How to Build the Ultimate Home Theatre System
Building the ultimate home theatre system is the type of project every AV enthusiast wishes they could afford to undertake.
Building the ultimate home theatre system is the type of project every AV enthusiast wishes they could afford to undertake. So let’s say that you have a good sized room, no neighbours to complain and an unlimited bank account. What would the ultimate home theatre system look like? In this article, we’ll focus on the audio portion of this dream theatre.
The Nucleus of Your Ultimate Home Theatre
The nucleus of a home theatre used to be spread amongst amplifiers and decoders, but modern high end receivers and Blu-ray players have made this unnecessary. So instead, we’ll use the Aventage receiver from Yamaha. These just came on the market, and they’ve been racking up rave reviews as fast as audiophiles can get their hands on them. Since money is no object, we’ll go with the RX-A3000 at an RRP of $2,499. This baby can put out up to 11.1 channels of stupendous surround sound if you connect a few external amplifiers, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves. With one of these in place as the nucleus of your ultimate home theatre, it’s time to work on building a speaker system that can bring out the beauty of a symphony or the thunderous detonation of a starship with equal ability.
For our speakers, let’s keep it local and stay in Australia. Accusound is a company with a great reputation for providing quality home theatre speakers, from budget systems to high-end reference models. Naturally, we’re going to go with their top-of-the-line Accusound HD Series One system.
You might be wondering why we should go with a speaker system as opposed to loading up our home theatre with the absolute best speakers at every position. The answer, especially in this case, is that each speaker in the HDS1 system is tonally matched to its brethren. This means you can look forward to a smooth, seamless sound throughout the frequency spectrum.
Often, if you try to combine, say, JBL front speakers with a Yamaha centre channel, Accusound rears and a JBL subwoofer, gaps can develop in the sound output. Short of extensive testing with each speaker, it can be difficult to find and fix these frequency holes. So why not bypass that entire procedure by utilizing a five or seven-speaker system which has been factory tested to be perfectly matched.
The Accusound HD Series One front speakers boast two 200 MM bass drivers, with a horn loaded soft dome tweeter mounted between the woofers. This makes for a perfect balance between the high and low ends and helps bring out musical vocals and instruments, not to mention movie action.
At The Centre of It All
The centre speaker is in many ways the most important element of the home theatre. It is here where most dialog will emanate, as well as any action that takes place around the main currently focused characters of a film. For instance, if two characters are fighting, most if not all of the sound effects are going to come through the centre speaker. For this reason, your centre speaker must have both punchy low end and crisp, clear mid-range and highs.
Your ultimate home theatre is going to be the 7.1 channel variety, so you’ll have four speakers to the sides of and behind the listeners. These speakers don’t need to be quite as versatile as the fronts or centre, but they do need to accurately reproduce sound across a wide frequency spectrum. To that end, the HDS1 bookshelf/surround speakers feature a 125 MM woofer and a horn loaded 25 MM tweeter. This is enough to give you enveloping surround sound as well as a good listening experience if you want to use them to listen to music instead.
Let’s Get Ready to Rumble
To many, the subwoofer is the fun part of the home theatre. It’s this big box that provides the teeth-chattering thunder of explosions, alien ships flying overhead, or, well, thunder. The HDS1 subwoofer is more than up to the task, with a 350 watt amplifier and a frequency response of between 19 and 200 HZ. 19 HZ is plenty low enough to shatter every picture frame in your lounge, so play with care.