System #39 (Ascent i, Theater i, Script i & Depth)

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Michael Schnabel
Orange County, CA

Ascent i, Theater i, 2 sets of Script i's, Depth
Purchased 2003 - 2004

Supporting Equipment:
Lexicon MC-8
Lexicon LX-7
Denon 3910 w/SDI
Sony DVD-875 400 DVD Changer
Infocus 7205 Projector
Stewart 110" Firehawk w/Director's Choice 4-way Masking

Cables & Power:
Audioquest CV4 Bi-wire to Ascents
Audioquest CV4 to Theater
Audioquest Type 4 to Scripts
Monster Cable 400 Base Subwoofer Cable
Audioquest Jaguar Interconnects (from Amp to Processor)
StraightWire Symphony Digital & Analog Interconnects
Various Canare hand-made cables
Kimber Power Kord PK10 on Amp, Sub, Processor & DVD
Panamax 4300 for rack equipment
Dedicated 20 amp power to Ascent's & Theater
Dedicated 15 amp power to Theaters
Dedicated 15 amp to Infocus projector
Dedicated 15 amp to Stewart screen
Pair of dedicated 20 amp power to equipment rack

Room Control:
Lutron Graphik Eye
Philips iPronto

Room Design:
Acoustic Innovations Custom Home Theater

Acoustic Innovations Contempo Leather Chairs

Genesis Audio Video

History of Room:
We purchased this house in 2004 and set to remodel a previous upstairs bedroom suite into a home theater. Working with Accoustic Innovations on the initial design based on one of their custom theaters, they referred me to Genesis Audio Video, an award-winning customer installer also located in Orange County.

Genesis worked with Acoustic Innovations to create an optimal design for the room based on the final dimensions. My building contractor gutted the space and rebuilt the room (with the specified power requirements brought in from a new feed), equipment closet and converted the full bath into a powder room. Genesis pre-wired the room and then Acoustic Innovations installed the acoustic fabric panels to optimize sound isolation and frequency response. Using some of my previous equipment (notably my ML's), Genesis completed the room by installing, configuring and optimizing the audio and video equipment.

Construction started in June 2004
Audio/Video Installation started in July 2004
Construction completed September 2004
Audio/Video Installation completed September 2004

Room Dimensions: 14' x 21' x 10 (wlh)

History of Martin Logan Equipment:
My Martin Logan experience started with a pair of SL3's. They were quickly augmented by a Velodyne FSR-1800 and a Cinema center channel speaker for home theater use. Unfortunately in the room I was using at the time the Velodyne did nothing but rumble with no real bass definition. Fortunately, however, ML released the Depth - a sub more suitable to the room size and a much better match for the SL3's (the room was 11x15). The build-out of my first home theater was complete with a pair of Scripts.

Several months later, the upgrade bug bit me and I replaced the SL3's with Ascent i's and the Cinema with the Theater i (additionally, I was able to swap out the Script for a Script i for a nominal charge).

The only ML I've added since building the home theater in the new home (at least so far!) is another set of Script i's to complete my 7.1 system.

The system sounds amazing - Acoustin Innovations, and specifically Genesis tuned the room so I get gorgeous sound across a wide range of music and home theater listening. For music the system I feel the system is nearly perfect. The only negative thing I can say is that I may be lacking a little impact (or what I like to describe as "internal organ re-arranging" bass) for movie watching.

Future Upgrades (in order currently planned):
Replace stock Ascent power cables
Add Lexicon LX-5 amp to bridge the power to the Ascents & Theater
As-yet-decided Subwoofer Upgrade (this would include possibly adding another Depth, replacing the Depth with a Descent and/or adding the upcoming Velodyne SMS-1 sub equalizer)


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More pictures ...

Note that work is continuing on the equipment room closet (a frame around the rack and shelves above it are coming shortly to give the rack a "built-in" appearance).


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Nice Setup! where do you get the stand for you theater i. I just got the theater i, now im looking for a short stand like your.

Bono System #13
Very nice setup and equipment list!

Add some shakers to the seats to add that extra sense of impact for HT but don't use them for music.
Thanks for your comments!

I believe the stand is from Thiel - meant for use with their center channel, but fits the Theater perfectly. You can't really tell from these pictures, but the stand angles the speaker to a perfect height with nice heavy spikes to anchor it into the floor.

Bono said:
Nice Setup! where do you get the stand for you theater i. I just got the theater i, now im looking for a short stand like your.

