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About Hilton

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  1. Thanks Mike. It was definitely a worthwhile project. The sound stage is definitely a little better with the speaker in the wall and the screen mounted against the wall compared to when I had all LCR speakers behind the screen and the screen about 70cm out from the wall. Even though the screen is acoustically transparent, it still caused some sound reflections when the speakers were all behind it with the screen out from the wall. The sound stage is miles better though than having the speaker under the screen. The sound is very well blended with the main L/R and a quick whitenoise test on my iphone with sigscope pro showed absolutely no humps or dips on the centre speaker. I'd say it's very well matched as is and may not need any infinite baffle tuning. I will do so more thorough measurements and testing over the weekend and see what REW says about it. I love it!!!
  2. In-wall speaker back together! by Hilton, on Flickr In-wall speaker back together! by Hilton, on Flickr
  3. I listened to a few bits of music videos and movies for a last position check. (not that there's much I could do at this stage anyway) All centre audio is positioned perfectly! Now to put the screen up and finish tidying up till tomorrow's painting job. In-wall speaker position check by Hilton, on Flickr In-wall speaker position check by Hilton, on Flickr
  4. And.... it sounds great! I'll do some measurements once I've patched and painted and put the system all back together. The hard work is done. My wife's still away up the coast, but she did see the mess before we went away and said it had to be done before she gets back Saturday.
  5. Finito! (and yes there's insulation in behind the tweeter to stop reflections in the cavity) In-wall speaker finished! by Hilton, on Flickr In-wall speaker finished! by Hilton, on Flickr Lines up! In-wall speaker finished! by Hilton, on Flickr
  6. Yes that's just holding the 2.40:1 masking panels in place. I'm making some new ones that magnetically attach. Ooops realised you meant the bass reflex port. Yes it's proper plumbing fittings and it will be glued once I get the length right as I might need to shorten or lengthen it to tune the cabinet. ------------ I'm having a break and updating with some more pics before I finish off later this evening. I just have to cut the speaker post hole and mount the crossover and glue it all together and it's done. Here's the router circle jig I made up In-wall speaker build2 by Hilton, on Flickr In-wall speaker build2 by Hilton, on Flickr Almost done! In-wall speaker build2 by Hilton, on Flickr In-wall speaker build2 by Hilton, on Flickr It turns out the beam above where you can see the cuts in the plaster was a structural beam, so I had to go down the other way. No problem though it's still at just above ear height when sitting and about a third up from the bottom of the screen. I'll just patch the plaster up and I'll be painting the wall anyway. In-wall speaker build2 by Hilton, on Flickr A bit more spandex speaker cloth stapled to the back to hide the hole for the tweeter. In-wall speaker build2 by Hilton, on Flickr In-wall speaker build2 by Hilton, on Flickr Now off to finish after this coffee!!
  7. A small update before I get stuck into finishing it tomorrow. Bass Reflex Port In-wall speaker build by Hilton, on Flickr The front baffle (note cutout section above main drivers) In-wall speaker build by Hilton, on Flickr Speakers recessed to get the right time alignment. (in reference to the tweeter) In-wall speaker build by Hilton, on Flickr As good as it gets for today. In-wall speaker build by Hilton, on Flickr
  8. Yeah thanks I'm enjoying the process, hopefully it will sound good. Fortunately I don't have to worry about WAF as she's allowed me full reign in my man cave. I use JRiver Mediacenter 23 so I have DSP at my finger tips. I ran a bunch of room correction filters in the DSP before which will have to be redone now using REW. I tried to get used to sound coming from under the screen for a few days after I mounted the screen to the wall, but after you've had perfect screen dialogue imaging with speakers behind the screen, you can't go back! I might be tempted to do left and right but that's a much bigger project than a simple centre speaker 2 way system. I also have the same identical floor standing speakers for my other side and rear surround channels for my 7.2 setup so I don't want to change the sound signature too much. But when I start doing Atmos maybe it will be time to change anyway and put the other surround channels to use in other rooms in the house.
