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System #238 (Renaissance ESL 15A, Focus ESL C18, Script I, Motion 35XT, Motion 4i)

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RAH

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Jason please if possible please post images of the great 15’s. We all love hifi eye candy.
 

JLasher22443

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Jason please if possible please post images of the great 15’s. We all love hifi eye candy.
I've updated the very first post in this thread with a few photos. Still in the process of getting them moved around in the room with space in between them and toe in.
 

BDH55

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Jason, very impressive system and gorgeous room as well! Couple of things I'm curious about are...

1) I've looked thru all your photos and am amazed that it looks like most of your cables are... essentially, non-existent! I am just surprised that with such a 'clean' room, you really don't seem to have any cable clutter. I am pretty fastidious with cable length/cable ties, and have the benefit of open space behind my front wall so most of my cabling runs behind the wall... but it does have to come thru the wall to make connections. Do you have some 'special cable hiding potion' you can recommend?

2) you've got a lot of sound treatment on your walls. Maybe I missed something reading thru several pages discussing your system, but did you figure out the sound treatment, or did you bring in a pro?

Again, great system, and great looking room!
 

JLasher22443

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Jason, very impressive system and gorgeous room as well! Couple of things I'm curious about are...

1) I've looked thru all your photos and am amazed that it looks like most of your cables are... essentially, non-existent! I am just surprised that with such a 'clean' room, you really don't seem to have any cable clutter. I am pretty fastidious with cable length/cable ties, and have the benefit of open space behind my front wall so most of my cabling runs behind the wall... but it does have to come thru the wall to make connections. Do you have some 'special cable hiding potion' you can recommend?

2) you've got a lot of sound treatment on your walls. Maybe I missed something reading thru several pages discussing your system, but did you figure out the sound treatment, or did you bring in a pro?

Again, great system, and great looking room!
Thanks! So no magic just very anal about cable management. LOL Cable management is one of my OCD issues I have. Each speaker on the walls and in the ceiling were placed and mounted first and cabling installed afterwards to be hidden in accordance with placement. That way I could hide cabling behind each unit.

All I used was Audioquest SLiP-DB 14/2 speaker wire to each units through the crawl space under the floor and hidden in the wall up to the ceiling to the Atmos. Everything is either stapled, tie-wrapped, or velcroed for support. When it comes out of the wall I used a Legrand On-Q Brush wall plate. Behind my main rack I have brackets for wire management and mounted cable management on the wall to get cables from Analog rack to main rack. Basically everything is off the ground except For some power cables.

As for sound treatments I just listened to JonFo and purchased a crap ton of absorption panels and placed them according to what the website recommended. I’m sure if I had a Pro come in it would sound even better but I tried to cover basically every bare wall with absorption and it worked out great. I plan to add more here soon with diffusion panels at first and second reflection points. Right now its just absorption.
 

BDH55

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Thanks! So no magic just very anal about cable management. LOL Cable management is one of my OCD issues I have. Each speaker on the walls and in the ceiling were placed and mounted first and cabling installed afterwards to be hidden in accordance with placement. That way I could hide cabling behind each unit.

All I used was Audioquest SLiP-DB 14/2 speaker wire to each units through the crawl space under the floor and hidden in the wall up to the ceiling to the Atmos. Everything is either stapled, tie-wrapped, or velcroed for support. When it comes out of the wall I used a Legrand On-Q Brush wall plate. Behind my main rack I have brackets for wire management and mounted cable management on the wall to get cables from Analog rack to main rack. Basically everything is off the ground except For some power cables.