Bono System #13
Great setup, How's the dvdo hd+ working for you? Does it do what they claim? My display can go up to 1080p, so I want to get one too, any feedback would be great. Thanks

I'm wondering have you tried swapping the location of your sub? Basically did you try it behind your right speaker and if you did how did it sound? Did it load the room better? :D

i would go with two depths you will not go wrong, i have two but i am using them in a stereo config because the Lexicon MC12 has this option and using a M/L Grotto sub for the LFE which the Lexicon also has an LFE output. your room is very impressive. Good Listing.
Great looking !!!!!! I see you went with the Denon 3910 over the Lexicon RT-10... any reason. I am not that familiar with that Denon model, secondly did you say this was an upstairs bedroom? with 10ft ceilings LUCKY MAN!!! You have a very collection of equipment, and a nice neat installation, good luck with the new home!!

That is one of the best setups I've seen!!! :eek: I'm going to have to build a theater room now.

Have you tried the Velodyne SMS-1 yet? I'm considering upgrading to the Depth, and the technology sounds intriguing, to say the least!

In case others here are new to the Velodyne SMS-1, it is a Subwoofer Management System for any sub, and not just Velodyne. This management system is already part (or built-in) to their DD line of subs.

Okay...what the heck does that mean? Here is Velodyne's marketing release:

"Subwoofer Management System (SMS-1) – The SMS-1 improves the performance of any subwoofer and offers all the features of the DSP-controlled, industry leading Digital Drive room correction software in a rack mountable case. For the first time in an outboard processor, the SMS-1, a one unit high configuration, can display room anomalies visually and provide all the tools needed to correct them, allowing a listener to optimize any sub’s and your system’s bass performance. The SMS-1 comes preprogrammed with six fully adjustable listening mode presets and can be adjusted with a single touch of a button on the remote control."

**** End of Velodyne Marketing

Basically it is an 8 Band Parametric EQ specifically for 199Hz on down. It has auto configuration - in other words, plays a frequency sweep, analyzes it with the included microphone, and makes the specific adjustments to help tame those nasty peaks and valleys in your room acoustics. Or you can do all of this on your own as it interfaces with TV's or Monitors to allow you to see the response and the correction you are making. I believe it will handle up to three subs, RCA, and XLR connections, summed outputs, etc. etc. Everthing you need for a sub management system SPECIFICALLY to help correct the low end response of your room - one of the more nasty parts of room acoustics.

Discussions on the SMS-1 is being held on AVSFORUM in the Subwoofer section under the "Official Velodyne Thread" if you want to read more. Trouble is you need to weed through many other messages about Velodyne Subs in the thread.

Update to my system ...

After hearing the Summit's at my local dealer in June, I immediately purchased a pair (the only thing that held me back from going up to the Odyssey's or even Prodigy's was their size). The Summit's sound absolutely amazing, delivering beautiful clarity and dimension to music and nice impact for HT use.

Unfortunately, with the production issues Martin Logan has been experiencing with the Summits I still have not received them (latest expected date in early October). I will update my system pictures as soon as they are placed in my room!

After much debate on what to do with the subwoofer, I went ahead and purchased a Velodyne DD-15. As much as I enjoyed the Depth, the accoustic treatment of the room completely sucked out the low-level energy in my room. After listening to the Descent and Velo extensively, I went with the Velo because of the added flexibility of its room correction (the Descent with the SMS-1 (when released) would have about the same price as the DD-15, so budget-wise it was a wash).

I'm a little cautious in making the switch out of the ML sub since I feel the Depth/Descent combo are excellent subs. However, I believe in going with the Summits alone for two-channel music and adding the Velo for the impact bass when watching HT is the best combo.

My next planned upgrades are ...
The Stage to replace the Theater i - the Theater is a fine speaker, but it feels like it's missing something (especially for the $2,700 speaker), so I eagerly await the Stage. In a discussion last week with ML to share my frustration with the Summit availability, they noted that they expect a mock-up of the Stage to show-off at CEDIA this week. So hopefully by the end of the year ...

Still need to replace some power cords - next on the Summit's and the Lex amp.

Finally on the video side, I'll probably look to move up to either the JVC 1080p projector, the Sony Qualia or a 3-chip DLP by the end of the year.

Thanks everyone for your kind words on my system!

WOW, what a gorgous HT system...


You have got one beautiful HT system there... I like the fact, that you brought enough powered circuits into you HT, with two 20 amp circuits, just to your equipment rack. Doesn't that make all the difference, to accually have, enough power... I was wondering, if you had to have your HT, vented or airconditioned, in anyway? As it looks, very well insulated and sound proofed from, the other rooms of your house... I'm also courious, where do you store your DVD library? I think, the center two viewing seats, without an arm rest between them, is excellent touch. :D
I also like your Theater i, stand..., did you make it or have it made?


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