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Some Sound

Now that the saga of high-speed Internet has come to an end I am able to get on with other things in life. Like tuning the home theater.

The folks who built the house installed a rear projector home theater system. The screen is 10-foot diagonal which does a remarkable job of recreating the cinema experience. With one rather painful exception.

The sound.

When they built the home theater they decided to use in-ceiling speakers. 6 inch diameter, downward firing, in-ceiling speakers. There are 7 of them supposedly to create a 7.1 listening experience. Only the installer did not check out the THX specification. The rears are not correctly positioned. The speakers themselves do not have directional tweeters which means that the sound fires straight down to the floor. Very tough to get good localization. And the spread of speakers is way too wide to create a coherent surround sound.

I have an amazing subwoofer — the SVS PB-13 Ultra. My A/V receiver is the flagship of the Pioneer Elite line. But the speakers are not excellent performers. To my ear, they are not even adequate. The curse of golden ears.

I ordered a set of B&W speakers — front, left, center, surrounds. I ordered stands. I ordered Klara speaker wire as well as 12 metres of HDMI cable. My next week-end project is to get some decent sound into the home theater environment.

Funny. The last time I bought speakers for the home was over 15 years ago. No one was worried about 5.1 or 7.1 configurations. Stereo was it. I picked up a pair of Paradigm 3SE speakers. Modestly priced bookshelf speakers with a pretty impressive sound.

The new B&Ws are technically far more advanced. And I won’t really get to know them until I have them set up in the home theater. But I suspect that they will also run for at least 15 years. By then my hearing will be so far gone that I won’t have a need to get another set.

Before and After

The new house has a number of interesting technology features. For one, it has three rooms pre-wired for multi-channel surround sound: two 7.1 rooms and one 5.1 room.

Unfortunately, the installer did not do a great job with the cable plant. All of the lines — speaker cable, video interconnects, cat5 — were not labeled. And ganged in massive tangles. It took me hours just to untangle the lines and to trace them.

The first two photos show the home theatre. And yes, I know that the subwoofer in the second photo is massive. A big room needs a big subwoofer like this one 🙂

This was the mess of cables before we moved in.

And after.

You Know You Make Too Much Money When…

You build home theaters like this one. You can see more of them here and here.

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Here is my home theater. Still working on it.

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