As for sound treatments I just listened to JonFo and purchased a crap ton of absorption panels and placed them according to what the website recommended. I’m sure if I had a Pro come in it would sound even better but I tried to cover basically every bare wall with absorption and it worked out great. I plan to add more here soon with diffusion panels at first and second reflection points. Right now its just absorption.
Jason, is this new construction or existing? I went back thru all your photos and I am very impressed with your cable hiding skills (and this is coming from someone who has pulled lots of AC, AV and other cabling thru tough spots)!! If this was existing construction, I'd love to know how you pulled the AC and AV to the projector??? You also mentioned that you have everything off the ground except AC cables. I 'thought' I did too, but realized that I have my long runs to my main amps and center channel bundled together but laying on the ground behind my rack. I'll fix that tomorrow...

I also used AQ 14/2 to run to my rear, and height channels. While I was able to sneak them across between the I-beam and drywall where my projector hangs, I ended up having to put up crown molding, and pull some of my baseboards to hide wiring. While it looks fine now, it was definitely a hassle.

I am surprised that your room needs as much sound treatment as it does. Yes, you have a lot of glass, but most appears covered with insulation board. Also, you have a carpeted floor. Of course, I've never used any sound treatment, so I am going to start exploring this (a couple of members have suggested something behind my center channel so I will start there). Thx for sharing your secrets!
 

JonFo

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As for sound treatments I just listened to JonFo and purchased a crap ton of absorption panels and placed them according to what the website recommended.
First, very nice looking setup, Congrats!
And that cable OCD sure pays off, but you'd freak if you saw my equipment room ;)

And yes, appropriate sound treatments are key for any system to sound its best.
 

JLasher22443

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Jason, is this new construction or existing? I went back thru all your photos and I am very impressed with your cable hiding skills (and this is coming from someone who has pulled lots of AC, AV and other cabling thru tough spots)!! If this was existing construction, I'd love to know how you pulled the AC and AV to the projector??? You also mentioned that you have everything off the ground except AC cables. I 'thought' I did too, but realized that I have my long runs to my main amps and center channel bundled together but laying on the ground behind my rack. I'll fix that tomorrow...

I also used AQ 14/2 to run to my rear, and height channels. While I was able to sneak them across between the I-beam and drywall where my projector hangs, I ended up having to put up crown molding, and pull some of my baseboards to hide wiring. While it looks fine now, it was definitely a hassle.

I am surprised that your room needs as much sound treatment as it does. Yes, you have a lot of glass, but most appears covered with insulation board. Also, you have a carpeted floor. Of course, I've never used any sound treatment, so I am going to start exploring this (a couple of members have suggested something behind my center channel so I will start there). Thx for sharing your secrets!

Its existing. My wife and I had the house built for us about 15 years ago.

For the Projector I have Fiber Optic HDMI so it did not get power bleed over from the Projector Power. The base box mounted in the ceiling is for 2" rigid conduit. I then used a piece of 2" rigid conduit 6 feet down to another box for mounting of the Sanus projector mount. The shielded power cable is pulled along with the Fiber through that and over and down the wall to behind the main rack. It's terminated both in the junction box at the projector and behind the rack. Behind the rack I used a Leviton 5278-CWP Straight Blade Flanged Male Power Inlet Receptacle so that I could power the Projector from my Panamax. All cabling was covered by a fake beam I added down the center. It's held up by screws to make it look like a solid beam across the center of the room. The center is 14 feet up so it is not as noticeable as you would think.

To install most of the cabling in the walls I use the Greenlee D'VersiBIT® which gets me down into the crawlspace.

1598372307517.png



Most of the cables are just suspended or in cable management systems mounted up off of the floor along the back wall hidden by the rack. I mounted 12" L Brackets from Tractor Supply to the back of my Synergy Rack to support the cabling off of the ground between components and even for my speaker wires. Its not perfect but it works for me. I really need to take some photos and post them. LOL

Question for you.; what did you think of the performance of the PS Audio Power Plants in your system? I'm in need of something that is better than these Panamax units. Was debating between that, Shunyata, and the Nordost QB8 and Qkore.
 

