When Worlds collide: The dedicated living room cinema (Updated Dec 2018)

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Building DIY' started by KelvinS1965, Jul 1, 2016.


    1. KelvinS1965

      KelvinS1965
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      Updated Dec 2018: Jump to page 20 onwards for completion pictures.

      With apologies to George Pal for the title, this is my second attempt at a home cinema hopefully taking some things into account I've learnt over the last 9 years since I built this one:

      KelvinS1965's setup.

      As the builders are here today finishing off the new French doors (I know, yet more light to deal with :eek:) I thought it was time to introduce my new project. The room is being reversed from the previous layout mostly for it's role as a living room, but it will allow me to build a proper screen wall and some other improvements.

      It will be very light for living room use, but I'll be installing 3 metre long black Devore velvet electric side curtains to improve contrast for projector use, plus electric black out blinds in channels to completely block out any light. I also have a plan for some kind of moving ceiling 'covers' with more black Devore, which will come out about 1.5-2 metres depth from the screen, which will run along the new ceiling pelmet that will go right round the room. One thing I've learnt since my last build was how much difference having dark materials around the screen makes to the picture.

      Pictures to be added later.
       
      Last edited: Dec 26, 2018
    2. KelvinS1965

      KelvinS1965
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      Updated Jan 2017:

      Current kit list, 5.4.4 layout:

      Video:
      Oppo BDP-93 BluRay player.
      Lumagen 2041 Radiance. 1080p input with 4K upscaling output & 729 point CMS. Used with Chromapure autocalibration and Display Pro 1 sensor.
      JVC X500 projector and fixed Seymour XD 3.0 metre wide 2.40:1 aspect screen.
      Panasonic 50E6B LCD TV.

      Audio:
      Arcam AVR390 receiver. Powering one pair of Atmos channels.
      Arcam P7 FMJ power amplifier. 230 watts per channel all channels driven, powering LCR, side surrounds and one pair of Atmos channels.
      2 x iNuke 6000DSP power amplifiers for the 4 subwoofers.
      MK Sound MP300 on wall speakers for LCR.
      MK Sound S150T Tripole on wall speakers for 2 side surrounds.
      MK Sound MP150 on wall speakers for 4 Atmos channels.
      2 x 15" sealed Fi Q series DIY subwoofers front left and right corners.
      2 x twin 8" MK Sound IW28S in wall subwoofers rear left and right corners.

      Control & lighting:
      Harmony Ultimate remote/Philips Hue lighting/MI|Home remote sockets controlled by Alexa hub.
      Neet HDBT Lite extender kit.

      Fun:
      Marshall JMP-1H 1 watt valve head & custom 1x12 cabinet with Celestion Heritage Greenback speaker. :)


      Supplying dealers:
      Jagdeep at Epic Home Cinema. Epic Home Cinema - Home Cinema Retail and Installations
      Richard at Seriously Cinema. http://www.seriouslycinema.co.uk/
      Ricky at Kalibrate. Kalibrate Limited for Home Cinema products, Calibration, DVD Players, 3D Glasses and more....
      Gordon at Convergent AV. Convergent AV - Audio, Visual, Consultancy and Sales, Surrey, UK
       
      Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
    3. Seriously Ltd

      Seriously Ltd
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      Hi Kelvin,

      Finally!!![emoji6]

      Are you using your MP150's and what about surrounds?
       
    4. KelvinS1965

      KelvinS1965
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      A bit more detail about the project:

      The objective is to have an absolute minimum of visible AV gear on show, so only the TV screen and one pair of surround speakers should be noticeable to anyone walking into the room. I moved my AV rack out of room under the stairs last year, so that's one job already done (albeit I'll have to run all new cables from this rack since the subs and speakers will have moved to opposite ends of the room).

      It will have a 3 metre wide 2.40:1 aspect drop down acoustically transparent Seymour XD screen with a custom bottom extra wide bottom border so that it reaches the floor and hides the wall behind. There will be a 50cm deep screen wall to hide the subs in and some acoustic treatment, with the LCR hung off this wall, but hidden behind an AT covered fabric panel that will drop down when the screen is lowered so they are only firing through one AT surface at any time.

