what you need speaker cables to do.

The Theater Chairs & Riser Platform

To spherical out the room, we rigorously chosen what we really feel to be among the greatest dwelling theater chairs available on the market again in 2005. These chairs are from Continental Seating and are among the many most snug reclining theater chairs we’ve ever sat on. They’re a micro fiber design, which have higher acoustical properties than leather-based and stop sweat construct up from extended sitting usually skilled with leather-based. They’re additionally very straightforward to maintain clear. Most significantly, the contoured headrest ensures they don’t muffle the sound or block off your encompass audio system like most theater chairs are inclined to. These chairs are 15 years previous and have held up fairly effectively contemplating. It speaks volumes for his or her sturdiness.

Continental Seating (two-rows, second row on DIY Riser)

We constructed a customized riser to lift the peak of the again row whereas additionally designing it to function a bass lure and pure tactile transducer, which provides a variety of pleasure with each bone crushing punch dealt by Optimus Prime and different explosive films.  If you have not thought of constructing a riser platform to your theater and you have multiple row, we strongly encourage you to rethink.

See: Constructing a Multi Operate Riser Platform

Additionally see: Recommendations on calibrating a Multi Row Theater and Multi Subwoofer Connections Information

Dwelling Automation by Control4

For the previous 15 years I struggled with discovering a complete dwelling management system and was largely wrestling with the a number of OEM distant controls haphazardly to function my theater techniques. This wanted to finish so I contacted our mates at Control4 and so they agreed to place me by way of a rigorous 4 days of coaching of their Composer Professional software program to learn to program their dwelling automation merchandise. With the set up assist of our mates at HD2020, we have been on the precise path for controlling ALL three of my theater techniques together with distributed audio and lighting. The spine of the system was a whole revamp of my wi-fi community utilizing Pakedge 1GB community gear together with their: RK-1 7-port router, SX-24P8 24-port and SE-8 8-port switches  and three WK-2 802.11ac Wi-fi Entry Factors unfold all through the house. An entire rewiring of my total dwelling from CAT5e to CAT6 was carried out to make sure full potential and stability of this method was achieved. The principle theater room incorporates a Control4 EA-3 controller which permits excessive decision music streaming to each the theater and 2CH techniques digitally whereas additionally controlling the lighting within the room. Utilizing their Zigbee community, the lighting management handles ALL ceiling lights, the sconces, and the riser platform. Scenes have been created to show particular lights on/off when hitting pause or resume on a film. We even built-in Alexa Dwelling for voice controls and I modified my voice immediate to “laptop” as a homage to Star Trek. It is a good feeling to enter my workplace within the afternoon and say “Pc, activate major lights” and it obliges with out me ever having to flip a swap. The EA-3 controller additionally handles the Integra Analysis DRX-4.2 AV receiver that powers the master suite system in coordination with the primary EA-5 controller positioned within the household room. A further EA-1 is positioned in that room to regulate the Panasonic Plasma TV and native lighting features. We have now each a Control4 10” Tabletop Contact Display and 3x SR260 handheld remotes to function the techniques round the home. The Control4 contact display is good for its visible illustration however the SR-260 is way simpler to deal with and most popular within the bed room techniques and when fast operation over fancy operation is the precedence.

Please take a look at our YouTube video on Setting Up a Dwelling Community to see precisely how now we have all the pieces configured for the whole Audioholics Showcase dwelling.

Setting Up a Wi-fi Community – Audioholics Showcase Dwelling

Music Streaming

Control4 has actually taken our potential to stream music round the home to the subsequent stage. The Control4 EA-5 and EA-3 controllers give us direct entry to Tidal, Pandora, Spotify, Tunein and extra to any location within the dwelling that has audio system all from the comfort of our telephones. Better of all, it is excessive res for sources like Tidal so that you’re getting the easiest sound high quality together with the comfort of streaming and distant controlllability. With the Control4 Sight characteristic we’re even capable of flip music on remotely for visitors in our dwelling if we’re out of city. Simply ask my mother-in-law how appreciative she is when I’ve her bed room audio system activate to the provocative lyrics of Cupcakke as a get up name within the morning when she babysits for us 😉

We additionally added a 4TB harddrive crammed with excessive decision FLAC and DSD information to stream instantly into the Oppo UDP-205 and UDP-203 blu-ray gamers from my desktop laptop.  we make the most of the Control4 touchpad to navigate the Oppo gamers to entry the music on the distant HDD.  We nonetheless have a Yamaha MCX-2000 MusicCAST system which is linked to all three techniques through digital coax in our theater room, analog to our bed room system and digitally to our household room system although the EA-5.

