Finally installed my in-cabinet T-60's!!!

Posted by: rprice54

Finally installed my in-cabinet T-60's!!! - 07/04/11 10:57 PM

After over a year of working (well, mainly not working) I've finished (mostly) my wall to wall entertainment center. I thought I'd post some pics of the in-cab speakers since there weren't any out there when I was doing my research.

Right front:


Full frontal:


Angled:


Screen down: (all the white did funny things to my flash, sorry for the poor quality)


I'm going to build two screens with speaker cloth to cover the top and front of the sub for a similar look to the towers.

Thanks for looking!
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Finally installed my in-cabinet T-60's!!! - 07/04/11 11:25 PM

RP, very elegant room. Enjoy.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Finally installed my in-cabinet T-60's!!! - 07/05/11 12:37 AM

Very very nice indeed!
Posted by: Da_Gimp_Pimp

Re: Finally installed my in-cabinet T-60's!!! - 07/05/11 07:39 AM

Beautiful work, RP!
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Finally installed my in-cabinet T-60's!!! - 07/05/11 07:44 AM

Curious if you have tried flipping over the center speaker to have it aiming upward slightly. I noticed an improvement in my living room upstairs by doing this...
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Finally installed my in-cabinet T-60's!!! - 07/05/11 08:48 AM

Looks amazing! You did the cabinetry, right?
Posted by: bdpf

Re: Finally installed my in-cabinet T-60's!!! - 07/05/11 09:27 AM

It's just beautiful! Great job on the unit! How does the panning from left to right sound with the center that low relative to the mains tweeters?
Posted by: BobKay

Re: Finally installed my in-cabinet T-60's!!! - 07/05/11 10:14 AM

Couldn't pay for better work. Awesome.
Posted by: rprice54

Re: Finally installed my in-cabinet T-60's!!! - 07/05/11 10:42 AM

Okay, lemme try to answer some of the questions:

Center: I started with the center aimed up the first time around before I had any cabinetry done, on top of the sub. Then, when I built the cabinets, that raised it up and right now it is directly in line with the main listening position. I haven't tried it up because it seemed like it would 'point' up above people's heads, but I realize it shouldn't be that directional. Now that I have the cabinets finished, and in effect the room geometry finished, I will play with both positions to see what sounds best.

Cabinetry: I did it all. That's why it's taken me so long. I started in Feb 2010 on the cabinets, but I also had to do a kitchen and bathroom too, we finished our entire basement, I have a full construction thread over at AVS forums.

Front sound stage: I knew up front there would be 'sonic compromises' (I made that up) with the design. When we decided to put in a media/theater room, the wife gave me full decision making with just a few caveats: it had to look clean and professional (ie no wires hanging here and there, can't have speakers dangling from every surface in the room, etc) and the speakers had to be as concealed as possible. We have 4 young children, and honestly, I didn't like the idea of having 4 foot tall towers getting knocked over on top of them. We searched online and after seeing several 'built-in' theaters agreed that's what we both wanted. I wanted big speakers. I've always felt the little 2" speakers all around the room was cute but didn't give you that big sound that I wanted. So the only way for me to get full size speakers was to build them in. Imagine my joy when I found that Axiom had in-cabinet speakers for the same price as their regular speakers. Other companies charge a serious premium for in-cabinet speakers and were out of my range.

I actually had several emails with the Axiom crew specifically about the height issue of the front speakers. After emailing Ian, the general feeling was that the speakers are designed to be right side up, and the negative effect by flipping the speakers would offset any gains. The speakers have such good off axis sound that I really haven't noticed a difference. When I listen to stereo, the vocals image right where the plasma is. When I'm watching movies, the front sound stage is so big and seamless that I've only noticed the center drawing attention to itself once, during the Tombstone Blu Ray, and I blame that more on a poor mix since all my other movies don't have that problem.

So my long winded answer is: to me, I can't tell a difference having the speakers up compared to when they were on the floor when I tried them out. Maybe a true audiophile could tell.