      Speaking of subs; I will be recycling my existing 2 x 15" FiQ subs at the front corners, but also adding 8 x 10" Peerless XLLS speakers: Two twin pairs at the front at the ¼ width ¾ height positions. At the rear two BK IW300 at the ¼ width, ¼ height positions and two more in DIY boxes at ¼ width fixed to the ceiling inside the pelmet. These positions have been modelled with REW room sim and also with some test measurements using my existing 15" subs and a BK XLS200 I use in another room which happens to use the same Peerless 10" driver. This spread of 'mid bass' drivers should finally nail any nulls I've suffered with my existing layout, plus additional acoustic bass traps built into the pelmet will help.

      I'll be reusing my MK MP150 for LCR, S150T for side surround use and two pairs of older M&K K5 speakers hidden in the pelmet for Atmos duties. It will be a 5.1.4 set up (or 5.10.4 if you want to count all the subs :) ), with Dirac correction on the 5 'bed layer' speakers and the three groups of subs using the new MiniDSP 'Bass management' plug in for my DDRC-88A.
       
      Last edited: Nov 30, 2016
    5. KelvinS1965

      KelvinS1965
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      I edited while you posted (knew I wouldn't be quick enough before someone posted!). The S150T will be the only pair of visible speakers in the room, though being white and the wallpaper is fairly light they should look pretty discrete.
       
    6. Seriously Ltd

      Seriously Ltd
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      Not going into this system?
       
    7. KelvinS1965

      KelvinS1965
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      No...I was saving the post for later to add pictures near the top of the thread.
       
    8. simonblue

      simonblue
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      French doors,the plague of home cinema :eek::D
       
    9. KelvinS1965

      KelvinS1965
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      Well as you say, French doors (plus a patio door and another window) could be a plague and make the room very light. I just hope the black out blinds work as well as I hope. They will be a dark 'Mulberry' colour so will also help with the reflections back to the screen.

      This is the current state post French door fitting:

      All three windows.jpg

      This is the view facing where the new screen will go (horribly bright in this picture, but I hope to reference back to this in a few months time):

      Screen view.jpg

      This is the existing AV rack under the stairs. I'll be adding another iNuke 6000DSP to power the extra subs and I'm having a 32 (or 40) amp separate ring main circuit run to supply it rather than be on the standard ring main:

      Dec 2015 rack.jpg

      I've since added a Harmony remote that works by RF so I can control the equipment in the rack from the living room or the conservatory.
       
      Last edited: Jul 10, 2016
    10. Davidjake07

      Davidjake07
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      Great Space , just a idea but why don't you use simple control running on an IPAD ,i had a few harmony remotes over the years but would not want to go back after using simple control

      Here's a link to website :-

      iPhone and iPad Universal Remote Control for Home Theaters

      works really well with 2 way feedback controls all your devices over IP



      :)
       
    11. KelvinS1965

      KelvinS1965
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      I have had a play with apps on my iPad/iPhone as I have Marantz AVRs in both rooms. They are both work devices, so the only issue is that I have to careful about what apps I put on them.

      TBH the Harmony works so well that I don't really feel the need to look for another solution right now, but never say never, so I may look again once it's all up and running. Thanks for the link.
       
    12. KelvinS1965

      KelvinS1965
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      Further info about the subs:

      I have to place both my 15" subs at the front of the room as there won't be space at the back as my previous set up. This causes a big null from the pair around the 65Hz region. Instead, I'm going to split the subwoofer channel so that 'ULF' goes to the 2 x 15" subs (ie they will handle 30Hz and below). The 8 x 10" drivers will take over above that, though I may allow them a gentle roll off rather than a sharp filter so that they add something to the output down to 20Hz.

