Creating a system you love shouldn't be difficult. The Acoustic Frontiers blog is here to help.
Another AVS HTotM! Reimagining Home Theaters in Small Spaces
by Nyal MellorJanuary 19, 2024
COMPLETION YEAR: 2023
JM, an avid movie buff and software engineer living in California, fell in love with movies during his teenage years at a local cinema showcasing the Dolby Surround system during a Star Wars marathon. The immersive surround sound sparked his fascination with audio technologies.
In 2018, JM and his wife bought a new house lacking a designated space for a home theater. Converting the garage to extra living space proved to be impossible due to California building regulations. At an impasse, and recommended by other home theater enthusiasts, JM reached out to Acoustic Frontiers.
JM initially intended a 7.1.4 configuration but, after discussions with Nyal Mellor at Acoustic Frontiers, opted for a 9.1.6 setup to streamline future additions and simplify the integration of front wides and overhead channels.
The creation of the new room-within-a-room and strategically positioning all equipment outside the listening area to maintain an undistracted zone, transformed JM’s space into a sanctuary for cinematic immersion, earning recognition as the AVS Forum Home Theater of The Month in October 2023.
Equipment provided: Trinnov Altitude, ATI amplifiers, madVR Envy video processor, Seymour Screen Excellence screen, JVC RS4100 projector
Calibration services provided: 2-days onsite audio/video calibration, including four Trinnov presets and three madVR Envy presets
IN THE CLIENT'S WORDS
“Unlike most typical theaters you see pictured on most sites, I didn't have the luxury of space. And small spaces aren't kind to the acoustics, the laws of physics apply to you no matter what your budget is. So I knew it was crucial for this project to work with a company that does this for a living. And by "this" I didn't mean a company that's just there to push brands for speakers and processors or home automation, like you see out there. I meant that I wanted to work with a company that could do a simulation, that has experience creating a great sounding space, and the perfect home theater experience. Numerous recommendations pointed me to Nyal Mellor at Acoustic Frontiers, and he delivered! This was a challenging project given the space. Also the (ex) garage that houses the theater is right under the bedroom, and we're next to a busy street. So the work was about preventing sound from coming in, from coming out, and making it sound awesome.
The construction details that Acoustic Frontiers delivered helped the contractor understand how the project differed from a normal build. Everything was properly detailed (even for instance the part numbers) and the contractor noted that several times during the build.
The end result met all my expectations, but after calibration, the experience went well beyond my expectations. To really take advantage of all the gear, nothing beats having a professional dial it just right so it meets your tastes. The bass is exactly as I was hoping it to be, tight and tactitle, but not overdone. The picture is gorgeous. The sound is fully immersive. Another example of the end result: English is not my first language, and I used to watch movies with subtitles enabled. Since having this room, I haven't turned the subtitles on a single time, that's how clear the sound is. It can be loud without any hint of distortion, it's clear, effortless, directional and enveloping.
I highly recommend Acoustic Frontiers and working with Nyal for your future projects. His experience will save you many mistakes and precious time; time in the design, and time not spent messing with settings and acoustic trial and errors, hoping whatever you changed or bought will make things better.” - JM
Dreaming of a home theater but think you lack space? Think again. In this month's newsletter, we present a client's story who faced the challenge of not having a designated space for a home theater. While considering converting the garage, the plan proved more challenging than anticipated due to complexities in obtaining building permits. The project encountered exceptional challenges that required unprecedented solutions.
"Check out a custom soundproofing solution we created for a client we first worked with in 2012, who later moved across the country in 2020 and downsized to a shared-wall condo. See how he is able to enjoy his media room at concert levels without disturbing his neighbors, and watch the step-by-step build process as documented by our client. Additionally, gain insights from U2 as they delve into their creative process in crafting a groundbreaking performance at the world's largest immersive venue, Sphere Las Vegas. And, as always, be sure to check out our deal and tip of the month."