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Just Added a Projection System and 154" AT Screen!

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basspig

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TFM-6cb

Posts: 271

Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2004 9:36 pm

Location: Connecticut, USA

Post Thu Aug 20, 2009 2:27 am

Just Added a Projection System and 154" AT Screen!

'Been a bit busy last month.. for years, I wanted a projection system, but they all were abyssmal in terms of quality and stratospherically-priced.

Last month, I was asked by a close friend who owns a company that makes bass traps, to see if I could tweak his new projector and achieve a better black depth. I did, and when I got done, I was astounded at how far the state of the art came. And the price of the projector was well under $250,000. In fact it was under $20,000! In fact, it was under $5,000! =P~

To make a long story short, I went shopping... wanted a bit better blacks than my friend's projector after calibration, but was finding myself in the $40,000-$85,000 range for just a small improvement. Then I found the InFocus IN82, and decided it had both the contrast, color accuracy and brightness I wanted. But it was expensive! That is, until I had an extraordinary stroke of luck on eBay and nailed one for $1425 with only 82 hours on it. I bought and installed it, and the picture blows away my LCD and most every plasma I have seen. 30-bit color just banishes exaggerated grain and banding. Sharp, clean, filmlike images.

So I went to work and made structural modifications to eliminate a column that plagued me for 25 years, and built the screen wall you see below:
Image

Behind it is this:
Image

Interesting note about my Carver C4000: My audiophile friend visited two nights ago to watch some antique auto show footage I had shot on CineAlta cameras with an X-Y stereo mic on board. He commented, "I didn't know your camera was surround sound capable! Because I hear people to the right, left and behind me." I told him it isn't. It's stereo, and what he's hearing is the result of the Sonic Hologram (which works better than ever, now that I've acousticly treated the room as part of the theater upgrade.

Total cost to add this theater? Get ready... a whopping $2,500! My wife and her father sewed the raw velvet materials I purchased and made the curtains. I built the frame with 2x4s, I purchased AT screen material from Seymour AV Products (one of only two truely acoustic-transparent screens on the market) and stretched it over a frame I built of poplar, which slides into the wall with the curtains.

I do have center channel and surrounds now, but I prefer the Sonic Hologram when listening to good stereo material over the point source sounds of surround sound, although with the Hologram engaged, it is improved over normal surround in conventional systems.

Now I just wish electricity weren't so expensive! This month's bill was $544, a ~$50 bump over pre-theater use on weekends bills.
Take care,

Mark & Mary Ann Weiss
http://www.basspig.com The Bass Pig's Lair - 16,500 watts of driving surround sound!

Business sites at:
http://www.ampexperts.com
http://www.mwhdvideo.com
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BrianT

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Pair of Silver Sevens

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Location: Ottawa, Canada

Post Thu Aug 20, 2009 3:19 am

Re: Just Added a Projection System and 154" AT Screen!

Mark,

Looks nice, bet the room shakes. :D

Brian.
VPI Classic Turntable (blk)
Transfiguration Phoenix Cartridge
Sunfire Vacuum Tube Control Centre. C/W Mod'ed Phono Stage
Carver Silver 7's Tube Amps
Raysonic CD-168 CDP (silver)
Carver TX11.
B&W 802D's Rosenut
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basspig

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TFM-6cb

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Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2004 9:36 pm

Location: Connecticut, USA

Post Thu Aug 20, 2009 3:21 am

Re: Just Added a Projection System and 154" AT Screen!

BrianT wrote:Mark,

Looks nice, bet the room shakes. :D

Brian.



Hee, hee.. the whole neighborhood shakes (when testing--I don't get it nearly that loud when I'm actually IN the building). :lol:
Take care,

Mark & Mary Ann Weiss
http://www.basspig.com The Bass Pig's Lair - 16,500 watts of driving surround sound!