      As it isn't something generally recommended I tried some REW measurements before I took the room down. I could only have 1 x 15" front left and 1 x 10" at the various rear positions (mostly the 1/4 width, 1/4 height which is where the BK IW300 will be used).

      No LCR speakers were connected during this test, so the measured response rolls off above 100Hz (I think I had an 80Hz crossover setting). It matches very well with the REW room sim, so I'm hopeful that once all 8 x 10" are added that I will have a pretty good response to start with, leaving much less for Dirac to deal with. It should also provide very good seat to seat response, although I will focus on the main MLP it doesn't hurt if the adjacent seats sound good too.

      This shows the 15" as the 'ULF' in blue, with the dip around 65Hz and the red being the single XLS200 which has a 45Hz null from this postion. The combined output of them both being the green trace. This took some working out using different filter slopes (both were fed from my iNuke 6000DSP which has a good selection of filters available). This was the best response, but the final set up will have more 10" at the front and at the ceiling at the rear, so I think there will be lots more REW sessions to optimise the result.


      Separate and combined responses.jpg

      Just to show the combined result on it's own for clarity. There is plenty of extra output around 27Hz, but this can be pulled down using the iNuke DSP or Dirac, or even left as a 'preference' for extra low down kick. Note that with extra 10" drivers and the LCR in use the response will not roll off so steeply. If I add a simple 6dB/Octave roll off to the whole sub signal (which can be simulated in REW) the response ends up pretty flat. Not bad considering there is no eq involved at this point:

      Combined response only.jpg
       
      Last edited: Jul 10, 2016
    13. KelvinS1965

      KelvinS1965
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      I've been using 'Sweet Home 3D' to plan the layout, so here are some pictures to show the intended layout:

      2D from above, showing the false wall which will hide the subs (and a 2 x 12 guitar amp cabinet too :)):

      2D plan.jpg

      3D view from the MLP, you can just make out the gap on the right side of the false wall. This is where the black Devore curtains will retract to when not in use, same for the left side of course:

      3D view from MLP.jpg

      This is the view from the front right corner. You can see the two S150T white tripole surround speakers and just beyond the right side of the sofa is the grille from one of the IW300 subwoofers (which will be painted to match the wallpaper, so should be less obvious than in this picture):

      3D view from screen.jpg

      PS: I hate using Photobucket, but can't seem to upload pictures directly from my computer. They only come up as attachments when I 'upload a file'.
       
      Last edited: Jul 10, 2016
    14. Spraggle

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      10 subs??? Wow!

      Will that not overwhelm the normal speakers, given that you're having close to twice the number of subs to normal speakers ? Also, if there's room for that many subs, isn't there room for 7.10.4?

      I know so very little about setting up systems; the whys and wherefores - I'm only asking these questions to understand, not to be provocative! :)
       
    15. KelvinS1965

      KelvinS1965
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      No problem I expected I'd get asked at some point; it's about headroom and coverage to avoid nulls: I really like the performance of my little BK XLS200 in my second room system, so I'm trying to replicate that at higher listening levels in a much bigger room by using the same drivers/cabinet volume. I may as well reuse the existing 15" since they will help reinforce the very low end that the 10" drivers can't produce.

      I started testing with REW room simulator*. Initially with 4 subs, 1 in each corner (as that's an oft recommended layout), but found having an extra pair high up at the back gave a more even response, especially from seat to seat, so this gave 6 subs. To balance the 4 at the back meant that I ended up with a pair of 'twin' (2 x 10) at the 3/4 height, 1/4 width points at the front, hence the 8 x 10". These drivers are £90 each, so it's not too expensive to double up at the front to keep the balance.

      The 2 x 15" will work well below 45Hz in the front room corners and should give at least the same performance as my previous set up (they were in diagonally opposite corners). In testing, driven by the same iNuke 6000DSP they hit 113dB @10Hz at the MLP and could hit above reference (115dB) @ 20Hz. In the new set up they will have an iNuke each (with the other channel on each iNuke running 4 of the 10"). There may be some increase in this output as the 8 x 10" will add a small amount, though I will filter them in the interests of driver protection. Given I typically listen at -10 to -8dB below reference, then distortion should be very low as the drivers will have plenty in hand.