  9. The baffle is made of 6mm MDF and is 30mm wider on each side to mount to the timber frame in the wall. The speakers will mount directly to the box and the internal bracing. They are also recessed another 4mm deeper into the speaker box to match the original time alignment of the factory baffle. Because the tweeter is to be mounted another 22mm back from the front of the baffle, I have to cutout the baffle the full width of the speaker box in front of the tweeter, and I've given 30mm clearance above and below the tweeter. I didn't get time to take pictures today but when I get back home Thursday I'll finish and take some pics before final assembly. It will make more sense then! It's coming together nicely, but I had a 2hr interruption to make a circle jig for my router as the Dremel circle jig melted!
  10. Hi I used to have all my speakers behind my acoustically transparent screen but today I started a project to convert my existing Sony SS-CNX70ED centre speaker to an in-wall speaker to go behind my spandex acoustically transparent projection screen. (the left/right will just come out to the side as per Pic.) In-wall speaker conversion by Hilton, on Flickr The seating distance was a little too tight for my liking so I wanted to move the screen back an extra 50cm (20") to give me just over 3M (10 Feet) seating distance for the 120" screen. I figured it will match my main Sony SS-X70ED Speakers better than buying an aftermarket in-wall speaker. In-wall speaker conversion by Hilton, on Flickr In-wall speaker conversion by Hilton, on Flickr I've been careful to match the original internal speaker enclosure volume as closely as possible with a custom performance enclosure for the wall that just happens to fit between the wall beams at exactly the right size and position I needed. I'm also using a similar internal brace structure as the original enclosure and putting a 90deg bend in for the bass reflex port with a piece of 50mm PVC. Fortunately 50mm PVC pipe happens to match the internal diameter of the original port. This should replicate as closely as possible the original enclosure performance, though I expect quite a different sound with something like an extra 6db of boundary gain in the bass region. In-wall speaker conversion by Hilton, on Flickr I've also kept the original speaker alignment and geometry to keep the time and phase alignment of the original design. In-wall speaker conversion by Hilton, on Flickr Testing fitting in the wall before I assemble it. I just have to turn the power off tomorrow to remove the power distribution box I found in the wall. It wasn't connected to anything but it is live. Lucky my stud finder alerted me to it's presence! Tomorrow I'll finish it and let you know how well it works! In-wall speaker conversion by Hilton, on Flickr
  11. Well.... After fiddling with chromecast and wireless hotspots with all the different media player and server solutions... I've come back to JRiver Media Center 23 for Pi running on my battery Powered Pi with 1TB SSD. There were a number of different reliability problems across all the moving parts, mostly related to Hotspot reliability/bandwidth WD wireless HDD wifi, and Neutron player idiosyncrasies. It had complexity and reliability that's just not right for use in the car. I've finished testing my newly upgraded Pi that I upgraded from Wheezy to Jessie Stretch and from MC21 to MC23 and configured a new faster wifi dongle. I was worried all my customisations for the Pi would have to be redone from scratch with such a big software upgrade. Thankfully my power management and custom multi function control buttons and LEDS on the Pi survived without touching a line of code! For the car JRiver Media Centre 23 on the Pi w/ 1TB SSD - tethered via wifi to > 10" Tablet in hotspot mode casting JRemote to > Chromecast with optical output to > E5 DAC optical in and line out > Line in on the car. (still using Spotify etc on the tablet as well) Headphone listening around the house MC23 Home Server wifi > JRemote on the tablet or iphone > Sony MDR-1ADAC headphones Portable speaker around the house MC23 Home Server wifi > JRemote on the tablet or iphone > Sony SRS-X7 speaker (DLNA end point) I'm the best of the tweakers and fiddlers, but even I have my limited patience when it doesnt work reliably and easily. Part 1 - It's a simpler life Bench testing.... again Updated Video demo https://youtu.be/j8I1JORY-5o Part 2 - and it works! I had success with the new edimax wifi dongle on the Pi in the car. I was able to use the chromecast audio with no dropouts or buffering while driving around for a few errands today! It looks like the biggest weak point of the old setup was the wifi capability of the WD wireless Hard Drive and the old Pi Dlink wifi dongle. Skipping tracks is so fast now it's instantaneous, even with large 5000kbps 24bit/192k FLAC files. (much faster than the WD wireless HDD could stream) I'll be ordering a Pi car power supply and wiring it into the ignition system so it will automatically switch off with a delayed controlled shutdown and auto power-on restart. After I've put the Pi car power supply in, the whole system will be automated and just power on and tether automatically. The only manual step will be to turn casting on which I have a shortcut App for. Updated video of it in the car > https://youtu.be/SySw-K34gYs PS. I've asked the Devs of Automate Car dashboard to add (full) JRemote support. Oh and yes I can watch Netflix and Foxtel too. (via bluetooth audio to the E5 DAC that also has BT to avoid the casting delay) ;p
