10,000-Watt ‘Uber Sub’ Helps Room Rock Down to 9Hz
Kaleidescape serves up owner’s 4,500 movies to earth-shaking home theater, with 14 more subwoofers and full wall of McIntosh gear.
May 01, 2013 by Grant Clauser

The space that would become this award-winning home theater had sat for a while as an empty concrete room while the homeowner eyed its possibilities. It turned out that his eyes were bigger than his stomach. In other words, his home theater dreams were bigger than his future home theater room.

What does a person do in that situation? Why, call up the heavy equipment, of course. In this case, the heavy equipment meant an excavation crew to dig down past the existing foundation nearly another three feet. “It was extreme,” says World Wide Stereo’s Chad Snedaker, who helped usher the home theater project along for 18 months. “Most theaters have two rows of seats, but this homeowner wanted three, and to accommodate the sight lines we either had to go up or down. Since up meant going into the [home’s] living area, we had to go down.”

Busting through the foundation was just the beginning of what could be deemed extreme measures taken to create this personal movie palace. To accommodate the size of the screen he wanted—a 193-inch Stewart GrayHawk with full four-way masking—the room required more throw distance for the Runco projector than was available. The first idea was to actually build an additional projector booth, which would have meant excavating into the front yard. All parties decided that might be going a bit too far, so World Wide Stereo engineered a smaller projector booth and mounted the Runco SC60 (a 3-chip DLP projector with two lamps) on the floor, pointed the lens toward the ceiling and bounced the light beam off an angled mirror that then shoots the image though a projector booth window and across the room at the screen.

All that required precision planning, but being a bit of a tank (the Runco weighs 80 pounds) the projector also required its own HVAC system. Its booth includes an industrial grade cooling system, which not only keeps his projector running perfectly but is also set up to send the homeowner an alert if the temperature in the booth falls outside parameters.

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A big picture was important, but this client knows his audio and was willing to take that experience as far as it would go. To that end, Keith Yates Design Group from Auburn, Calif., was called in to help with the planning of this Pennsylvania theater project. World Wide Stereo installed Bowers and Wilkins speakers and 14 JL Audio subwoofers, all surrounded by about 2 feet of acoustic material. The walls that guests see are actually made of acoustically-transparent fabric, behind which hide all the speakers. Even the ceiling is covered with speakers made ready for a Dolby Atmos system—when that technology becomes available for consumers.

System Design & Installation
World Wide Stereo, Montgomeryville, Pa.
Keith Yates Design Group, Auburn, Calif.
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The JL subs are hard workers, but they’re complemented by a custom-built “Uber Sub” made up of four 15-inch and four 14-inch drivers and 10,000 watts of power to deliver added earth-shaking punch down to 9Hz.

(Check out pictures of this winning theater here)

While the speakers are hidden behind fabric, the homeowner likes to show off his audio components, and who wouldn’t when they’re as stunning to behold as these McIntosh amplifiers. The McIntosh system is displayed in a temperature-controlled showcase in the theater’s snack lobby. Nearby is another rack of glowing blue components made of Kaleidescape severs and Blu-ray carousels (he has about 4,500 movies in his collection) and the Savant processor that allows him to easily operate the complex system.

And easy operation is especially important. The homeowner is restricted to a powered wheelchair and needs to be able to control everything with one hand. The Savant system allows him tremendous independence, giving him command over his movie and music collection as well as the home’s light and temperature systems.

The room did require some extra enhancements for the homeowner, such as a gap in the primary viewing location in the 19-seat (including his) theater for his wheelchair. The aisles and corners needed to be wide enough to allow him to easily maneuver into position, where he can soak in the home theater reality that became of those big dreams.

Lights, Camera, Action, More Lights
One of the more fun features of the room has nothing to do with the picture or sound. Under each hidden speaker is an array of LED lights. In normal mode, no one can tell that the walls are artificial or that speakers are concealed behind them. Via his iPad and Savant system, the owner can turn off the room lights and activate the LEDs. Suddenly each speaker gets bathed in a colored glow revealing them through the walls and even the perforated screen in the front. This trick never fails to bring out the oohs and aahs from friends and family visiting for movie night.