      Although I'm going to be using a pair of BK IW300 below the window on the back wall, the other 10" subs will be in MDF boxes made by the same guy who made my 15" cabinets. The 6 DIY subs work out the same cost as buying 2 more IW300, but they won't be seen so I won't even need to paint them, just assemble them.

      The cost of 2 x IW300, another iNuke 6000, 6 x 10" Peerless drivers and the MDF boxes is similar to building another pair of 15" subs, so I could have doubled my existing sub performance by just duplicating. However my feeling is that these smaller subs will be more discrete and give better coverage at the 50Hz and above frequencies that seem more difficult to deal with in my room as I'll be able to have them at different heights (it's hard to lift my 15" subs I can tell you!).

      I'm not going 7.1.4 as IMHO there isn't enough distance behind the MLP for the surround backs and the window gets in the way as well. I'm already experienced in 7.1 in my old set up and that had 2.5 metres behind the MLP for the surround backs, but found once they get near to 1 metre behind there is little benefit to having them. Since I'd have to buy something equal to my S150T for tonal matching, it gets very expensive too. I may eventually upgrade the 4 Atmos speakers, but general opinion seems to be that it's much less critical to have them tonally matched, so my existing spare M&K K5s will do for now: In any case they won't be visible as I plan to cover the underside of the pelmet with off white speaker fabric (and surround the speakers with bass traps too).

      Sorry I went on a bit there...hope the explanation makes sense. :)

      * Real room measurements show that the sim is pretty accurate in my room as it's a standard shape.
       
    16. big boss

      big boss
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      I have Simple Control, but found myself using Harmony exclusively. Couldn't really get on well with it.
       
    17. Spraggle

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      It's clear that you value your bass more than me! I would have been more than happy with the two 15"ers at the front! My set up is one 10" sealed MA Bronze Sub ;-)
      I can see what you mean regarding distance - I tried out 7.1 just because I had two spare Wharfedale Diamond 6Rs - I was too close and the 4 'rear' speakers overwhelmed the front 3. If I had dipoles and could have mounted them on the wall, things might have been different...

      All in all, looks amazing - can't wait to see if the 10 subs do the business!
       
    18. KelvinS1965

      KelvinS1965
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      I've been sorting through the Oak floor planks into piles of 'good', 'needs scratches sanding out' and 'just needs a light sand', so no real AV progress at the moment. I've had success getting some quite deep marks out then re-oiling the whole plank. I'll be able to put the worst planks below the sofa/rug so I can have the best ones visible. It's worth the effort as the cost of a new floor would be more than my additional subs (priorities and all that ;)).

      I'm also waiting on getting a flush ceiling mount for my X500 so I can finalise the size of the pelmet as the projector will be concealed within. The new French doors are higher than the existing patio doors so I don't have unlimited depth for the pelmet.

      I also dug out this REW measurement of my existing subs (configured front left/rear right run off a single iNuke 6000DSP), so it will be interesting to compare the response when they are both front corner loaded and powered off separate iNuke amplifiers. I may add a Buttkicker or two to the main sofa, so there should be plenty of tactile response between the 2 x 15" and the transducers. I expect the 8 x 10" will be rolled off below about 25Hz, but between them they may add a few dBs to this response: I'd like to be able to hit 115dB @ 20Hz at the MLP, so we'll see what figures I end up at the end of the project.

      Old set up power sweeps.jpg
       
      Last edited: Jul 10, 2016
    19. The Dreamer

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      Hi Kelvin,

      Your idea for subs is similar to mine. I have a couple of 15" drivers to use up front, and have been pondering what I'd do for balancing subs; considering 10's or 12's to be hidden behind my false walls along the side of the room, and, as you say, they can be mounted at different levels to help with moving/cancelling nodes.