I did loose some punch by putting the sub in between the cabinets up front. I'm considering a second sub under an end table or some other solution in the back of the room (again, I have 40 little fingers that like to destroy everything they come in contact with so I have to protect the sub somehow) to even things out, but the EP500 still rocks the house, literally, and I got significant gains after running the room EQ on my amp after I put it in the cabinet. Not perfect, but again, the other option was a Bose type system with tiny speakers. The other option is that there are other companies that have built in subs, but they come with built in price jacks as well. (Axiom dudes, I'd be happy to beta test a built in subwoofer for you guys !!!) I did build the bottom cabinets with double thick walls, tops, and the bottom frame is filled with sand to minimize any resonance from the cabinets themselves. The sub is actually sitting on the base between two cabinets, the top and front are open.
Posted by: alan

Re: Finally installed my in-cabinet T-60's!!! - 07/05/11 11:15 AM

Hi rprice,

Really beautiful installation! Best photos I've seen of a custom Axiom in-cabinet installation.

Regards,
Alan
Posted by: rprice54

Re: Finally installed my in-cabinet T-60's!!! - 07/05/11 01:01 PM

I will edit my post when I'm back at my PC. It was Alan who helped menout before, not Ian. Either way, thanks for all the comments!
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Finally installed my in-cabinet T-60's!!! - 07/05/11 01:03 PM

That is some beautiful work, rp! what kind of wood did you use on the cabinets?
Posted by: davidsch

Re: Finally installed my in-cabinet T-60's!!! - 07/05/11 01:11 PM

Beautiful indeed!
Posted by: RickF

Re: Finally installed my in-cabinet T-60's!!! - 07/05/11 01:14 PM

Gorgeous!
Posted by: rprice54

Re: Finally installed my in-cabinet T-60's!!! - 07/05/11 10:06 PM

I used African Mahogany (not genuine mahogany) and then stained it to give it an old look. I'm quite happy with the results, and in the finishing world, it's only a 3 step finish which relatively simple.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Finally installed my in-cabinet T-60's!!! - 07/07/11 06:15 PM

Looks amazing.
Posted by: INANE

Re: Finally installed my in-cabinet T-60's!!! - 07/10/11 12:20 AM

That is very nice.
Posted by: rprice54

Re: Finally installed my in-cabinet T-60's!!! - 09/02/11 05:49 AM

Please excuse the crappy pics. I shot a couple with my phone before I had to leave for work. After 18 months of construction the entertainment center is done. I finished the baseboards yesterday and then the subwoofer screens today. I made my own subwoofer cover out of some speaker cloth from Rockler. I guess it's a little more transparent visually because you can see the driver behind it. I kind of like it.



when my speakers were orginally delivered, the pegs on one of the grills was broken, so they sent me a new one. I kept the other one around (I don't know why). I figured out the Axiom logo would pop right off, so I took it, found a scrap of wood and drilled holes in it to accept the logo and put that behind the new cover and attached the Axiom logo. I'm a nerd, I know, but I think it looks cool with the custom screen and axiom logo. I'll get some better pics up after I get home and get some sleep.
Posted by: davidsch

Re: Finally installed my in-cabinet T-60's!!! - 09/02/11 07:46 AM

It looks beautiful! Great job!
Posted by: Murph

Re: Finally installed my in-cabinet T-60's!!! - 09/02/11 08:13 AM

Looks awesome! Great work. Did you route all the paneling yourself for the doors? I keep staring at raised paneling bits when I go to Home Depot or get a Lee Valley catalog but I need a project to come along to justify the expense.


Posted by: alan

Re: Finally installed my in-cabinet T-60's!!! - 09/02/11 09:24 AM

Hi rp,

I'm in awe of your carpentry and finishing skills. Really a knockout installation!

Regards,
Alan
Posted by: fredk

Re: Finally installed my in-cabinet T-60's!!! - 09/02/11 07:23 PM

Wow! I can't believe I missed this thread the first time around. That is an absolutely gorgeous room.

