Media room – quad ML sub setup

MartinLogan Audio Owners Forum

Help Support MartinLogan Audio Owners Forum:

JonFo

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jan 16, 2005
Messages
4,885
Reaction score
625
Location
Big Canoe, GA
I normally talk about my big rig in the HT, but I also have a secondary media room setup for ‘casual’ TV viewing, as it is on the bedroom level and is easier for the spouse to operate. Also, don’t want to fire up the PJ just to watch news or a quick episode of a show.

Now the room this thing is in is a huuuge challenge, as it is nearly a cube (12’x10’x9’) and all stucco walls, hardwood floor and has a large window in it. So very reflective and really bad acoustic ratios. This was a spare bedroom in the original home design, but it’s been co-opted over time as an office, then a sewing room and now, a media room.

I set myself a challenge of doing as good a sounding system as I could ‘on-the-cheap’ in this room. Why? Well cost-constraints force careful gear selection, plus, I wanted stuff I could recommend to friends and family on a budget. Total investment to date is under $3K for everything in the room, including furniture, etc.

First a shot of the room itself as I started the process of preparing it, so you can see the window (wife did the ‘stained-glass’ painting on it, too bad that will be hidden soon). The back-wall dampening rug (with 2” air-space between it and wall for added absorption) and the floor rug are in.

MediaRoom-Before1.jpg
 

JonFo

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jan 16, 2005
Messages
4,885
Reaction score
625
Location
Big Canoe, GA
After- Right side

And to save everyone the suspense, here is a shot of the after of the right side of the room:


MediaRoomRightSide.jpg


You can see (left to right), the front Uni-fi UB5 speaker, the ML Dynamo 300 in the right front corner, some acoustic foam to dampen the bounce off the wall to match the open passage on the left, the dual layer blackout curtain (2 rods, one with grey blackout material, and black inner panels), and the rear right ML Dynamo sub with a HEPA air cleaner on it. The Mirage FX side speaker mounted above the curtains gives good coverage to both seats.
With that double layer of blackout panels, the room remains dark even at noon. And they provide acoustic absorption as well as less light reflection in-room.
 
Last edited:

JonFo

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jan 16, 2005
Messages
4,885
Reaction score
625
Location
Big Canoe, GA
After – Left Side

And the left side of the room, with a closet hidden by the black-out drapes
The left ML Dynamo sub in the corner and the driving wheel for Forza Motorsport along the wall. The other Mirage FX side speaker is also visible above the drapes.


MediaRoomLeftSide.jpg
 

JonFo

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jan 16, 2005
Messages
4,885
Reaction score
625
Location
Big Canoe, GA
And another shot of just the seating area with the side-tables and chairs:


MediaRoomSeating.jpg
 

JonFo

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jan 16, 2005
Messages
4,885
Reaction score
625
Location
Big Canoe, GA
After - Front

And the front view, showing the 50” Pioneer Kuro plasma TV, ELAC Uni-fi L/C/R and the 2 front ML Dynamo subs, the receiver is an Onxyo TX-NR818 with Audyssey XT32, a Panansonic BluRay, AppleTV, Amazon Fire HD, DirecTV Genie set-top. An Xbox One sits on the lower shelf.

MediaRoomFront.jpg

So far, no treatments on the front wall, even though it would likely benefit. I'll be playing around with that in the future. But for now, it sounds really good, much better than expected given the challenges.
 

JonFo

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jan 16, 2005
Messages
4,885
Reaction score
625
Location
Big Canoe, GA
So without even using any commercial acoustic treatments (well, other than the foam on the right wall) this mess of a room (acoustically) is a now a great place to do casual TV viewing, and even some listening. Bass is very smooth thanks to the quad-sub setup and the Audyssey room EQ. Those ELAC's are fantastic speakers, chosen for their coincident drivers that deliver highly accurate imaging at the short distances between listener and speaker in this setup.