      Which drivers are you looking at? I was heading down the 'cheap and cheerful' from the car audio suppliers, but wonder if there are better options. (I'm sure there are, but at what cost?)

      As none of the drivers will be working particularly hard (having so many - though I was just thinking 2 or 4 balancing subs, not 8!), my thinking was that cheaper drivers could work just as well, considering we'd not be asking much of them.

      What do you think?

      edit: Just gone back through the thread and see you mention Peerless speakers - off to Google those now!

      further edit: Crikey! Not looking at spending that much!:eek::laugh: I was thinking maybe £50 tops per driver!
       
      Last edited: Jul 8, 2016
    20. KelvinS1965

      KelvinS1965
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      The Peerless XLLS10 are £90 each, which I didn't think was too bad. I want to remain consistent across all the 10" subs as I'm buying in 2 x BK IW300 (since they will be slightly visible in the room and it's easier than DIYing something to fit in wall) which use the same driver. I've got a 8-9 year old XLS200 that I use in my conservatory, so I've been able to use it (driven via high level input) to do some initial testing.

      Typically mixing different subs seems frowned upon, however I've seen plenty of users on AVS doing it and my testing so far seems to show it working out OK. Essentially my sub system will be the 8 x 10" drivers so the 2 x 15" are just for very low end re-enforcement. It just means I have an extra crossover to deal with (in practice just roll off the high end of the 15" and a very gentle low end roll off on the 10").
       
    21. The Dreamer

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      Ah, OK. My initial search uncovered prices of around double that - from falcon acoustics; £90 would just about be do-able.

      I'm not too bothered about mixing different driver sizes and/or brands (certainly not at the lower frequencies anyway) - I do believe it's difficult to integrate ported and sealed subs though, so I'll be keeping all of mine sealed. Still a fair way off needing to sort this though.

      ...and I may well see how well yours works before blatantly copying it! :D
       
    22. big boss

      big boss
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      Logitech Harmony Elite on Amazon Prime deal for £139.99. It's the best remote I've ever had. Be quick if interested!!
       
    23. KelvinS1965

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      Thanks but I've got a Harmony Ultimate which works fine for what I need. Since Brexit has knocked the exchange rate, my AT screen is probably going to cost more, so I need to stick to the plan. :)
       
    24. markymiles

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      Looking forward to seeing how all the light control measures work out. Will try something similar at some point, if I can get them out of sight when not in use. I guess that's the hard bit :smashin:

      Shame you have to have the tripoles on show given how much effort has gone into making the rest hidden. There's no inwall solution for those possible? Is it just money or performance related keeping those?
       
      Last edited: Jul 14, 2016
    25. KelvinS1965

      KelvinS1965
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      Simply put; they perfectly match my LCR and tripoles work so well in that position I can't think what else would be worth spending my money on, plus they were £1,500 the pair and you know how little used AV gear sells for these days... Being white I don't think they will be too obtrusive though.

      I'm having more problems trying to work out the construction of the front wall to allow space for the ceiling Devore panels: My latest idea is to have two very flat panels on drawer slides, that go back inside the pelmet/front wall (ie near to 1 metre depth). That would give me nearly 2 metres total out from the screen covering the ceiling, so I'll have a nice black Devore 'tunnel' surrounding the screen.

      However, the projector screen case will be quite wide so will get in the way of these panels. I may mount the screen case in the pelmet rather than to the ceiling, so that would leave a gap above for the panels. Just trying to work out how to physically do this as I don't want to give up and just fix the screen to the ceiling which means I'll be left with a white ceiling during film watching.
       
    26. KelvinS1965

      KelvinS1965
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      Well; I sat down and did a bit of adding up of the new parts:eek::

      AT screen custom made to my requirements £2,300 (possibly more due to Brexit influenced exchange rates).

      Various subwoofer parts; MDF boxes made by Gordy, 4 x bought in BK IW300 passive in wall subs, 4 x Peerless XLS10 drivers for the Gordy boxes, a Buttkicker and two iNuke 6000DSP amps: another £2,300.