Business sites at:
http://www.ampexperts.com
http://www.mwhdvideo.com
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engtaz

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"TAZ"

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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 1:43 pm

Location: Tampa, FL

Post Thu Aug 20, 2009 4:03 am

Re: Just Added a Projection System and 154" AT Screen!

Sweet setup.
engtaz


Carver M4.0T in front channels to Caver AL VI's in SACD & 2 Channel setup
C 16, PT 2400, Slim Device, Carver TX-8, 490T and Rega TT w Grado Gold cart in the 2 channel setup
Bogen SRB20 is computer amp
Carver PM-350 donated for youth church use
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basspig

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TFM-6cb

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Location: Connecticut, USA

Post Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:16 am

Re: Just Added a Projection System and 154" AT Screen!

The relatives were out at DMV last Thursday while my daughter was in school. I FINALLY had a chance to do some serious listening that day...

Holy smokes! 129 decibels hitting the listener chair when the 'signal present' LEDs start to flicker on the power amps. Sat and listened to a few 'disco' songs at these "low" power levels. It felt like a jackhammer was hitting my chair from all directions! Quite unnerving and a bit uncomfortable sensation. New speaker configuration is just outright INSANE. Elimination of 'power alley' effect plus mutual coupling increased efficiency at least four-fold.

When I briefly pushed the level up about 12dB, the chairs started to dance on the concrete floor! A few ceiling tiles got sucked out, and lots of dust fell everywhere. The CEL SPL meter hit the peg on the 140dB scale. I thought my ear drums were going to explode. Twelve watts would be more than enough amplifier power for normal music and movie watching. Because that was the peak power output level when the SPL was reading 129dB. That means only 1/10th of a watt is needed to reproduce the 105dB full crescendo of the Bridgeport Symphony Orchestra.

The benefits of "mutual coupling" are greater than I had imagined. I gained more than 6dB increase in sensitivity below 75Hz by grouping all the speakers together. The difference was even audible outside in the yard. I've discovered the audio equivalent of a "unified field theory" :-)

I'm still cleaning up the mess... everything fell of every shelves everywhere. And I never tripped the 20A breakers in the power amp racks, despite their being terribly underrated for the potential load. Wooohooo!!!!

And you know what? All this acoustic treatment breathed new life into the Sonic Hologram image. My friend, who owns an acoustic treatments company, and is a mythbuster on audio snakeoil products, listened to the soundtrack of a car show I recorded on video and his comment to me was "is your camera surround-sound capable? Because I hear people and other sounds from all the way left and right and behind me." I said no, it's probably the Sonic Hologram that's giving that image. Indeed, it IS amazing. Bob talked about it in his preliminary C4000 manual, but I've only once heard sound from behind me. Now I get it fairly regularly on X-Y miked recordings I've made. On my stereo CD distillation of the GBSO recording of Copeland, Carl & Gershwin, the imaging has that magic that I only experienced when sitting in the 4th row center during the rehearsal the night before the concert. No more speaker-localization. It's a smooth, broad arc of orchestra instruments in front of me now. Wow. What a transformation!

As an interesting subtext, I visited a friend yesterday and got to hear two extremes: a pair of "earthquake" woofers by Cerwin-Vega that were rescued from a theater demolition site, and at the other end, a pair of Magnapan ribbon speakers.

The Cerwin-Vegas were in substantial W-folded horn cabinets, stacked in a pair and aimed into the concrete corner basement walls. I believe a Carver TFM-22 was driving them. With the amp 'headroom exhausted' lamps flickering on peaks, I measured 123dB with an occasional 124dB peak. The bass had a hard edge thundering kind of quality to it, with not much of anything happening above 45Hz, giving it a pleasing sound quality for certain types of rock, RAP and disco, which was the general sampling of recordings heard that night.

