In densely populated areas of India, it is common to see multi-use buildings that house both a business and residence. Sound Sense, an award-winning integration firm in Surat, has one of India’s most elite showrooms and is quite familiar with working in this type of structure. Sound Sense’s state-of-the-art showroom displays living and office space possibilities to meet virtually any audio, video and control need that is then customised for each client to meet their unique requirements and budget.
A local dental surgeon reached out to Sound Sense after recently completing construction of a four-story home/business with his dental clinic located on the ground floor and residence situated on the upper three floors. He had a two-fold vision for the uppermost floor – to provide a place to retreat from the long hours of the work week and to provide a place to get together with family and friends on evenings, weekends, and special occasions. The client envisioned a high-end home cinema, yet they only had a room sized just under 25’ x 19’ to work within.
“Our client wanted a larger-than-life movie experience whose vibrancy was to remain isolated from the dental clinic below,” says Ankur Bhatt, founder and director of Sound Sense. “The client requested a ‘monster-sized’ screen and a high-end audio video calibrated system that well exceeded the limited budget that remained after the other construction expenses. We were able to carefully select components that allowed us to fulfill his vision while staying within the allocated budget.”
Ankur adds, “The main challenge was to meet the large seating requirement in such a limited space. After assessing the room size, screen size, speaker placement, seating needs and acoustics, we designed five rows of seating for 33 people using six or seven seats per row in non-reclining chairs. The six-seat rows were designed to accommodate the pillars on each side of the room.”
“We used a discrete speaker setup with the surrounds placed in the centre of rows one and two and rows three and four to achieve the correct phase alignment for these rows. Diffuser panels were used in the back half of the room to add spaciousness to the sound and reduce the localisation of the surround and rear speakers. For subwoofer placement, we performed a room analysis and the seats were place in the optimised zone with moderated peaking and no nulling. We needed the boundary gain from the wall for the subwoofers and placed the two subs in the corners of the room to create a virtual sub in the centre. This gave us the real estate we needed to place more seats.”
Ankur continues, “To address the noise isolation issues, we designed the acoustic treatments to rectify the reverberation time and solve problems related to the flutter echoes. An intricate isolation system was installed in the floor and an acoustic sheet was added behind the Milan acoustic transparent screen. We also installed a dedicated split air conditioning unit with internal thermostat controls in the equipment room to overcome the typical Indian heat whether the cinema room was in use or not.”
The speaker array
Phase Technology’s CI Custom Install 3-way in-wall speakers were selected for cinema audio (9.2.4 Dolby Atmos arrangement) for their high-quality sound and noise isolating properties. The tweeter and midrange assembly absorb the horizontal sound waves through Unicell Acoustic treatment to minimize interaction with the mounting wall resulting in precise imaging and clarity. The patented CI 130 uses a hybrid in-wall enclosure design that lowers the transmission of sound into an adjacent room while keeping the bass output at levels close to an infinite baffle design. With this design, a speaker with the same size rear enclosure will have bass output that extends up to one octave lower than a comparable speaker.
Ankur says, “We selected Phase Technology loudspeakers and subwoofers for this project as they brought us the superlative sound and resonance we needed for this cinema. With our experience installing Phase Tech speakers over the past few years, we can vouch for their consistency and reliability in terms of quality output and technical performance over time.”
Also included were a Pioneer SC-LX 701 (AV Amplifier) offering dynamic sound quality and an advanced equaliser per channel allowing the system to be tuned according to the room requirements with ease and clarity. Also in the mix, a Lab Gruppen IPD1200 power amp with an on-board DSP to assist in tuning each and every speaker.
Other equipment which rounded out the line-up includes Elan control for putting ease of control in the palm of the hand of the customer and the space also enjoys a full compliment of Rako lighting to add illumination and atmosphere.
A Sony VPL-VW-45ES projector takes care of the imaging partnering a Milan acoustic transparent 2.35:1 screen with sources including a Blu-ray player and Sky 4K service.
Essential Kit List
Elan GSC 2
RMT500 (RF Dimmer)
RMS800 (RF RS Switching: Non-Dimmable)
RA BRIDGE (Ethernet Access For App Control)
Sony VPL-VW-45ES projector
Milan acoustic transparent 2.35:1 screen, 13in wide/169in diagonally
CI 130 X (LCR Speakers) x 3
CI 70 X (Surround Speakers) x 4
CI 70 X (Rear Surround Speakers) x 2
CI 7.3 X (Atmos Speakers) x 4
Power FL -12 (Subwoofers) x 2
Pioneer SC-LX 701 Audio-Video Amplifier
Lab Gruppen IPD1200 Power Amplifier x 7
BDP 180 BluRay Player
Tata Sky 4K set top Box
Valrack 42U Legrand AV Furniture
AV Pro Connect Cat 6 Over HDMI converter
Linksys E900 Access Point