JLasher22443

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First, very nice looking setup, Congrats!
And that cable OCD sure pays off, but you'd freak if you saw my equipment room ;)

And yes, appropriate sound treatments are key for any system to sound its best.
Thanks JonFo that means a to coming from you. I've reached out to GIK Acoustics and asked for some advice on where else I should add absorption and Diffusion. Hope they give me some sound advice.

Question for you as well; if you were rebuilding your Home Theater over again and not building speakers; just buying Martin Logan's off the shelf, what would you use for Surrounds and Atmos? I'm starting to think my old Script i's are needing to be replaced. Debating between the EFX, ElectraMotion FX2, or maybe even the Architectural Edge mounted in wall on either side for side surrounds. Not sure how I'd get the Vanquish in the ceiling but I think those would be great for Atmos. Thoughts?
 

JonFo

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... Question for you as well; if you were rebuilding your Home Theater over again and not building speakers; just buying Martin Logan's off the shelf, what would you use for Surrounds and Atmos? I'm starting to think my old Script i's are needing to be replaced. Debating between the EFX, ElectraMotion FX2, or maybe even the Architectural Edge mounted in wall on either side for side surrounds. Not sure how I'd get the Vanquish in the ceiling but I think those would be great for Atmos. Thoughts?
MartinLogan | Statement 40XW all around? ;) <jk>

For HT (vs surround music) I'd go with the in-walls, that MartinLogan | Edge looks pretty good on paper, and the added space between speaker and listner is a plus for side-surrounds. But from the pics, It looks like placement will be a challenge (at least on one wall) as there is a door in what looks to be the ideal Dolby-recommended placement for side-surrounds when also used with back-surrounds. But double-check me on that.

I'd stay away from the FX or the FX2, as the dual-tweeter, dipole nature is not suited to an Atmos rig.

So if in-wall is out at a given location, I'd suggest the MartinLogan | Motion 35XTi as a good alternative, as it has the larger tweeter.

As for Atmos, given your vaulted ceiling, what you are doing now seems quite reasonable. I mean, you could do what I do and mount some JBL SCS8 overheads, as they have very flexible mounting systems, but they are huge, and would not look that great in your setup. I get away with it thanks to a 10' high black ceiling and black first 1' of side-walls, so they are less obvious.
 

BDH55

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Question for you.; what did you think of the performance of the PS Audio Power Plants in your system? I'm in need of something that is better than these Panamax units. Was debating between that, Shunyata, and the Nordost QB8 and Qkore.
Jason, thanks for all the additional details on your installation. I really think you did a fantastic job! One additional question for you though... what is the brand of your fiber optic HDMI, and is it powered on one or both ends (I haven't really looked at these so I am a pure novice here). The reason I ask is I am currently running a copper HDMI cable to my projector, and IIRC, I think it is about 40'. While it has been just fine with my 1080p projector, I'm not sure it's gonna fly once I move to a 4K projector.

As for the PS Audio Power Plants, I'm obviously a big fan as I own their P20 and P12 in my main system, and recently, added their Stellar Power Plant 3 to the upstairs system! I'm not an engineer but basically their Power Plants take your wall power, break it down, and regenerate it so you have 'cleaner' power out to your equipment. The first unit I purchased was the P20 which you can see in my system photo. At 96# it was a beast to get into my equipment rack, but once I got it set up, I doubt I will ever pull it out. Upon installation there was immediate improvement in everything I was hearing. Both my wife and I were truly amazed (FYI, we upgraded from a Furman IT-REF 20i). Disclaimer... at the same time I installed the P20, I upgraded all of my manufacturer supplied power cables to some level of AudioQuest power cables (depending on component power draw, either NRG-4, Blizzard or Monsoon). Soooo, I guess I can't say that adding the P20 brought all our audio gains, but my guess would be that cleaning up our power would have a much bigger impact than just changing component power cables.

Other comments... the meters on the P20 allow you to see what is actually happening with your power. I think most helpful is you can see the distortion (THD) both In and Out. Apparently, our power is pretty solid. It usually comes in at 117-118 VAC, with a THD of about 2% (although, I have seen it up to 4%). I have the output to my equipment set at 120 VAC, and the output THD is essentially zero so regardless of what Duke Energy is feeding me, my equipment always gets the exact same 120 VAC. They also have a meter that calculates 'Improvement Factor' which measures the voltage output verses the THD output. Ours is usually around 10X. While it's hard for me to believe that the P20 has improved our power by ten times, there is no doubt that it made a big improvement. Obviously, if you are in an area with great power, you will likely see less improvement and vice versa.

I guess the only other things I'll mention is you have five zones of outlets that you can program differently (switched, always on, delayed, etc). I just leave all my zones set to Always On... I leave my P20 constantly powered on (part of the reason is some of my gear wants to see constant power).. and I leave my display dimmed to off. If you decide to pursue one of their Power Plants, find a piece of gear you no longer need/use and they will give you full MSRP of your old gear toward their new gear (up to 30% of their list that is). BTW, my main dealer is a huge Shunyata fan...
 
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JLasher22443

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Jason, thanks for all the additional details on your installation. I really think you did a fantastic job! One additional question for you though... what is the brand of your fiber optic HDMI, and is it powered on one or both ends (I haven't really looked at these so I am a pure novice here). The reason I ask is I am currently running a copper HDMI cable to my projector, and IIRC, I think it is about 40'. While it has been just fine with my 1080p projector, I'm not sure it's gonna fly once I move to a 4K projector.

I guess the only other things I'll mention is you have five zones of outlets that you can program differently (switched, always on, delayed, etc). I just leave all my zones set to Always On... I leave my P20 constantly powered on (part of the reason is some of my gear wants to see constant power).. and I leave my display dimmed to off. If you decide to pursue one of their Power Plants, find a piece of gear you no longer need/use and they will give you full MSRP of your old gear toward their new gear (up to 30% of their list that is). BTW, my main dealer is a huge Shunyata fan...
Thanks. I'm still really up in the air on power; but I need to get something soon.

As for the HDMI its an old one I got off of Amazon in December of 2018. Link below. Its good but probably not the greatest. I've been debating on switching it out for something newer but I'm always like; if it ain't broke don't fix it.

Ruipro Fiber HDMI

Oh and if you are only doing 40' I'd run the Blue Jeans HDMI. I purchased their 40' to put my Xbox on the rear wall where all of my discs are located. Works great and even did a test between it and an AudioQuest Pearl that was 1 meter. I honestly could not tell the difference. Maybe the audio in the BJC was a bit better but I couldn't tell.

Blue Jeans HDMI Cable, BJC Series-1 23 1/2 AWG Belden Bonded-Pair, 40 foot, Black

BJC HDMI

I'm not one to promote or fall for the old cable trick on anything. I test for myself and do it going in as a huge skeptic. I rather spend thousands on great gear first. The only time cables have changed the sound for me is the Nordost Power Cords and buying AQ Water's for my TT interconnects. Those are getting ready to leave tho for some Nordost Heimdall 2 XLR's for my new Phono Stage. The Water RCA's will move to my Chord Qutest and Mac Mini for streaming. Speaking of Streaming which do you prefer for SQ; the PS Audio or the Aurender?
 

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If you are looking for clean power than as BDH55 says you can go to PS Audio and get their fantastic system. PS Audio is kind of a one stop shopping center for very good gear. If I could afford it, I would have a nice PS Audio system. But then I'd have to open my wallet and let the moths fly out. I'm a cheapskate! Well, maybe not a complete cheapskate but being retired and I have to think twice before I spend money.
 

BigGuy

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If you are looking for clean power than as BDH55 says you can go to PS Audio and get their fantastic system. PS Audio is kind of a one stop shopping center for very good gear. If I could afford it, I would have a nice PS Audio system. But then I'd have to open my wallet and let the moths fly out. I'm a cheapskate! Well, maybe not a complete cheapskate but being retired and I have to think twice before I spend money.
I have become somewhat of a "poster child" for PS Audio since buying the original P300 Regenerator. After buying the newer P3 Regenerator for front end components (preamp, DAC, universal player), I repurposed the admittedly overkill P300 to power my CLXs. While I am convinced re the benefit of regenerated power for front end, IMHO I would not use a regenerator for supplying power amps. That being said I have not heard the megabuck Stromtank power equipment... <STROMTANK - German Power Tank> ?!
 

BDH55

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Thanks. I'm still really up in the air on power; but I need to get something soon.

As for the HDMI its an old one I got off of Amazon in December of 2018. Link below. Its good but probably not the greatest. I've been debating on switching it out for something newer but I'm always like; if it ain't broke don't fix it.

Ruipro Fiber HDMI

Oh and if you are only doing 40' I'd run the Blue Jeans HDMI. I purchased their 40' to put my Xbox on the rear wall where all of my discs are located. Works great and even did a test between it and an AudioQuest Pearl that was 1 meter. I honestly could not tell the difference. Maybe the audio in the BJC was a bit better but I couldn't tell.

Blue Jeans HDMI Cable, BJC Series-1 23 1/2 AWG Belden Bonded-Pair, 40 foot, Black

BJC HDMI

I'm not one to promote or fall for the old cable trick on anything. I test for myself and do it going in as a huge skeptic. I rather spend thousands on great gear first. The only time cables have changed the sound for me is the Nordost Power Cords and buying AQ Water's for my TT interconnects. Those are getting ready to leave tho for some Nordost Heimdall 2 XLR's for my new Phono Stage. The Water RCA's will move to my Chord Qutest and Mac Mini for streaming. Speaking of Streaming which do you prefer for SQ; the PS Audio or the Aurender?
Okay, thx for the links. I'm surprised that the Ruipro doesn't require power at one end. As I said before, I haven't really looked at these lately, but the last time I checked I thought one of the cables I found had a USB cable coming off the HDMI cable (or connector), to power it. Good to know at least I've got options!

As far as the BJC cable goes, my current thoughts are even if the BJC can do the job, I'd still be pulling a new cable and I'd probably just pull a fiber cable to make sure that I'm good. Pricing on the Ruipro was much better than I remember as well.

I'm with you on your comment of 'rather spending thousands on gear before cables' (I've been watching the thread about whether power cords make a difference, and saw your cable testing info). While I have always tried to buy quality interconnects and speaker cables, I thought putting money into power cables had to be a huge ripoff. So, for years I happily ran my OEM power cables into the back of my Furman and that was that. What made me reconsider was watching some of Paul McGowan's videos on the benefits of using the PS Audio regenerators, and high quality power in general. Once I decided to go all in for a P20, it seemed logical to consider my power cables at the same time (which was why I did the P20 and new cables at the same time). While some will disagree, I don't think I went overboard as 'most' of my power cables are AQ NRG-4 (which were discontinued, and heavily discounted), especially when compared to the value of my components.

As for my streaming setup, I'm not 100% sure what you are asking. The interface for playback/streaming is the Aurender Conductor app on my iPad which controls the Aurender ACS10, which feeds the PS Audio Directstream DAC. IOW, it's not which one I prefer, as they work in conjunction with each other. OTOH, if you're asking about streaming thru the PS Audio DAC (w/bridge II module) vs streaming thru the ACS10, I don't really have a way to make that comparison. First, I don't have the software to allow streaming on my PS Audio (certainly not an insurmountable obstacle though), and second, I would still need the PS Audio to provide the DAC function for my ACS10. That would lead me to believe that they would likely sound the same since they would both be using the same DAC.

If I completely misread your question, LMK and I'll try again! ;)
 

BDH55

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I have become somewhat of a "poster child" for PS Audio since buying the original P300 Regenerator. After buying the newer P3 Regenerator for front end components (preamp, DAC, universal player), I repurposed the admittedly overkill P300 to power my CLXs. While I am convinced re the benefit of regenerated power for front end, IMHO I would not use a regenerator for supplying power amps. That being said I have not heard the megabuck Stromtank power equipment... <STROMTANK - German Power Tank> ?!
Give me a little more time to get used to the new ESL 15's and I should be able to do a direct comparison re:regenerator/no regenerator with power amps. Initially I bought a PS Audio P12 to supply my mono blocks, front left/right, center and sub channels... but when I installed everything I decided instead to run my monos directly into a dedicated 20 amp outlet. It won't be any work to unplug from the wall, and plug into the P12. Just need a little time to figure out/place the new speakers...
 

JLasher22443

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Okay, thx for the links. I'm surprised that the Ruipro doesn't require power at one end. As I said before, I haven't really looked at these lately, but the last time I checked I thought one of the cables I found had a USB cable coming off the HDMI cable (or connector), to power it. Good to know at least I've got options!

As far as the BJC cable goes, my current thoughts are even if the BJC can do the job, I'd still be pulling a new cable and I'd probably just pull a fiber cable to make sure that I'm good. Pricing on the Ruipro was much better than I remember as well.

I'm with you on your comment of 'rather spending thousands on gear before cables' (I've been watching the thread about whether power cords make a difference, and saw your cable testing info). While I have always tried to buy quality interconnects and speaker cables, I thought putting money into power cables had to be a huge ripoff. So, for years I happily ran my OEM power cables into the back of my Furman and that was that. What made me reconsider was watching some of Paul McGowan's videos on the benefits of using the PS Audio regenerators, and high quality power in general. Once I decided to go all in for a P20, it seemed logical to consider my power cables at the same time (which was why I did the P20 and new cables at the same time). While some will disagree, I don't think I went overboard as 'most' of my power cables are AQ NRG-4 (which were discontinued, and heavily discounted), especially when compared to the value of my components.

As for my streaming setup, I'm not 100% sure what you are asking. The interface for playback/streaming is the Aurender Conductor app on my iPad which controls the Aurender ACS10, which feeds the PS Audio Directstream DAC. IOW, it's not which one I prefer, as they work in conjunction with each other. OTOH, if you're asking about streaming thru the PS Audio DAC (w/bridge II module) vs streaming thru the ACS10, I don't really have a way to make that comparison. First, I don't have the software to allow streaming on my PS Audio (certainly not an insurmountable obstacle though), and second, I would still need the PS Audio to provide the DAC function for my ACS10. That would lead me to believe that they would likely sound the same since they would both be using the same DAC.

If I completely misread your question, LMK and I'll try again! ;)

Sorry I thought both the Aurender and Directstream were both streaming DAC's. So the PS Audio is the DAC and the Aurender is the Streamer. Got it.
 

JLasher22443

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1) I've looked thru all your photos and am amazed that it looks like most of your cables are... essentially, non-existent! I am just surprised that with such a 'clean' room, you really don't seem to have any cable clutter. I am pretty fastidious with cable length/cable ties, and have the benefit of open space behind my front wall so most of my cabling runs behind the wall... but it does have to come thru the wall to make connections. Do you have some 'special cable hiding potion' you can recommend?

Here are a few photos I finally got around to taking. This shows the Outlets I installed for the power to the projector and the Script i's on the wall. Its not the cleanest install but it keeps my Cabling OCD down to a minimum. LOL





 
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JLasher22443

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Just added a new set of seats. Got tired of sitting on the hump in the middle of my old loveseat to listen to albums so I'd be in the sweat spot. LOL Added a single row of 3 - Seatcraft Diamanté's with power recline and headrest. Did not purchase the Powershaker amplifier just yet but the shakers are in the seats. For now the SVS shakes the seats just enough for my wife and I. LOL



 
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