Check Lab and Workplace

A separate take a look at lab was created within the theater room which has 6 COAX and Ethernet connections tied instantly into the primary theater room. Once we do excessive SPL testing of loudspeakers, we usually setup the take a look at gear within the theater room, and run like hell into the take a look at lab, slamming the door shut earlier than the primary sweep blows us out of the room.

The take a look at lab consists of among the industries most interesting measurement gear together with:

  • Audio Precision APx585 8-channel HDMI Audio Analyzer (for receiver/amplifier/Blu-ray measurements)
  • Wayne Kerr 6420 Magnetic Analyzer (cable and loudspeaker coil measurements)
  • Sencore SP495 Audio Analyzer (room and loudspeaker measurements)
  • Sencore SC3100 Oscilloscope
  • LMS (room and loudspeaker measurements)
  • Dayton Audio UMM-6 Microphone

All of this gear is protected by an Furman F1000 UPS which is run to a devoted 20A line.

Suffice it to say with this stage of precision, we will measure the noise stage enhance on a chunk of drugs if a close-by gnat within the room decides to interrupt wind.

In fact, now we have our priorities straight even in our take a look at lab.  Built-in into our Desktop PC system is the RBH E-41SE/B audio system powered by a Yamaha A-S801 built-in amplifier   The E-41SE/B audio system characteristic upgraded Beryllium woofers and Scan Converse tweeters.  To offer backside finish, we even have a Velodyne Mini-Vee sub built-in.  We bypassed the inner soundcard of our PC by using the Headroom Micro USB preamp and DAC system.  This two-channel rig rivals many so referred to as audiophile techniques and we’re simply in sonic nirvana all day lengthy whereas cranking out high quality content material for our readers.

EMP VT-40.2 Tube Amp and 41-SE/B Speaker System

Audioholics Rock Band and Bar?

Not fairly, although once we’re not doing Audioholics associated stuff on this room, a few of us are having fun with our flirtations at being newbie drummers and piano/keyboard gamers.  We use a Yamaha Clavinova CLP-440 digital piano and the drum package is a Roland TD-V6. A Velodyne micro-vee subwoofer can also be linked to the Yamaha CLP-440 so as to add a way of depth to pipe organ and synthesizer sounds.  We use the Edifier S2000 Professional energetic audio system for the Roland drum package together with a FocusRite audio controller to interface with PC and or extra gear like microphones.

Drum Space of Audioholics Showcase Room (left); Customized made bar constructed by Amish (proper)

What good is a theater room with out refreshments?  We had this bar customized made to our design and hand constructed by the Amish.  Over the previous couple of months we have realized sufficient about mixing Margaritas (all from scratch substances) to open up a high flight Mexican restaurant.  Carrying this 300+ lbs bar up two flights of steps ought to by no means be tried earlier than consuming any of the contents it is meant to include.  Behind the bar now we have a mini wine fridge protecting all the white and crimson bottles that our visitors convey (admission worth for a listening session) at their correct temperatures.  To the left of the bar is our digital dart board tucked away into just a little nook nook of the room.  Don’t be concerned, it’s free and clear from the Standing audio system and remoted by the Center Atlantic rack. Even probably the most intoxicated visitor could not presumably hit one of many audio system 🙂

The Finish Consequence

This AV gear within the Audioholics Showcase dwelling represents over a ¼ million greenback funding and is a collaboration of among the most interesting dwelling theater and measurement gear accessible as we speak.  Our theater room listening area is almost a super acoustical setting which permits us to discern the standard of parts we consider for evaluations and comparability testing. Throughout off responsibility hours, we additionally get to take pleasure in an unparalleled theater expertise that rivals all the native Cineplex’s. Including immersive encompass sound and 4 discrete in-ceiling audio system was a worthwhile improve. The Dolby Atmos upmixer is superb even when listening to two-channel sources. Should you’re contemplating moving into Atmos/DTS:X, we extremely advocate doing it the precise means with discrete ceiling or peak audio system as an alternative of the compromised bouncy home Dolby Atmos-enabled audio system.

Since we’re audiophiles at coronary heart, this method was designed  to favor the audio aspect of the equation greater than the rest.   In consequence, watching an Extremely HD Blu-ray like Thor Ragnarok in Dolby Atmos or listening to a top quality multi-channel Blu-ray live performance efficiency (ie. Pat Metheny or Porcupine Tree) actually offers us that “higher than being there” expertise.  Cozying as much as an audiophile grade vinyl report like Miles Davis – Type of Blue (180G) or Sade is at all times a sonic deal with.  you simply cannot beat the intimacy of an excellent two-channel listening session.   It’s additionally fairly pleasing to see and listen to fellow victims, I imply fellow Halo avid gamers,  final cries for assist as we stick them with a grenade or get off a clear headshot.

Auralex House Array Diffusor Ceiling therapy above the listening space

Please proceed studying to see what kind of apparatus now we have in our Household and Bed room techniques.

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