See Also:
5 Easy Home Theater Upgrades
Anatomy Lesson: Inside Subwoofers
Chicken or the Egg: Home Theater Planning with THX

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Grant Clauser - Technology and Web Editor, Electronic House
Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had training from THX, the Home Acoustics Alliance, Control4 and Sencore. His latest book is Necessary Myths. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.


Room Size: 28 x 18 x 12 feet
Duration: 18 months
Construction: Existing
Cost: $1.3 million

Systems and Equipment

Control and Lighting: Savant
Screen: Stewart Filmscreen
Projector: Runco
Video Source: Kaleidescape
Speakers & Subwoofers: Bowers and Wilkins, JL Audio
A/V Processing: Trinnov, Lumagen
Amplifiers: McIntosh

Full Equipment List

Equipment/Head End      
1 Mcintosh MX150 Mcintosh Theater Preamp/Processor      
6 Mcintosh MC601 600 watt x 1 amp      
8 Mcintosh MC452 450 watt x 2 amp      
1 Mcintosh MVP891 Universal Player      
2 Mcintosh MPC1500 Power Controller
Equipment Sources      
1 Savant ATV2000 3rd Generation Apple TV      
14 Kaleidescape KDSK3000LS 3TB Disk Cartridge      
1 Kaleidescape KSRV5000CO KSERVER 5000 - Chassis Only      
1 MISC MISC Cable Box      
1 TIVO TIVOPREMXL Tivo Premier XL      
1 Panamax M4315-PRO Power Conditioner / Surger Protector
1 Runco SC-60DAUTO 997-6205-00 & 956-0296-00 SC-60D      
1 Stewart Filmscreen 193-inch Grayhawk      
3 B&W CT8LR Custom Theater Floorstand Nautilus      
8 B&W CT8DS Custom Theater Floorstand Dipole      
5 B&W CCM7.3 3 way in ceiling system      
4 Jl Audio F212SATIN 96151 12” Subwoofer - Black Satin      
4 Jl Audio IWS-SYS2 In-Wall Subwoofer
4 Salamander MAT/LE/P/L Matteo Lft-End Pwr Recl - Leather      
4 Salamander MAT/RE/P/L Matteo Rt-End Pwr Recl - Leather, Eclipse      
10 Salamander MAT/XA/P/L Matteo Armless Pwr Recl - Leather      
14 Salamander MATSACL Matteo, St Arm Conn. Leather, Eclipse
Cable Budget      
6 Runco 997-6212-0 SC60 Bulb      
1 Networksou 16F16M 16 Combo & 16 Male to 4 DB25      
152 Ice Cable 22-2/EPS 22 guage 2 shielded pairs w drain      
3 Networksou 32MXLR 32 XLR M to 4 DB25      
55 Liberty Wi 44-20518 2cat6/1quadrg6/2fiber custom bundle      
150 Liberty Wi 44-20841 3 cat6 multi color 1 rg6q      
170 Liberty Wi AXLINK-P 22/18 Axlink Wire Plenum Rated      
1675 West Penn C208 8 Gauge Speaker Wire      
668 Monster CAT6E1000Y 101430 DS500CLEZ1000 yellow cat 6      
1 Monster CI1000HD50 132486-49 HDMI Ultra HighSpeed 50ft      
4 Mogami DB25DB2505 GOLD DB25-DB25-05      
1 Mogami DB25DB2510 GOLD DB25-DB25-10      
2 Mogami DB25DB2515 GOLD DB25-DB25-15      
250 Key Digital KDCAT6STP1 CAT6 STP Cable Spl Non Plenum Blue      
10 Canare L4E6S656 Star-Quad Microphone Cable (656      
1 Monster MC400DFO20 127611 Fiber Optic Cable 20Ft.      
1 Monster MPAV600 109300 6 Outlet A/V Power Protect      
4 Neutrik NL4FX Speakon 4 Pole Cable Mount
2 ALVA ONK1 1m Network Optical MADI Cable      
