Don's HT Room


Member Sponsor & WBF Technical Expert
Jun 23, 2010
Monument, CO
Here's what happens when you don't have What's Best, but it works well for me! - Don

The front wall, with copious absorbers, Magnepan MG-IIIa's (yes, I'll get black sox someday), CC3 center, pair of Rythmik F12 subwoofers beside the big Maggies, Samsung 52" LCD TV. Panels on ceiling as well.

The rear wall -- more absorbers, CD/DVD/BD/whatever rack, pair of Magnepan MC1 rears on custom stands (cheap costumers).

Left side, showing panels to catch early reflections and the side surround MC1 (barely visible beside the black panels).

Right side, as the left, and you can just see the little Minisplit HVAC unit at the upper right that lets the room stay warm or cool independently of the rest of the house. No connection to the house HVAC; and no sound/noise from the ducting to the rest of the house! Shades are blackout double-sided and coated.

The components, left to right: Emotiva XPA-2 (L/R amp), XPA-5 (center, surrounds, rears), Oppo BD-83 above it, and finally the Pioneer SC-27 AVR. The AVR is brought up a little bit on blocks for cooling and (primarily) to make it easier to hit with the remote over the coffee table. Yes, I need to paint them black, eventually. Also a better view of the center Magnepan CC3 on top. The TV sits on a little stand I made that perfectly fit the Infinity center I had there; the Maggie is a little wider and about 1" taller so it's just sitting in front. The console is a fairly cheap run-of-the-mill wooden stand; I cut out most of the back for cooling and to provide better access.

The room was constructed with the walls and ceiling floating on Kinetics IsoMax clips, double inner wall and ceiling drywall, and 6" of mineral wool in the walls. Floor is concrete (basement). I can still faintly hear loud footfalls in the kitchen above, but I can crank it up and my son in the room next door can sleep and almost nothing penetrates upstairs. It's about 13' 3" wide, 17' 7" long, and 8' 5" tall (lost volume due to the isolation construction; a worthwhile trade). Additional panels have been added since these pictures, along with additional shelves for storage.

Samsung 52" LCD television
Oppo BDP-83 BD player
Pioneer SC-27 AVR
Emotiva XPA-2 (L/R), XPA-5 (center, surrounds, rears)
dbx 223xs crossover (L/R to subs)
Magnepan MG-IIIa (L/R), CC-3 (center), MC-1 (surrounds, rears)
Rythmik F12 subwoofers (x2)
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WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
Metro DC
Very impressed!!!! MGIIIA is 72" tall?


Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010

Very clean layout, it is evident that special attention was paid to all details...I have no doubt this system sounds very good


Member Sponsor & WBF Technical Expert
Jun 23, 2010
Monument, CO
Thanks! Like I said, it's nowhere near the class of components most of y'all have, but I like it. The Maggies were in storage for about 15 years until I decided to dig them out and set 'em up. That cascaded into rebuilding my system (and what a shock to see what prices are now!) Still need to fine-tune the frequency response by tweaking the MCACC settings, and it could stand a little more dressage here and there, but after getting the rear MC1's up today I think I'm done for a while. I have another half-dozen panels but I'm not sure I need them as the room is a bit dead now. I'll piddle later.

Gregadd, yes they're six-footers. Big sound stage and they reach fairly deep all on their own (35 Hz spec). The subs cross over at 40 Hz, set by measurements and ears. With all the panels behind, the imaging is very stable and the sound is tight. And, I did tweak them into place within about a sixteenth of an inch... :)

The Emotivas seem to have a decent rep and they sound clean and quiet to me, and the Pioneer AVR is a huge step up from the mid-range Sony it replaced. Not like my old tube gear but not bad at all. The Oppo is not the SE and I am using the HDMI link. I spent an afternoon switching back and forth between analog and digital outputs on my previous Sony and did not hear significant difference (admittedly with much less a system than this is now). There are also a Sony Playstation 3 on the left top of the console, and a cable box and Wii on the right. I need to buy more movies; the kids have more games in 7.1 than I have movies!

It is a real pleasure rediscovering my CDs, and after being a "don't care" movie watcher for years, I find myself really enjoying the high-def picture and sound available now.

Johnny Vinyl

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
May 16, 2010
Calgary, AB
Looks great Don! Its obvious you took great care putting the room together.



Member Sponsor & WBF Technical Expert
Jun 23, 2010
Monument, CO
PDF of the room showing the triangles used to determine proper placement of panels to absorb those nasty early reflections... Somebody else asked me for this so figured I might as well post it while I found it! SmartDraw was used for the drawing.

Of course, after getting everything up, I have now moved the couch forward somewhat and added surround speakers, but the panel coverage is still sufficient. - Don


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