Installations: Rock the Room... Page 2

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Divided among three Raxxess racks, the gear runs the gamut from Denon's AVR-4806 receiver ($3,500) and DVD-2910 DVD player ($740) to an Elan Z661 six-channel amp ($820), which provides power to speakers in other rooms. One rack also includes a small vault where Nick can lock away videos and remotes.

The speakers are all from Klipsch: four KL-525-THX models ($1,000 each) for the front left/right and back surround positions, a KL-525-THX behind the screen for the center position, two KS-525-THX dipole speakers ($1,250 a pair) for the left/right surrounds, and a KW-120-THX sub ($1,250 each) in each corner of the room. "We were going to put the subs in a cavity under the stage, but I worried about the sound traveling," John says. "The bass could have carried throughout the house."

Not letting sound leak out of the home theater was a big issue for Nick, who didn't want to wake his kids if he was watching a nail-biter championship game with his friends or enjoying a movie with lots of pounding sound effects. John engineered the acoustic treatment - at $18,500, the most expensive part of the installation - with Chris Underwood of Dublin, Ohio-based Kinetics Noise Control. "My rule of thumb is, any project over $20,000 should be engineered," John clarifies.

John initially wanted to stretch fabric across all the walls and put in absorption and reflection panels, but that proved too expensive. Instead, he placed ten panels along the side and front walls and covered the back wall with 2 inches of fiberglass. To keep sound within the room, he worked closely with building contractor John Falzarano, asking him to use two layers of 0.6-inch sheetrock for the ceiling and the exterior walls, with a Kinetics rubber sound membrane between, instead of the more common single half-inch layer.

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