3 Monster QLGASH 127759 Quick Lock Gold Angled Spade      
76 Monster RG6Q3CAT6 131471 3 cat6 multi color 1 rg6q      
47 Monster RGB5/C5E 125178 RGBhv Cable-5 Piece Bund Co      
274 Monster S144RCL500 In Ceiling Height Speaker Wire      
3 Audioquest SGSPADE40S 40pc (20 Red) Silver SG Spades      
2 Audioquest SUB3-12MX 12M XLR Sub Cable      
2 Audioquest SUB3-15MX 15m XLR Sub Cable      
2 Audioquest SUREGRIPSS SureGrip Spade - Silver (4pk)      
1 Audioquest VODKA16M Vodka 16M HDMI Cable      
1 Liberty Wi WQ262687 WORLD-WQ262687 - Custom Wall Plate      
2 Apogee WW-BB-1.0 1m BNC Word Clock Cable      
3 Zaolla ZAES301.5Y 1.5ft AES/EBU SNAKE DB25Y
McIntosh - Analog Audio
4 Audioquest COLOMBI2MX Columbia 2m XLR Pair      
3 Audioquest COLUM1.5MX Columbia 1.5m XLR Pair      
2 Audioquest COLUM2.5MX Columbia 2.5m XLR Pair      
6 Audioquest COLUM3MX Columbia 3m XLR Pair
McIntosh - HDMI      
1 Audioquest VODKA1.5M Vodka 1.5M HDMI Cable                  
1 Audioquest VODKA2M   Vodka 2M HDMI Cable                    
McIntosh - Power Cords  
1 Audioquest NRG10-6FT NRG-10 6ft Power Cord                  
1 Audioquest NRG4-3FT NRG-4 3ft Power Cord                    
19 Audioquest NRG4-3FT NRG-4 3ft Power Cord                    
Source Rack - HDMI    
3 Audioquest VODKA5M   Vodka 5M HDMI Cable                    
Source Rack - Power Cords
4 Audioquest NRG4-3FT NRG-4 3ft Power Cord                    
Source Rack - Subwoofer  
5 Audioquest SUB3-2MX Sub-3 2m XLR-XLR                      
2 Audioquest SUB3-3MX Sub-3 3m XLR-XLR                      
Control & Network    
2 SpeakerCraft IRE10   Single Ir Emitter - Elt03100              
1 Sensatroni MODELE4   IT Temperature Monitor                  
1 Pakedge SW24-GBM 24 Port Managed Gigabit Switch            
1 Pakedge       WAP-W3G   Ultra High Power Access Point              
1 Pakedge PI05     Gigabit PoE Injector 802.3at Hi-Pwr          
1 Savant RMB0025   Rack mount kit for SSC-0025              
1 Savant SSC-0025 SmartControl 25                      
1 Pakedge WAP-W3N   Ultra High Power Access Point              
1 Pakedge K6ROUTER Preconfigured Gigabit Router              
Middle Atlantic Rack Systems
Theater Lighting      
1 Lutron LUTLBXWH Synthetic Minimum Load                  
1 WWS     PROGRAM   Programming Charges Remote Control          
1 Lutron RKDW5BRLMN (RKD-W5BRL-MN-E) Engr. Button Kit          
1 Lutron RR-VCRX-WH Car Visor RF receiver                  
2 Lutron RRD10NDSW 1000 Watt Neutral Wire Dimmer              
3 Lutron RRD6DSW   600 Watt Radio Dimmers                  
3 Lutron RRDF6ANSW (RRD-F6AN-DV-SW) 3-Wire Dimmer            
1 Lutron RRDW3BSRLM (RRD-W3BSRL-MN) Spaced 3-Button KP          
1 Lutron RRMAINREPW Main Radio Repeater (white)               
1 Lutron SC1MN   Single Gang Designer Midnight              
Panasonic TV & Calibration
1 Panasonic TCP65VT50 Premium 65” Viera 3D Full HD 1080p          
1 ISF     ISFDV   Flat Panel ISF Calibration                

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