Murph. Buy a shaper and those raised pannels will be a snap. Putting them all together to look like that is quite a challenge though.
Posted by: rprice54

Re: Finally installed my in-cabinet T-60's!!! - 09/02/11 08:32 PM

I have a door making bit set I bought at Rockler. I had a smaller router at the time when I bought the set, so I bought a vertical bit. It's a little cheaper and you can get away with a smaller router. The downside- they require you run the panels through vertically as well, so it takes a little more technique and a good/tall fence. I've got a bigger, dedicated table router now, when this bit wears out I'll move up to a 'real' panel bit. I ended up making 24 doors for the basement, including the two 4 panel doors on the entertainment center. I'm done with doors for while. Got my media center set up just in time for football season.
Posted by: rprice54

Re: Finally installed my in-cabinet T-60's!!! - 09/23/11 10:09 AM

Okay, sorry if this is turning into a construction build thread, but I'M DONE!!! Not just with the media room, but the entire stinking (and I do mean stinking) basement job I took on two years ago. Last post, I promise:

A quick refresher on the concept drawings:


Finished product:


With Grills:


Screen Down:


Custom grill for the subwoofer. The fabric I bought from Rockler. It's a little more transparent visually- the flash really highlights that. When the lights are full on you get the ghost of a shadow of the driver, I like the effect. And yes, I pulled the Axiom logo of the old grill and put it on my own.


Back of the room. Pics of my kids purposely distorted:


Right Rear Speaker. I'm thinking of adding another QS8 just to the left of middle the column for 7.1 surround. Think it will make much of a difference 4 feet from the rear speaker?:


Left Rear. Same thoughts about adding another QS8 to the right of the middle column:


Looking out the window in the kitchen. Convection microwave mounted in the wall. Great for cookies and brownies:


And finally, my DIY rack. It's not pretty. But when I figured out I could control everything with my iPad/iPhone using Oremote, I ditched the complicated pull out/swivel/look pretty AV rack. Plus, I had this little Next Generation remote extender from when we had our TV above the fireplace and the AV rack in the unfinished basement, so I can use that too. I also ditched the pocket door idea since I wouldn't need to leave the doors open to use the system (anyone need some pocket door hardware?). There are a series of 2.5" holes along the bottom for wires and airflow. Two 33CFM fans on the Onkyo and a 33CFM exhaust fan up top controlled with a coolerguys thermal control unit. The onkyo stays cooler than when I was running it out in the open. It's like a chimney, cool air in the bottom, hot air out the top. The rack is on 22" over-extension slides. The rack itself is only 18" deep. So when it pulls all the way out I have plenty of room to get to the back of the AVR and make connections as needed. It's not pretty, but it works.


Thanks for looking and so long for now. I broke in the room officially with the new Star Wars Blu Ray pack. Good times.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Finally installed my in-cabinet T-60's!!! - 09/23/11 01:23 PM

Wow! I just don't know where to begin, except to say thank you for the wonderful pictures of your beautiful work.

So many good ideas there. I absolutely love how you have the flat panel behind a retractable screen. Such an elegant and flexible solution.

Do you enjoy it? smile

Honestly, I don't think you're going to get very much traction going from 5.1 to 7.1 in that room. The QS8's are already so diffuse that I'd be really surprised if you got any enhanced spatial detail from the extra speakers, especially since the current surrounds (future rears) are mounted so high.

That is a very beautiful installation. Thank you again for sharing it with us.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Finally installed my in-cabinet T-60's!!! - 09/23/11 05:29 PM

Gorgeous.
That wood trim is where we are taking the design of our main floor of the house.
The finished basement is already similar in style.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Finally installed my in-cabinet T-60's!!! - 09/23/11 05:40 PM

Great job, rp! very professional workmanship.
Posted by: fredk

Re: Finally installed my in-cabinet T-60's!!! - 09/23/11 06:32 PM

You know, there's room for a vp 160 in that there setup.

I've posted this before, but that woodwork is stunning.
Posted by: 1sweetspot

Re: Finally installed my in-cabinet T-60's!!! - 09/23/11 07:59 PM

That is awesome. Nice work! I have basement envy. Mine only looks good with the lights off and TV on.
Posted by: Hansang

Re: Finally installed my in-cabinet T-60's!!! - 09/23/11 07:59 PM

Really nice work! Just as an FYI, I heard there were some audio/video issues with many BD players and receivers (including Denon).
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Finally installed my in-cabinet T-60's!!! - 09/24/11 02:58 AM

Just an amazingly clean look, well done!!