      Arcam AV550 AVR to replace my Marantz SR6010 and separate Dirac DDRC-88A unit work out about £1,300 depending on resale/trade in allowance against the Arcam.

      On top of this is the furnishing of the living room and French doors (already fitted) at a similar total to the AV above).At least I'm saving £1,500 or so by relaying the existing Oak floor after some sanding and re-oiling work. :rolleyes:

      Maybe I'm just having a bit of premature buyers remorse, but I'm going round in circles trying to decide if I'm doing the right thing. :confused: Mainly regarding the subs side of things, though I'm still wavering about the Arcam (it would make more room in the rack for the iNuke amps though due to reduced box count):

      No matter what I do with REW room sim, I can't get a decent bass response if I only put subs at the front of the room, so buying one or two 'really good subs' won't work. It took some discussion to convince my OH that the sofa needs to be away from the back wall, but part of that discussion was that we will get some kind of corner unit eventually which means there wouldn't be space for a free standing sub at the rear corner.

      This leaves me wondering: Do I stick with the original plan of 4 in wall BK IW300 subs at the rear of the room and two 'twin' XLS10 subs at the front to balance (plus my existing 2 x 15" Fi Q series for the very low end). Or do I mix subs even more and have the IW300 at the back and perhaps some other commercial subs at the front wall?

      Or is there another option I've not thought of? I've racked my brains (what's left of them :D) but can't come up with a solution that fits in with the 'invisible' AV requirement. Maybe I have to accept that if aesthetics take priority, then I'll have to stick with the in wall subs idea. To be fair, this will end up giving me a system similar to having 8 x BK XLS200 and the extra pair of 15" sealed subs for the ULF, so shouldn't be a poor sounding set up. I'm happy to spend my winter night fine tuning the balance of the subs with REW (and Dirac for the final eq), but just keep wondering if this is the best value for money...

      (Any suggestions for huge stacked subs in each corner will go ignored ;):D).
       
    27. markymiles

      markymiles
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      How do the 8 x XLS10 model in the room? Would they not be sufficient on their own?

      You could then sell the 15's and have less buyers remorse ;-)

      If you're going with the buttkicker or similar tactile inducers then the bottom end will be pretty much covered I would have thought.
       
      Last edited: Jul 22, 2016
    28. KelvinS1965

      KelvinS1965
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      They model very well if suitably spread around* to minimise the nulls, however they don't go very deep, so it makes sense to use the 2 x 15 one in each front corner as they work great up to about 50Hz before a null takes over. They give me close to reference level down to 10Hz too, probably able to hit reference once they are driven off an iNuke each. Since I'd only get 50p for them in the classifieds might as well keep them anyway.

      *One each in the rear corners at floor level, one each in the top rear corners (hidden by the pelmet). The front ones not so much due to the 50-60Hz null as per the 15s, but they recover above this and the overall FR at the MLP looks pretty good with this combination bar a few peaks which are easier to deal with than nulls of course.
       
    29. mattkhan

      mattkhan
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      if the specs are accurate, about 10 XLS10 have the same Vd as 2 Q15. Can you squeeze a few more XLS10 in the room?
       
    30. KelvinS1965

      KelvinS1965
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      I could make the front 'twin' cabs into quad cabs making 10 in total, so that would mean I'd be equal Vd to my previous set up if the specs are right as you say. I may as well keep the 2 Q15 and have approx twice the Vd as before.

      Previous testing using the Q15 for below 50Hz and a test XLS200 (same driver) for the rest worked pretty well using the iNuke DSP filters to cross them over, so I'm reluctant to ditch the Q15s. I just sold my projector screen in the classifieds: I got £300 for a screen that cost around £1,200-1,300 and would be about £2,000 new now, so I'd rather keep what I have unless I really don't need it.

      Do you think mixing is a bad idea then? Ideally I would just add two more Q15s but there just isn't space to put them where they would work best.
       
      Last edited: Jul 23, 2016

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