The more interesting listen was the Magnapans. They were running off a home-brew amp which consisted of MOSFET outputs, driven by cathode follower triodes. The Maggies can't handle much power, and IM distortion goes through the roof if drive hard at all with any bass. But they sounded clean at modest levels and produced an audible bass range with decent extention, albeit at low levels. The peculiar aspect of the ribbons is that they are highly directional, more than I had expected. Off axis a few degrees and they are greatly reduced in loudness. But in front, they could about reproduce a full orchestral level. I found them to be a bit on the bright side, somewhat brittle and lacking in warmth however. Imaging didn't strike me as anything special either. But they did put out very detailed sound and had good transient response. Perhaps the detail seemed pronounced because of what seemed to be a rather bright upper midrange and treble range. My GBSO recording sounded much brighter than the orchesta originally sounded--like the treble control had been boosted to max. It was an interesting experience, and particularly notable was the directional beaming nature of the ribbon speakers. You really have to be sitting directly in front of them with them toed in, to hear them well.

It's been an interesting weekend, all the same!
Take care,

Mark & Mary Ann Weiss
http://www.basspig.com The Bass Pig's Lair - 16,500 watts of driving surround sound!

Business sites at:
http://www.ampexperts.com
http://www.mwhdvideo.com
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DaveS

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The OverLord of CarverAudio.com

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Location: Sunshine-Empire State

Post Mon Aug 31, 2009 8:44 am

Re: Just Added a Projection System and 154" AT Screen!

I`M commin` over and bringing my "Top Gun" DVD.
The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests”.
- Patrick Henry
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thuffman03

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!! CarverFest Evictee !!

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Post Mon Aug 31, 2009 8:54 am

Re: Just Added a Projection System and 154" AT Screen!

All I can say is WOW!
Some cool Carver stuff!
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basspig

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TFM-6cb

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Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2004 9:36 pm

Location: Connecticut, USA

Post Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:00 pm

Re: Just Added a Projection System and 154" AT Screen!

I'm starting to have gatherings of audio/videophile friends over in the month of September, with the cooler weather. Ideally, it's in the low 50s outside, that way, with all the windows and doors open, the heat from equipment won't drive the temperature to uncomfortable levels without a/c use, which would be an acoustic obstacle to a low noise floor.

I'm having a close friend over this evening and we're going to do some more critical listening and then maybe watch a movie.

PM me if you're interested in a visit and able to make the drive to western CT.

Here's a recent shot of my racks. Note the C4000 and the dbx 4bx are the only piece of gear that remain viable into the 21st century. They have not been successfully replicated by any other manufacturer, hence they remain essential parts of my system:

RacksAug12.jpg
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RacksAug12.jpg
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RacksAug12.jpg (112.8 KiB) Viewed 1646 times
Take care,

Mark & Mary Ann Weiss
http://www.basspig.com The Bass Pig's Lair - 16,500 watts of driving surround sound!

Business sites at:
http://www.ampexperts.com
http://www.mwhdvideo.com
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basspig

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TFM-6cb

Posts: 271

Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2004 9:36 pm

Location: Connecticut, USA

Post Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:07 pm

Re: Just Added a Projection System and 154" AT Screen!

I got a 'general error' 4 times in a row when trying to post my reply. Finally on the 5th time I didn't get the error, but I see my photo upload got posted 4 times in line succession. Sorry about that. I guess the IT guys need to figure out why the SQL database crashes.
Take care,

Mark & Mary Ann Weiss
http://www.basspig.com The Bass Pig's Lair - 16,500 watts of driving surround sound!

Business sites at:
http://www.ampexperts.com
http://www.mwhdvideo.com
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TNRabbit

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(pair of) SILVER-7 TUBE AMPs

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Post Tue Sep 01, 2009 4:32 am

Re: Just Added a Projection System and 154" AT Screen!

You owe it to yourself to watch the scene in "War of the Worlds" (the new one) where the Tripod comes out of the ground in front of the church & starts blasting people; INSANE bass @ 15 hz!
TNRabbit
Image

From FrankieD's lips to your ears: Sunfire - a quiet box of endless power.

