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Jeff Mackwood's Main HT


Deleted member 133


Since I've started posting again I've posted some pics and info regarding my main HT. This thread is intended to give a more comprehensive view of the entire room / system.

You may have seen the first three pics below before. They show the sides and front of the room. The next pic shows the room in two-person set-up. At most it can go to three-person. The last pics show the gear racks (IKEA shelving.)

I'll walk you through this.

With reference to the front and left side pics, you'll notice the Koss CM/1010 speakers (sitting on top of the Velo subs) and the SVS 20-39PC+ sub. That's a 2.1 stereo set-up within the theatre and used for casual listening when I don't want to fire up the whole thing. It's driven off Zone 2 of the Onkyo 886 that's at the heart of the system - so I have access to any source connected by its analogue outputs. I use the SVS's internal crossover - set as low as it will go (ie. 40 Hz). A NAD 2155 stereo power amp (55 W/ch - shown in front pic) drives the 1010s.

The main theatre is a 7.1 system - with some twists. The main "5" channels (fronts and sides) consist of "stacks" of Koss CM/1030 speakers - arranged tweeter-to-tweeter. I've posted extensively about them elsewhere. I have five Carver A-400x stereo amps - one per stack (meaning one 200 W channel per speaker, however the 1030 are 4 Ohm speakers, and the Carvers are rated at 300 W into that impedance.) The rear surround duties go to a pair of Paradigm Titans, driven by an old Phase Linear Model 300 Series II stereo power amp (120 W/ch).

You will note that across the front, there is what I consider to be a perfect HT speaker alignment: identical speakers with the acoustic centres aligned across the front, and the centre stack directly in the centre of the front wall. That's a Draper Salara 96" diagonal screen system fitted with their acoustically transparent AT1200 "weave" material. There is no sound degradation with screen down - and no visual interference effect with the weave material. From the sweet spot seat, which is only 7 feet from the screen, this gives an apparent screen size that's identical to sitting in the centre of a large commercial theatre, half way back. The room itself is small: 1000 cubic feet - and open at the back to the rest of the basement / house, thus acting as a bass trap for that room.

One of those "twists" that I mentioned above is the use of multiple subs - four to be exact (and another which I'll mention later.) All of the main channels that feed the 1030 stacks are run full range, and through first an Outlaw ICBM-1 external crossover (all channels set to 40 HZ). The ICBM-1's sub output then goes through a Velodyne SMS-1 Room Correction device which feeds a pair of Velo Servo 1200s (front wall) and a B&W ASW1000 (rear left.) The rear surround channels (to the Titans) are crossed over in the 886 at 60 Hz and that bass, plus the LFE channel is fed to an SVS PB13 Ultra (rear left - under the B&W.) That fifth sub (other than the SVS 20-39 mentioned earlier) is a Yamaha YST-SW160. The front L/R channels are split before heading to the ICBM-1 and fed through an old dbx 100 "subharmonic synthesizer." It basically takes any signal between 55-110 Hz and creates a new signal a full octave lower. Back in the day of bass-deficient sources / recordings it worked wonders. I still use it in such cases.

Looking at the gear pics, moving left to right through four vertical columns you'll see three Carver amps in the left; the "vinyl section" in the left centre, along with more Carvers; the 886 in the right centre, along with processors mentioned earlier, as well as cable HD PVR, Panasonic Blu-ray and Oppo DVD (used for SACD and DVD-A) and the Phase Linear amp; and the rightmost section holds the Optoma projector on top, with a whole host of source / legacy gear including DVD player, two LD players, S-VHS deck; Nak cassette deck, Sony DVD recorder, and a Sony hi-8 8mm deck.

The vinyl section consists of a Yamaha turntable sitting on a granite vibration dampening system, a Stanton 681EEE cartridge, the phono section of a NAD 1130 pre-amp, a Pioneer RG-1 dynamic range enhancer and an SAE 5000 Impulse Noise Reduction System. (The purists' eyes have now rolled completely out of their heads; I happen to think it all works great together.)

Anyone interested in the full wiring diagram / equipment list can PM me their email address and I'll send it to you.

My bottom line is that, within that relatively small room I have created about as "big" a home theatre experience as most will ever see or hear.

Jeff Mackwood
Suh-WEET looking setup, Jeff! :bow-blue: :bow-blue: :bow-blue:
I've used a Carver amp for my on-stage amplification for years, never had a problem with it.
Hey Jeff, that is quite the Set-up!!!

What are the dimensions of that room?

What type of music is your favorite?

Just curious on how that must sound all cranked up!!! :music-rockout:
heeman said:
Hey Jeff, that is quite the Set-up!!!

What are the dimensions of that room?

What type of music is your favorite?

Just curious on how that must sound all cranked up!!! :music-rockout:

It's roughly 13.5' w x 12.5' l x 6.5' h. When I took accurate measurements (which I can't recall) it came to almost exactly 1000 cubic feet.

No favourites per se. Can't think of any that have not been played.

I try to resist the urge! :)

heeman said:
........What are the dimensions of that room?........


The spare bedroom I have is 11 x 10.5 x 8. Hardly ideal at all, but that's all I got to work with.

EDIT: Just saw your previous post. Thanks.
And I am one of the few who have been blessed enough to get to spend time in that theater - twice. It is amazing. Concert level sound at hi-fidelity performance. Very impressive for recreating the most rocking concert videos!

