June 16, 2009
by Steven Castle
The theater has four “windows”: two on one side, one on the other and one in the back, each showing a portion of the city. Behind the faux windows, fabric walls and columns are acoustical materials such as absorptive panels near the front of the room and diffusive and reflective panels at the rear. Other techniques to prevent sound from escaping to the nearby neighbors include 6-inch staggered-stud walls on two sides that are filled with fiberglass insulation (two other walls are made of concrete blocks), isolation bumpers on the riser and stage to prevent vibration transfer, and bass traps in the soffit to absorb unnecessary booms.
The columns and sconces are mostly constructed of MDF board and finished with an automotive paint for a high sheen and depth, Schafer says.
Putting the equipment in the room was the work of Ocampo and DreamSpace. The installer chose a Marantz single-chip DLP 1080p projector and a 103-inch Vutec 16:9 screen with horizontal masking, accompanied by powerful Anthem processing and amplifiers and an array of B&W speakers and Velodyne subs.
Two of B&W’s remarkable 45-inch-high 802 speakers flank the screen behind black fabric, with a B&W 800-Series HTM2 center channel matched to them and two Velodyne DD-10 10-inch subs below. Atop the side columns near the seats and in the trapezoidal-shaped crowns are B&W DS8 dipole speakers that fire to the front and rear for better ambient sound effects. Two B&W SCMS speakers are located in the boxed structures on either side of the projector to complete the 7.1 system.
“Steve is very fond of B&W speakers, and the 802s are amazing,” says Ocampo. DreamSpace is using Anthem’s Statement D2 processor and Anthem’s P5 multichannel amp for five channels in the surround system, as well as the P2 amp for the two main front channels, each delivering 325 watts per channel. “The Anthems drive the speakers very nicely,” he adds. Just imagine a spacecraft chase or light saber duel with that kind of juice.
The Middle Atlantic rack is cleverly concealed behind a hidden door in the left wall (below). It’s all controlled by an RTI T3 touchpanel remote that also operates the room’s Lutron Grafik Eye lighting control system. The rack is vented by an Active Thermal Management system. Audio/video enthusiast Simon liked working on the project so much, he started his own Miami-based A/V installation company, Home Imagineers.
All in all, the year-and-a-half project took a bit longer that anticipated, but don’t all worthwhile sagas?
Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates