Frédéric has created a private cinema in his basement to combine hi-fi quality and home theater. A perfect combination of these two worlds, this room, designed from the very beginning of the construction of the house, promises optimal performance in every area thanks to high-performance equipment, sophisticated acoustic treatment and calibration by the French specialist Trinnov.
How big is your home theater?
This movie theater is approximately 18m2, with a technical rack of 1.5m2. The area of the room was greatly reduced with the acoustic insulation.
How long did it take you to build this home theater?
The room was built in two and a half years, intermittently. It is quite complicated to synchronize the availability of the various workers on the site. We therefore started building the concrete block walls in early 2019 and finished the room in July 2021.
When did you decide to design a room dedicated to home theater? Why create a personal movie theater?
It’s a project that dates back twenty years, having already fitted out my room at my parents’ house with a video projector and a 5.1 home theater system made up of Focal speakers and Onkyo, Rotel and Marantz electronics. In addition, I was a home theater installer for a video club when I was a student, which allowed me to acquire good equipment. This room embodies the goal I set for myself 20 years ago.
How did you organize the construction work? What was the most challenging aspect?
For the construction, as I had an entire basement of about fifty square meters at the beginning, I had to draw the plans of the rooms in order to divide it into a playroom for the children, a laundry room and a home theater room. The main concern was the bay window in the room which we had to partially condemn.
What was the overall budget for the system and construction?
For the build, I had to invest a total of €35,000. For the equipment, it must be around €85,000. The goal was to create a mixed hi-fi and home theater room.
Can you list the equipment used and tell us why you chose these brands?
For the equipment, the choices are both personal, but also based on price. I also selected equipment based on advice from my integrator.
My home theater system consists of the following:
- JVC DLA-N7 video projector which, with hindsight, I do not regret choosing.
- Trinnov Altitude 16 home theater processor
- Audiomat Maestro 3 Reference Hi-Fi DAC
- Panasonic UDP LX-800 Blu-ray player
- Zappiti Pro 4K Audiocom network player with Zappiti RIP 4K HDR NAS
- Two Apollon Audio PNC 1200 mono blocks for floorstanding speakers
- Apollon Audio 1 and 400 mono block for the center speaker
- Apollon NCMP 8350 8-channel amplifier
- Rotel RB-1090 amplifier for both front subwoofers
- Velodyne DD18 subwoofer in the back of the room
- Two custom Waterfall subwoofers below the screen
- Focal Sopra N°3 main speakers
- Focal Utopia Center center speaker
- Focal 1000 IWCLCR6 lateral surround speakers
- Focal 1000 IW6 rear surround speaker
- Focal 1000 IW6 Atmos speaker
How do you control the system (applications, universal remote controls, etc.)?
The system is currently controlled with the remote controls of the various devices while waiting for a universal remote control. Only the Trinnov system can be controlled via the computer or the tablet.
Did you use an acoustic treatment? If not, do you plan to use one in the future?
The room underwent an acoustic analysis and a full treatment. Which we refined with the Trinnov calibration.
How often do you use this home theater room?
I use my private cinema once or twice a week, but when it comes to hi-fi, I can spend a whole day listening to music.
Do you watch anything other than movies? Sporting events? Series? Video games? Concerts?
In addition to films, I also take advantage of this room for concerts.
How would you like to upgrade your system?
I plan to replace the center speaker with the Focal 1000 IWLCR, because the Utopia’s position under the screen is not optimal, even with calibration and tilt. The sound is shifted in the lower third of the screen. I would also like to replace my Rotel RMB 1090 amp used for the two front subwoofers with a Waterfall amp that can control the excursion of the driver cones, because for the moment, as soon as you turn up the volume, it stalls.
What piece of advice can you give to someone who wants to make a room like this?
For this budget, it is necessary to call on an acoustic specialist, unless you have serious knowledge in the field. Similarly, the Trinnov calibration is quite complex. It is not plug and play anymore. However, the result is beyond compare. Finally, you have to be patient, many problems arise and you have to stay calm…