Sunfire TG-IV/400~7 Amp
Carver SD/A-360 CDP
Benchmark DAC-1
Sony SACD/DVD-A
Active bi-amp: Ashly XR-1001 & 2 Rane PEQ-15s
Main: HotRodded AL-IIIs
Sub: Klipsch RT-12d
Center: Sunfire CRS-3c
Surround: Sunfire CRS-3 (x 2)

OconeeOrange wrote:"Gary likes to play it 'loud' as do I. His system begs you turn it up until you die"

RIP WIlliam B. Dibble, 1948-2012. I'll miss you my friend.
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basspig

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TFM-6cb

Posts: 271

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Location: Connecticut, USA

Post Tue Sep 01, 2009 7:12 am

Re: Just Added a Projection System and 154" AT Screen!

I'm adding WotW to my Blu-ray wanted list. Thanks for suggesting!
Take care,

Mark & Mary Ann Weiss
http://www.basspig.com The Bass Pig's Lair - 16,500 watts of driving surround sound!

Business sites at:
http://www.ampexperts.com
http://www.mwhdvideo.com
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basspig

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TFM-6cb

Posts: 271

Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2004 9:36 pm

Location: Connecticut, USA

Post Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:15 am

Re: Just Added a Projection System and 154" AT Screen!

Last Friday night, I rented the movie U-571, a story about capturing a German U-boat and stealing one of the enigma encryption devices.

This film had above-average dynamic range, to put it mildly. When the depth charges started blowing up and getting closer to the sub, there were times when it felt as if my chest were caving in. My wife did NOT appreciate this film at all. In fact, she was VERY pissed off for a day or so afterwards.

Great film for audiophile hardheads, but not wife-friendly.
Take care,

Mark & Mary Ann Weiss
http://www.basspig.com The Bass Pig's Lair - 16,500 watts of driving surround sound!

Business sites at:
http://www.ampexperts.com
http://www.mwhdvideo.com
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BB3

M-400t CUBE

Posts: 179

Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:20 pm

Location: Steubenville, Ohio

Post Tue Sep 22, 2009 9:33 am

Re: Just Added a Projection System and 154" AT Screen!

basspig,

I am totally blown away with your setup. My god is it impressive.

Take care of yourself and happy listening and viewing basspig.--------BB3
Carver Gear : C-9, C-16, C-19, 4-TFM55's, 2-TFM35's, 1-TFM25, 2-Silver 7-T's, 490T.

Non Carver Gear : Anthem AVM50V, Anthem Pre2L, Sonic Frontiers SFCD-1, Denon DCD1560, Panasonic DMK23, Sony BDP-S350, Sony PS3, Sony 52" XBR-6, Sony 32" XBR-6, Nintendo Wii

Speakers : Polk Audio : SDA-SRS, SDA-SRS 1.2TL, SDA-CRS+, RTA-15TL, 3- Velodyne F-1500's
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peck555

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TFM-6cb

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Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2009 1:36 pm

Location: White Plains, NY

Post Sun Sep 27, 2009 12:55 am

Re: Just Added a Projection System and 154" AT Screen!

WOW, that is one heck of a setup you have there Basspig, feel free to invite me over for a good listen sometime.
Greg
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basspig

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TFM-6cb

Posts: 271

Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2004 9:36 pm

Location: Connecticut, USA

Post Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:03 am

Re: Just Added a Projection System and 154" AT Screen!

Anyone who can make it to western Connecticut is most welcome. Just PM me with the particular weekend or weekday evening so I can see if it fits with my schedule.

Just posted a YouTube video of the theater in action, playing my all-time favorite anime film:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_wUCk1jBO0

PS: Our Japanese Anime club is having a meeting this Saturday November 14th. It is an open meeting and all are invited to attend. We will be screening numerous anime films, OAVs and TV series. PM me for details, if interested.
Take care,

Mark & Mary Ann Weiss
http://www.basspig.com The Bass Pig's Lair - 16,500 watts of driving surround sound!

Business sites at:
http://www.ampexperts.com
http://www.mwhdvideo.com
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