  12. Here's an update on the final solution. Wireless Hi-res Audio! by Hilton, on Flickr I've put the ultimate portable wireless 2TB Hi-res solution together. It consists of: Hardware Creative Labs Sound Blaster E5 DAC/Headphone AMP Chromecast Audio Sony MDR1ADAC Headphones + HD600 Headphones (depending on the mood) Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Plus LTE 10" Android tablet iPhone X 2TB Western Digital My Passport Pro Shutter Bluetooth Remote Software Android 6.0.1 (after trying a custom Lineage 7.1.2 ROM I went back to stock rooted with Magisk/TWRP) Neutron Music Player / JRemote / Spotify / Tidal (all on Android and IOS) Automate as my Android front end launcher (using this in the car and as a general front end instead of native interface) JRiver Media Centre 23 to curate my library on my main server and export music and playlists to the 2TB drive (via USB3) JRiver MC23 transcodes my SACD rips to Hi-res FLAC as well as exporting my MP3s, FLAC and other file formats It also works in the car. (via line out from DAC) < This was the main motivation for this solution if your wondering why I bothered with a Chromecast audio. After playing around with custom battery powered Raspberry Pi's and all other sorts of solutions I've finally come up with something that works reliably and sounds amazing. The chrome cast is powered by the E5 DAC and connected via optical out into the optical input on the DAC @ upto 192k/24bit chromecast 192 by Hilton, on Flickr Wireless Hi-res Audio! by Hilton, on Flickr Wireless Hi-res Audio! by Hilton, on Flickr The tablet is setup as a wifi hotspot and the chromecast audio and WD 2TB Wireless Pro both tether to the tablet. Wireless Hi-res Audio! by Hilton, on Flickr Neutron player is connecting via SMB share to the 2TB wireless hard disk and scans the music in once (it does take a while the first time but it only rescans when I tell it to, and then it only updates, it doesn't rescan the whole library in) Other solutions I've tried for carrying around a large collection are always slow and clunky and portable DLNA type servers want to often rescan after being powered off. By using SMB and having Neutron keep it's own database library of whats on the wireless disk, I don't have to fiddle with Twonky DLNA on the wireless disk. I just turn on and go. (especially important in the car) I also use JRiver JRemote on the tablet and stream directly from my home server. I can also use my Sony MDR1ADAC headphones directly plugged into my iPhone X when I want something a little more portable. I just wireless tether the 2TB WD disk to the iPhone instead of using the tablet and E5 DAC, and instead use the DAC built into the headphones and use Neutron/JRemote for iPhone for DSD over PCM DoPE if I really want! I'm so happy with the solution and flexibility of it. I got sick of bluetooth quality in the car and when pottering around the house, so the tablet replaces my headunit when Im in the car and I carry the E5DAC/Chromecast in my pocket around the house using wifi and use the Bluetooth remote to skip tracks/volume/pause when im chillin out without having to fiddle with a phone or tablet. (great for that late night session in bed!) This is a video of how it works in the car (was using Car Launcher AG front end and have now switched to Automate instead) https://youtu.be/kpqZ1yGJznI
  13. PS. I'm leaning towards putting one of these in to see what it's like. At only $300 it's worth the punt, and if it works well enough, I'll put a custom Amp/speaker setup behind it. I can run any custom front end launcher I want on it like I do on the tablet because it's Android based. https://www.eonon.com/Android-Car-GPS/Vehicle-Specific-GPS/VolkswagenVW-Android-60-DAB-2GB-RAM-Octa-Core-8-Inch-Touch-Screen-Car-Stereo-DVD-Player-GPS-Navigation-System.html?Catype=1
  14. I'm not sure how your system works, but you could run an optical to the processor from a chromecast audio and use the phone to cast to the chromecast pluged into the processor, but use the headunit to control the phone via Android Auto. Not sure if that would work though. You'd still need to setup a hotpot for the chromecast. You may find that casting tidal via Android Auto from the phone is just as good without all the hassle. So all the above might be completely un-necessary - depending on what the headunit is like with maintaining the quality of the stream from tidal.
