Asheville, North Carolina ‘s Home Theater and Audio specialists present Cane Creek AV and Paul McGowan – PS Audio, Intl.

Subs

When I started the theater project I was hell bent for leather to have the biggest, baddest subwoofer setup know to man. More bass than one could use, with subwoofers just loafing along. Remember my post on being obsessive? I like bass and it’s a critical element to a successful home theater. But not too much and never over bearing. As in a good music system, subwoofers should be felt and add to the music or film, never show themselves or point out their location. That’s sometimes hard to do and my initial thought was to populate the front of the theater with a horizontal array of woofers. Three in fact, 15″ each. The spread should help with room modes and simply overpower any issues I might have.

When we built the theater it turned out there was not enough room in the screen wall to place the subs so they might be flush with the screen, protruding out the back wall and into the garage. Turns out we unexpectedly ran into a damn fireplace the previous owners of my new, old, house had covered up. When we pulled the drywall off what we thought to be the dividing wall between the garage and the basement where the theater was to go, surprise! An ancient fireplace that wasn’t going anywhere. Here’s a picture of what we ran into.

You can see the problem. To solve this we decided we’d have to built a forward facing horizontal box to hide and house the subwoofers, which we did. Since the custom subs I contemplated using had yet to arrive when we finished the theater and wanted to try it out, I grabbed one of my favorites, the REL T9 which REL head John Hunter had sent me to try. Turns out the REL, a mere 10″ subwoofer, kicks butt big time. It’s wonderful and I question whether I need more. On my list is to bug John for a couple more just to be on the good side. REL is still by far my favorite subwoofer.

You can see the theater screen and room in this next picture. The long black box below the screen is the subwoofer enclosure we built to house many more subs than a single 10, but hey, there’s room to grow. Note the windows have fancy shades, called cardboard. Hopefully in time we can do better.

Asheville, North Carolina ‘s Home Theater and Audio specialists present Cane Creek AV and Paul McGowan – PS Audio, Intl.

Sidewalls

One of my goals in the theater project was to not see the speakers in the room. Why? I want to see the movie, not the speakers. I have never been a fan of walking into a cool looking theater and seeing, in the front, a center channel flanked by a left and right floor stander on either side of the screen. Just not what I would want in my home. Speakers in the theater should be heard, not seen. Movies are to see.

I succeeded in this goal for 9.1 of the 11.1 speakers. For the rear channels I used Golden Ear Invisa 525 mounted on the rear wall. You can see what they look like in this photo.

Thier grills are painted and appear as small same-colored discs on either side of the gear door. You just never see them.
The two speakers I could not bring myself to put in the wall are the side surround speakers. These turn out to be quite important and here I wanted to match the ribbons of the BG Radias I have in the front, and behind the screen, of the theater. There simply are not many ribbon surround speakers that adhere to our old friend Tomlinson Holman’s requirements (of Apt Holman fame), known to most people in recent decades by his more famous acronym THX. THX requires the drivers to be proud mounted on wall and pointing at angles away from the listener. For this task I turned to our old friend Bob Carver and his ribbon based Sunfire Cinema Ribbon Bi-Pole surround.

These are a bit on the expensive side but worth every penny from what I hear.

This is what they look like installed in the theater.