Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The MFW-15 Arrives

After many months of pacing the floor, the MFW arrived last Friday. I wasted no time in dragging it down the stairs and ripping it out of the shipping box. I plugged it in, connected it to my system, and listened for the dreaded 60Hz hum. It was there, so I started to track down the source. Without the coax cable connected, the sub was nearly silent so I knew the source of the hum was either coming from the wall power or from the input. A cheater plug was added, and that had a small impact on the hum. As soon as I bypassed the BFD 1124, the hum went away. I had found the source. I added an RS 250-054 line filter to the output of the BFD and once again the hum was eliminated. Problem solved. With the ground loop isolator in place, I ran the Yamaha equalization routine and balance the sub with the rest of the speakers. All was good.

Now came the true test, how would it sound? I popped in my demo discs and ran through the clips one by one. With each clip, the smile grew wider. This is what was missing from my setup, the low end was extremely impressive. The clip of Darla tapping on the fish tank from "Nemo" made the whole room rumble! "Flight of the Phoenix" never sounded more realistic. Musical clips were also impressive, the sub was tight and deep at the same time.

I am very pleased with this sub and look forward to the next Theater Night to show off the new toy!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Deadening the Front Wall

I had a very enjoyable phone call with Bryan from GiK last week. After reviewing my theater layout he made some suggestions.

First, he recommended that the side surrounds be at least 38% of the total room length from the rear wall. With my room being about 20 ft long, that would mean that my rear seating should be around 7 ft from the back wall. Currently I am only at 4 ft. This would take some major adjustment to the seating to make this happen, but I will consider it.

Second, he suggested that all speakers should be set to SMALL, except the mains, with a cross-over of 80 Hz. By doing this, I could use the two Pro-Subs in the rear for the redirected bass and LFE. That may help balance the room once the MFW arrives as I was planning on putting that up front.

Third, he suggested that the front wall should be deadened. We discussed the need for some reflective area directly behind the bi-pole towers (7001's). The reasoning is to absorb any of the center sound that may be bouncing off the front row. This reflection can cause a muddy sound, especially during dialog.

After giving it some consideration, I decided to go half-way and add 2 inch cotton baffles behind the screen. This will absorb much of the reflected sound, but still give the towers some area to bounce. I spend last evening mounting the panels and moving the screen out from the wall by 2 inches. Tonight I will recalibrate the room and see if this was helpful or if it deadened the room too much. The front surface of the screen should allow some reflectance, and the insulation behind the screen will absorb most of the mid-high that passes through. This seemed like a fair compromise to me. A diffuser could be added behind the towers, but that is something for another day. The Tri-Traps should ship the end of this week, and arrive the following week. I plan on placing them in the corners of the rear wall.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Tri-Traps are Coming!

GiK is having a limited time 10% off sale on their Tri-Traps, making them even more affordable. I picked up a pair to try in the rear corners of my room. I may have to build my own for the front corners because of the limited space I have between the wall and screen.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Theater Layout

I finished the theater layout, just in time to change it all around again. I will be moving all the A/V equipment from the built-in shelving at the rear of the room to the area outside the theater. I am waiting on my 40 ft HDMI cable to get here from Monoprice before I move everything. The projector will stay on the back shelf, but all the other gear will be moved out of the room. When I get around to buying a new projector (after CEDIA), I will mount it on the ceiling behind the rear seating. I am very anxious to see what comes out of Panasonic AE3000? or Epson 1080UB+?

Still waiting anxiously on the MFW-15 sub, and it should be 'coming soon'! At least I have a serial number for it now, just need a shipping invoice and I will be all set!