24 Jul Custom Home Cinema
As we know, home cinema are home entertainment audio-visual systems that seek to reproduce a movie theater experience and mood using electronics-grade video and audio equipment. Getting a good audiovisual system where everything fits is very complicated. There are many elements that you have to connect to each other to achieve the desired requirements: AV receivers, power amplifiers, speakers, the room acoustics, seating arrangements… It is very difficult, if not impossible, to find on the market a preconfigured set that fully adapts to our needs, especially if we are very demanding with the audio quality.
For all these reasons, it is common for audiophiles to turn to resort to custom sets with bespoke equipment designed to match each other and achieve the perfect custom home cinema.
Some time ago I had two custom orders of low cost multichannel power amplifiers for domestic rooms equipped with Dolby Atmos, one of nine channels and another of eleven channels. You can see them here.
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Today I am going to show you another project related to home cinemas. This time the client demanded a system (front trio) for his home theater with very high demands in terms of clarity and detail in the sound, at the same time as a high level of sound pressure.
I developed the very high performance system together with Sottovoce Audio. Between the two of us we analyzed all the possibilities and in the end we came to the conclusion that the best option was to design three active monitors with three channels (1×5″ high + 2×6.5″ medium + 2×10″ bass), supported on the L/R channels by two 18″ subwoofers owned by the customer.
Fig. 1 – Custom home cinema design
In order to achieve the highest possible quality, Jorge Mata, from Sottovoce Audio, proposed this design in three ways. For this we used a 6.5” mid-bass transducer in MTM configuration, which offered us excellent clarity and definition in its band and pressure level. At low frequencies, it was completed with two 10” transducers that provided a solid base, also for the center channel, without the need for a subwoofer for support. The system would use the four existing customer-owned sealed 18 ”subwoofers, two for each main channel (L/R). It was designed to integrate seamlessly with subwoofers and required the fabrication of support bases to set the entire system at the optimal listening height (1.05 cm).
For each piece of furniture, several CNC cut birch wood plates were used, giving the furniture enormous strength and rigidity. Once the layers were assembled, they proceeded to sanding, polishing and lacquering with several black layers.
● 1x Beyma TPL150B
● 2x Beyma 6P200ND
● 2x Faital 10RS350
Fig. 2 – Pieces
Fig. 3 – Prototype
Fig. 4 – Assembly process
Fig. 5 – Assembly process
Fig. 6 – Assembly process
Fig. 7 – Rear vision
Fig. 8 – Rear vision
▶ Power electronics
For the amplification of the three-way system, we used a plate that includes a Hypex Ncore NC502MP power module of 2×500 W at 4 ohms, a 1×60 W NCore NC100HF module, a 2×4 MiniDSP for frequency cuts and all the circuitry associated with the plate (auxiliary supply, connections, protections, etc). Additionally, the L and R channels had a 4 ohms 700 W NC500 module that was used to drive the customer’s 18″ front subwoofers. We use our own design input buffer. There was an external power amplifier with four NCORE NC500 modules that attacked another two 18″ bass reflex front and two 18″ placed at the back of the room. These four subwoofers were exclusively for cinema use.
The amplification is Hypex NCore and consisted of three plates, each composed of:
- 2×500 W NC502MP compact bass/mid module
- NC100HF 60 W treble module
- NC500 module with separate 700 W SMPS1200 source for the 18″ subwoofers below
- MiniDSP module for cutoff frequencies and adjustment of levels, phases and delays
The frequency cuts were:
- Subwoofer: 10-47 Hz
- Bass: 47-120 Hz
- Media: 120-2,500 Hz
- Treble: 2,500-20,000 Hz
Fig. 9 – Electronic plates
Fig. 10 – Electronics
▶ Testing and installation
Once we finished assembling the equipment, we proceeded to carry out different tests to verify its operation. After several stress tests and DSP ajusts, we improved the electronics to avoid possible overheating by using the Hypex UCD180HG modules for the bass and medium and a dedicated AB-class amplification of own design based on the Texas LM3886 chip for the treble. The miniDSP was also replaced by the Hypex DLCP to reduce the background noise figure.
Fig. 11 – Testing
Fig. 12 – Electronics
The home cinema was spectacular. The set was very elegant and the armchairs impressive. It is certainly one that will be enjoyed for a long time. Here are some photos of the final result. You can also find more information on this forum.
Fig. 13 – Installation
Fig. 14 – Installation
Fig. 15 – Custom Home Cinema
Fig. 16 – Custom Home Cinema
Fig. 17 – Custom Home Cinema
Fig. 18 – Custom Home Cinema
Fig. 19 – Custom Home Cinema
Fig. 20 – Custom Home Cinema
Fig. 21 – Custom Home Cinema