So I drove 2 hours this past weekend to go to an AVS Open House of their current "Home Theater of the Month" named 'The Savoy.'
Here is a link to the HTotM posts: AVS HT of the Month: The Savoy
I was absolutely blown away by this theater.
Before things even started, I noticed that the seats were super comfy. Makes me want to get better seats.
This guy did so much DIY acoustical treatments, but they were based off of a $800 acoustical design (NOT theater design, just for the acoustical modeling). He paid his builder to build the space when the house was being constructed, so you know that wasn't cheap either.
The ground was excavated lower than the rest of his basement, which meant that it needed its own water mitigation system so that water wouldn't run to that as the lowest point. He has a HVAC system with 3 zones, one for the 2nd story, one for the main floor and rest of the basement, and one zone for the theater. It also can provide A/C to the theater in winter even when providing heat to the rest of the house. COOL.
The theater has its own dedicated 100amp service, so on and so forth. This guy dropped some serious coin. Speakers alone (3 mains, 6 surrounds, 2 subs with dual 18" woofers in each, and 4 "mid-bass-modules" with similar massive 18" woofers) came to $22,000 street price. That doesn't include all of the amps, projector, construction costs, or anything.
So you can imagine the experience. Great speakers within a great room.
I was super impressed, but you know what? Even with all sorts of fancy sound tweaking and calibration (using Audiolense) a bunch of the clips we watched were VERY, VERY "bright." Which is funny because I was asked about if I thought that my Axioms were "bright" before the demo started. I commented afterwards, "Not as bright as that was." Yes, things were being played above reference level (super loud), but the highs were just painful (literally) for some clips.
It was a super great experience, and I learned a lot about what can be done and what money will buy. I don't have that kind of bank. I would guess that this guy spent well over $100,000 to have this room in his house.