My wife took the kids to her parent's cottage for all 3 days of the Canada Day long weekend. And while it was BLAZING hot outside, I was cool as cucumber in my basement.
If you may recall, I last left off with testing out the video output on my projector by hooking up a 4K mibox android box directly to the input of my projector. Not using the any of the in-wall wiring or my receiver/amplifier and speakers. Just purely video testing from within the HT.
This weekend was the REAL test to see if all of my cabling work behind the walls made it through unscathed from the construction work. I must admit, this was the last piece of the puzzle that has had me the most worried/concerned. Certainly a risk if you plan to run your gear in a closet a fair distance away from your HT in a dedicated closet. At the very worst, I did run empty conduits from the media closet into the HT as a fail safe/last resort. But I would rather save those for a future cable standard/upgrade rather than for a damaged wire.
Media Closet Hookup
So, I started out with this mess. (most of) my gear pictured... sitting on the shelf like this for several months... lifeless. And networking cables above.
Someone had asked for progress pictures of the wiring/termination/hookup. So, I tried to take some interval pics along the way.... So, here's a mid-way shot of half of this particular 3-gang wall plate terminated onto speaker binding posts.
Here is that same all plate all terminated, ready to be mounted, The black cables are RG6 coax that are terminated onto F-type connectors on the backside and an RCA connector on the front side for my sub-woofer signal.
Finally, here's all of my wires terminated and plates mounted on the wall. Other than the 11 channels for dolby atmos surround sound, I also have wires run for 2 powered subwoofers (RCA to RG6 Coax) and another set of wires for 2 passive subwoofers (12 gauge speaker wire). Going one step further, I also wired the front and back theater seat rows to accept LFE signal (RCA to RG6 Coax) for a future upgrade to bass shakers/tactile transducers. At the very top of the pic you'll see the black cables, which are the HDMI runs to the HT. I decided to do a straight pass-through, to avoid adding any potential complications by introducing HDMI wall-connectors. It's not as clean looking as below; but this way I have a single cable of uninterrupted signal going right from my receiver's output into my projector's input.
I must admit, I didn't plan on upgrading to bigger/passive subwoofers so soon, but the opportunity presented itself and I went with it. Again, going the DIY route, these bad boys go all the way down to 15 Hz of chest compressing bass with ease. These are 18" (EIGHTEEN) woofers. They're a popular DIY build over on AVS Fourm.... just do a search for "VBSS subwoofer" on Google. In the pic below, I placed them in front of my popcorn machine and placed the 12" powered subwoofer on top for scale/reference. They are comically huge! I can almost fit BOTH fists into one of the ports. hahahahaha. I didn't bother painting them because they won't be visible behind the baffle wall and behind the velvet.
So, here's the new speaker setup in the baffle wall. The VBSS boxes now serves as stands the for the Left and Right channels. And I placed the 12" powered subs on top of the Left and Right channels.... which now leaves me with a lonely hole in the middle on top of my Center channel. Currently scouring Kijiji for a matching 12" subwoofer
To those of you with a keen eye, you'll also note that i modified the false wall frame slightly and removed the 2 inner wall studs. I decided to not toe-in my Left and Right channels in favour of a wider sound stage, and this required the removal of those studs as it would have impeded those speakers.
So, I now have 3x15" woofers in the LCR, 2x12" powered subwoofers, and 2x18" passive subwoofers in my baffle wall space. For a 7.4.4 Dolby Atmos system (potentially 7.5.4 if I can find a matching third 12" sub) not overkill, at all. LOL
However, I don't have an amp for the 18" VBSS subs yet (currently working on picking one up next weekend). So, my tests this past weekend was using the 2x12" powered subs only.
I bought the shelving unit used, and I wasn't really feeling the brown-coloured shelves. So, I painted them black and it looks 100x better.
Here's all the cabling hooked up. Bit of a mess for now, but again, I'm still in 'testing mode' until I go in there and clean it up with cable management. And holding true to my word from earlier in this thread, I rant out to Walmart on Sunday night and bought my first UHD 4K move... Pacific Rim: Uprising.
Guys..... this HT absolutely ROCKS!!!!!!
And I don't even have my Atmos speakers yet!! I can only imagine what this is going to be like with the Atmos height channels and the 2 new 18" VBSS subs going. The 12" subs hold their own... not very deep, but enough to add a bit of tactile response to the seats on the back row riser.
All of my in-the-wall cabling works flawlessly. I still can't wipe the grin off my face since Sunday.
I threw on a Dolby Atmos demo disc and the movement of sound in the room, with absolute clarity is out of this world. Absolutely DO NOT regret using bipoles for the side surrounds one bit as both rows fully get immersed in the sound. The rear channels do not cause any ear fatgue whatsoever. I could go on and on... but this really exceeded ALL of my expectations. Again, I can't wait to add the height channels!
I'm having a tough time deciding what seat is my favourite. Middle seat in the front row is visually stunning and completely immersive. But the tactile response in the back row is unbelievable. I didn't expect the 12" subs to provide that kind of sensation (and I haven't even drilled any holes into the riser yet!!). You can literally FEEL the explosions as they happen on screen. Perhaps once I get the 18" subs fired up, I'll get the same tactile response in the first row.
My wife returned home with the kids on Monday night and we all sat in the back row... I fired up the Dolby Atmos demo disc... I'll just quote some of my wife's responses below that made me LOL:
"Why is my seat shaking?"
"I don't know why you want to add MORE speakers to the ceiling, it's already pretty loud"