With a population of close to 5 million, Surat is one of the fastest growing cities in India, and also one of the busiest. Amid all that growth and bustle, it can be difficult to find a peaceful moment of quiet—especially one where you can crank up your sound system without shaking your neighbors out of bed. In this case, the installer’s thorough use of acoustic treatments and measuring devices ensured a showpiece room.
When this homeowner was building his dream house, he knew he wanted a great sounding home theater, with extra emphasis on sound. Having heard the theaters of several friends, he knew he wanted something with a unique aesthetic. While budget wasn’t a major factor, size was. In a room only 15-by 23-feet, he wanted to place six comfy seats and a screen that filled most of the wall.
The client contracted with Jignesh Khatiwala of Absolute Sound! after being impressed with the sound of the company’s listening room.
Transforming bare walls to reference theater came with a few challenges. The room initially had a window and a second door, both of which needed to be removed for acoustic purposes. Because he custom designed the room with a CAD system, Khatiwala couldn’t use pre-fabricated acoustic products, so he decided to engineer his own treatments to quiet down what was a very bright room with bass problems. “Generally, in a small room bass management is an issue, and I wanted very tight and smooth bass in every seat,” explains Khatiwala. He adds that the Velodyne DD series subwoofers he installed were big problem solvers because they include parametric equalizer and room correction software. The room includes two of the DD-18 subwoofers. To get a reading on how the room performed he tested it with a GoldLine TEF dual-channel analyzer with EZTUNE software and four microphones.
Because of the size of the room, the surround speakers would be placed fairly close to the listeners, especially in the rear seats. To help create a diffuse sound field, Khatiwala added acoustic diffusers. “The result was awesome,” he said
Of course audio wasn’t the only concern. The client wanted a big, bright picture that wouldn’t require much maintenance, so a Projection Design FL32 DLP projector with an LED lamp was selected. The LED should last about 50,000 hours, which is good because this client enjoys movies every day. A Panamorph DC1 anamorphic lens was used to help create the perfect cinema experience and allowed the picture to fill most of the wall when projecting in 2.35:1 aspect ratio.
When it was all finished, Khatiwala fired up the movie Cars in the Blu-ray player. The proud owner exclaimed, “Hey Jignesh, do you know, my theater is much better than your listening room.”
Design and Installation
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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. He's also the author of the book The Trouble with Rivers
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.