  15. Hi and thanks - It's a work in progress but it's coming together. You can use Android Auto if your factory unit supports it, and yes that would probably be the better solution in that instance. Alas, my head unit does not support it. For somewhere between $1k to $2k I could upgrade the headunit to a later version (aftermarket or factory) which does support Android Auto, but unfortunately that's a lot of money to pay when Android Auto or Apple Car Play don't support many applications. Im using what I have for little additional outlay ($35 for Chromecast Audio and $50 for OBD2 BT interface). My solution has none of the limitations imposed by Android Auto (limited applications supported) The next stage of modifications may lead me to fully replacing the head unit with an integrated tablet with discrete pre-amps and amplifiers hidden away. But I'll have to decide if it's worth the effort and cost. Hi thanks for the comments - the R36 is noiseyish from the outside when you lean in to it, but actually very refined and quiet inside. In fact, many car enthusiasts (my self included) believe they made the R36 too quiet. It's nothing like an R32 or newer Golf R as far as internal noise and NVH is considered. As far as factory sound systems go, the VW RNS510 and Dynaudio systems are very good sounding systems. They have larger than average speakers that are well placed and good clean powerful amps driving them. Someone actually thought about the design of the system as opposed to just throwing it in as a last minute thought like many of the manufacturers do. For comparison, In my previous Audi S4 I put a very expensive fully custom audiocontrol 3 way active crossover and 13 band parametric equalizer with 12" sub mounted in the spare tire wheel well in the boot, along with 9 channels of kicker amplification. I can tell you the factory R36 headunit wasnt as powerful or quite as refined as that system, but it does sound well above average for a factory system. I definitely do want to do something with the amp and speakers at some point though, but it's not as easy in the newer cars because of all the headunit and factory AMP integration with the Canbus these days. Something on my wish list for sure though that I might get to next year. I'm clearly not your average bloke when it comes to sound and I can pick mp3 against lossless reliably - not 100% by any stretch, but I know what to listen for in the timbre of cymbals, piano and strings and female vocals to hear the difference pretty reliably. Also when your listening at 80 to 90db it becomes far more obvious as any distortion or imperfections get amplified to be more obvious and the music quickly gets tiring and fatiguing compared to a nice clean system. The biggest change is actually going from Bluetooth to chromecast, I've just been using bluetooth for so long in the car because of the convenience, but it really does not sound that great. Bluetooth isn't terrible, but it really isn't great either, even compared with playing high quality MP3 direct off the head unit. Many have just become accustomed to the mediocrity of MP3 and bluetooth, particularly in the car - myself included. I was shocked at how much better the music sounded via chromecast, so I'm committed to staying with lossless files and transmission now. I have a very good custom system at home built around JRiver Media Centre with custom crossovers and room correction so I have the incentive to pursue better quality in the car now it's more easily achievable. Thanks - yes it is - and I will!