I'll post some measurement later, but the bass energy plots are impressive for the combo of cheap subs (bought them for $129/ea on sale a few years ago) and a cube-shaped room.

The dampening on mids and highs by the big rug hung on the rear wall is very effective and the blackout panels likewise tame side-reflections acoustically as well as manage light reflections.

All-in-all, this performs way better than the price-tag would lead one to believe. And having the ability to quickly compare to the system downstairs shows it in a good light. No contest to what the big Electrostats can do, never mind the 4x driver Infinite Baffle + 18" rear subs, but again, considering cost and space, this little system is satisfactory enough for the original intent.
 
Last edited:

JonFo

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jan 16, 2005
Messages
4,885
Reaction score
625
Location
Big Canoe, GA
Measurements

[Placeholder for measurements]
 

twich54

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Nov 25, 2005
Messages
6,921
Reaction score
262
Location
SE Pa
nice job Jonathan ! ......... :rocker:
 

JonFo

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jan 16, 2005
Messages
4,885
Reaction score
625
Location
Big Canoe, GA
Thanks User211! She is quite the 'artiste', literally, she does all kinds of media.
 

timm

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
2,085
Reaction score
6
Awesome Jonathan. Interesting. I just started to get my 'geek' on with the 4K tvs and associated blu rays like the oppo 203...Dolby vision ,hdr10, and atmos. I'm waiting for a tv to die die die all ready!! :). How is your atmos setup? And yes those ELACs seem to show up as Best Buy's in most of the mags.
 

RCHeliGuy

Well-known member
MLO Supporter
Joined
Feb 6, 2015
Messages
1,555
Reaction score
162
Location
United States
Awesome Jonathan. Interesting. I just started to get my 'geek' on with the 4K tvs and associated blu rays like the oppo 203...Dolby vision ,hdr10, and atmos. I'm waiting for a tv to die die die all ready!! :). How is your atmos setup? And yes those ELACs seem to show up as Best Buy's in most of the mags.

It's funny, but when I ordered a 75" set for my media room I purposefully got an HD only TV. I have a quality Samsung 65" UHTV in my den and yes there are some UHD titles out there that support the increased dynamic range, but there is no way I could resolve the increase in resolution.

Unless you set up a chair really close to your TV, the resolution is outside your eye's ability to discern.

In addition 99% of what I watch is on my Roku (1080P & highly compressed) or through Comcst/Netfinity ( 1268x720 & highly compressed )

When I do watch a BD it looks great and I have no complaints.

The bottom line is UHD is a complete waste of money right just like the whole 3D TV thing. Ironically UHD 3D is the only time when there would be an advantage.

Now I will say that some of the modern TV's are better. I noticed that both my Samsung 65 UHD and Sony 75" HD looked MUCH better than their predecessors. I think they have better sharpening algorithms and more powerful processing now that helps clean up compressed image artifacts.
 

timm

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
2,085
Reaction score
6
Yes mark I know what you mean. I have a Samsung 60 Hd in my living room and a 60"Sony from 2003 in my other room with a state of the art DVI connection. :). I would either replace the Sony or create a whole new space in my basement outside of my listening room as that room seems to be doing a lot of nothing. My electronics for tv related stuff is old as well. I'm not that particular since I watch sports on the Sony. In time these are areas I will improve on because things are getting old. I seem to be enamored with the oled tech. Maybe there is better I am not sure. I like the pixel dimming etc instead of backlit or edge lit.
 

JonFo

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jan 16, 2005
Messages
4,885
Reaction score
625
Location
Big Canoe, GA
Awesome Jonathan. Interesting. I just started to get my 'geek' on with the 4K tvs and associated blu rays like the oppo 203...Dolby vision ,hdr10, and atmos. I'm waiting for a tv to die die die all ready!! :). How is your atmos setup? And yes those ELACs seem to show up as Best Buy's in most of the mags.

