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Electronic House 2012 Awards: Audio Passion Inspired Home Theater Design

Sweet sounds take center stage in this theater, thanks to Monitor Audio speakers, an Integra preamp and a powerful Crestron amp.



May 01, 2012 by Lisa Montgomery



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It’s obvious when entering this grand, custom-crafted theater, which part of its design took priority: the audio. A contact sensor on the door that leads into the 27-by-16-foot space triggers an array of small LED fixtures, showcasing a pair of high-grade Monitor Audio Platinum tower speakers. Most people would have chosen to let the huge reference speakers stay hidden behind the acoustical fabric that covers each of two speaker cavities built into custom cabinetry at the front of the room. But not this homeowner. “On a scale from 1 to 10, his passion for audio is a 20,” says Ryan Lipkovicius of Audio Impact, the San Diego–based custom electronics design and installation fi rm hired to build this theater.

Several small, energy-efficient LED lights were carefully positioned within each of the cabinet’s two speaker cavities. When the door to the room opens, they illuminate so the speakers can be seen through the acoustical fabric. Part of Monitor Audio’s Platinum line, the speakers are the company’s top performers and this theater’s crowning jewel.

It would take plenty of horsepower to drive these freestanding giants, plus the rest of the Monitor Audio 9.2-channel surround-sound system. Audio Impact chose an Integra DHC-80.2 preamp for its ability to work well with other A/V components and numerous audio decoding options, and a Crestron Procise Proamp-7X400 amplifier for its pure, raw output of power.

Another important part of the audio design was the engineering of a carefully constructed and acoustically treated shell. “Sam Cavitt of Paradise Theater in San Diego calculated all of the parameters, including the room dimensions, number of seats and size and position of the screen, and the software (from Kinetics Noise Control) figured where we needed to put acoustical materials, how to position the speakers, and where to put the seats so the audio reproduction was true and smooth,” says Lipkovicius. To further enhance the acoustical performance, Audio Impact and Paradise Theater instructed the contractors to “float” the room so none of its walls or ceiling would touch the walls of adjacent rooms or the floor of the room above it. Air conditioning vents, light fixtures and electrical outlets were treated with special isolation materials so that no sound would escape from the theater.





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Posted by chantal Mon, 07 May 2012 16:24:00 GMT