Jeff, I will testify that you have one hell of an amazing rig!
JeffMackwood said:
The vinyl section consists of a Yamaha turntable sitting on a granite vibration dampening system, a Stanton 681EEE cartridge, the phono section of a NAD 1130 pre-amp, a Pioneer RG-1 dynamic range enhancer and an SAE 5000 Impulse Noise Reduction System. (The purists' eyes have now rolled completely out of their heads; I happen to think it all works great together.)

And whom might that be????? :scared-eek:
Jeff as long as we live, you are no longer allowed to bust my balls about my setup and multiple subs. You put mine to shame. :eusa-clap: :handgestures-thumbup: :eek:bscene-drinkingcheers:
Impressive set up Jeff, and I thought MattB had a lot of subwoofers. Glad to see you posting again, we missed you :music-rockout:
Thanks Franklin. You know you are welcome back any time.

soundhound: guilty - I must confess - but had only thought of you in the most positive way (honest) when I wrote that.

Matt: I'm not so big that I can't agree to share the podium with you.

Everyone else (on this thread and others): thanks for the kind words.

If anyone is ever in the Ottawa area you are more than welcome to stop by for a look/listen - and maybe even a drink or two. Just PM me as much in advance as possible, since I tend to travel quite a bit myself.


ps. Getting back to the system... One of the advantages / characteristics of my system is that when everything is playing loud and clean, nothing is actually working hard. The 1030 is a very high efficiency speaker. Stacked from floor to ceiling: even more so. Normal listening generates 1-2 W peaks per channel. Loud is 5-10 W peaks. "Concert" levels: just slightly more than that. They will absorb more than the Carvers can throw at them - but that would produce truly dangerously high levels. Same deal with the subs: individually they just loaf along.
And here I am thinking I'm cool cuz I have 5 speakers and a sub....

Looking forward to an experience there soon.
I have 3 subs and though that was alot ....... Geeeesh!! I bet this sounds awesome with all of those Koss 1030's and Carver/ Phase Linear amps Wow! How do you like that Optoma ?
I'll tell you one thing, Jeff's system is one of the cleanest loud systems I've heard besides my own and Soundhound's. Jeff can turn it up, and up, and up without any sign of additional stress or increase in distortion. It just effortlessly gets louder and louder - great for watching concerts on.
Thanks again Franklin.

Tman72: while on the face of it, it might seem fanatical to some (but not Matt!), my approach to multiple subs is a lot more complex than simply putting a bunch of them in a room. As I'm sure you are aware with your own set-up, it takes extra effort and attention to get them all working properly together. My goal was to produced flat, deep and evenly dispersed bass throughout the room, and its really the whole way that all of the subs work together, how they are placed, how they are calibrated, and most importantly how the room reacts to them. As for the Optoma I like it a lot but it's quite dated (being only 720p). I'm on my third lamp (and it has just over 2000 hours on it so I know it's going to go within the next couple of hundred or so if it's anything like the last two) and have one spare in stock. That should take me out another two years or so at which time I intend to replace it - likely with a 4k unit of some kind. I'd go back to Optoma again if they make one at that time, but one issue I now have with them is that they don't seem to offer anything with near the installation flexibility that mine has (in terms of its range of non-digital horizontal and vertical lens shifting, throw distances to match my room, etc.) We'll see when the time comes.

CMonster: sorry I missed your post of nearly a year ago! The answer is that I place a single layer of that "placemat-like" non-slip woven rubber between the two - that you can buy at Home Despot and elsewhere. It keeps the wood from touching and if I ever need to separate the two in future (which I've only done a couple of times) it comes off easily without leaving any marks / residue. I've never had any relative shifting happen - no matter how loud and how long they've been playing! :)

Let me take the opportunity to once again say that all members are invited to stop by for a listen if they ever happen to find themselves coming to / in Ottawa. I remember Flint's visits with great fondness, as well as last year's Great Canadian GTG 1.0 when Razz, PaulyT (and family), and Hoops were here. (And it's a two-way street since I've had the great pleasure of visiting each of them in the past - as well as Soundhound, MattB, Tee, Towen, and of course, Bats. As I've mentioned in past posts, I learned something from each of those visits and in many cases it led to changes / additions in my own home's theatres / set ups.)

I mentioned it before and I"ll say it again,
Like Flint mentioned, Jeff's HT is my favorite spot to watch concerts.
The smaller sized, well controlled and conditioned room with such clean loud sound and up close large screen really pulls you into the moment! It engulfs you!
Other than a different Blu-ray player and DVD recorder, as well as swapping in a pair of Koss CM/1020 for the CM/1010 (in the Zone 2 stereo set-up within the 7.1 set-up), and small flat screen monitor to replace the small CRT unit in the equipment stands, my main HT remains unchanged from when I first posted above.

I have no plans to make any significant changes (speakers, subs, amps, pre-amp).

I did however recently acquire a MiniDSP UMIK-1, and in concert with my laptop have generated a whole bunch of frequency response charts. I've posted one below. Note that this is for a front channel only, which includes the three bass management subs associated with it, but it does not include any contribution by the SVS PB13 Ultra - which is dedicated to LFE only. The trace was a quick set-it-up-and-try-it-out deal and I spent no time playing around with the software to see what else it could do. It seems to show solid extension to 10Hz and pretty flat response up to 50Hz. I was a little surprised by the broad dip to 10dB down between 50-90Hz, since that did not show up when I'd previously looked at the output trace from the SMS-1 Room Correction device. The SMS-1 showed flat response from 15-100Hz. I'd probably need to play around with things to see what's up, if I ever make time to do so.



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