The Atmos setup is done, just need to document it in a thread. Waiting on a tripod mount arriving this week to be able to do long-exposure pics, as black speakers on a black ceiling are invisible (which is a good thing). Been re-watching the Game of Thrones BluRay set with the Atmos soundtrack, and dragons flying overhead sound, well, like they are overhead ;)

Cool that you are doing the 4K thing, I keep hoping the old Kuro dies so I can get an LG OLED 65"C7, but no, it keeps working and looking good. Had the same issue with my old CRT projector (a Sony G70), it just would not die, so finally retired it after 10,000 hours. Now the wait is for 4K laser-illuminated PJ's to come down below $10K. The JVC Z1 is sort of what I'm hoping for, but at a better price.
 

JonFo

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jan 16, 2005
Messages
4,885
Reaction score
625
Location
Big Canoe, GA
...
Unless you set up a chair really close to your TV, the resolution is outside your eye's ability to discern.

True, the old Kuro is only 720p, and even sitting 8 feet away, I still don't see the pixels. But I'm sure a 4K OLED will look better, but no so much for resolution as for the color gamut and the HDR. And like you say, better image processing.
 

Rich

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jul 8, 2006
Messages
4,270
Reaction score
145
Location
Huntsville, Alabama
But I'm sure a 4K OLED will look better, but no so much for resolution as for the color gamut and the HDR. And like you say, better image processing.

Exactly this! Beyond a certain point, which we have already passed, higher resolution is just a marketing gimmick. Wider color gamut, higher dynamic range, and better image processing are advances that actually benefit consumers.
 

Rich

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jul 8, 2006
Messages
4,270
Reaction score
145
Location
Huntsville, Alabama
Had the same issue with my old CRT projector (a Sony G70), it just would not die, so finally retired it after 10,000 hours. Now the wait is for 4K laser-illuminated PJ's to come down below $10K. The JVC Z1 is sort of what I'm hoping for, but at a better price.

Proud of you for finally retiring that old workhorse ... and regaining access to your audio sweet spot in the process. My 10-year old JVC RS1 is still chugging along, now on its third bulb. I’m also looking forward to eventually upgrading to a laser-illuminated projector.
 

RUR

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 12, 2007
Messages
1,020
Reaction score
1
Location
SoCal
Thanks Dave.

BTW- Anyone interested in snagging a pair of those lovely Uni-fi UB5's, they are only $350 (usual is 499) today on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/ELAC-Uni-fi-Bookshelf-Speaker-Black/dp/B01CRYWVG2/ they are seriously good value.

They really are. Back in 2015, ELAC did a small, pre-launch GTG at their offices in nearby Huntington Beach. We had an opportunity to quiz Andrew et al about speaker design, corporate long-term plans, etc. etc.. They demo'd the UB5's with a modest sub and they sounded terrific. Wonderful value for price, and quite a few attendees pre-ordered on the spot.
 

GW1800

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 3, 2011
Messages
425
Reaction score
61
Location
WI
True, the old Kuro is only 720p, and even sitting 8 feet away, I still don't see the pixels. But I'm sure a 4K OLED will look better, but no so much for resolution as for the color gamut and the HDR. And like you say, better image processing.

I had a Kuro 60" that I replaced with a LG OLED 65" about a year ago. I was a little skeptical at first but felt with HDR/Dolby Vision it was the time to move. I totally agree on the 3D thing never saw that as a viable option so waited until OLED prices became somewhat reasonable. The Kuro was great as we all know but there are differences that you can tell just in streaming and of course with a 4k player with OLED. You have never seen as black of a black until you see it on the OLED. Also on the color side the OLED definitely pulls ahead and also shading. In fact its just better all around in my opinion. I had a good home for my Kuro I gave it to my son and it continues to perform for him. With that said at times I kind of miss it, I had it for quite sometime and it was such a good performer back in the day.
 
Last edited:
Top