Phase Technology dARTS Solves Acoustical Challenges in OSU-Themed Room

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When North Carolina system integrator Bill Eaton was asked to set up a custom home entertainment room for OSU fan Mike Radcliff, he was faced with some big challenges in making the audio sound its best. One wall had a lot of glass; another side of the room was open to another room. Eaton turned to Phase Technology and their Digital Audio Reference Theater System , or dARTS.

When North Carolina system integrator Bill Eaton was asked to set up a custom home entertainment room for OSU fan Mike Radcliff, he was faced with some big challenges in making the audio sound its best. One wall had a lot of glass; another side of the room was open to another room. Eaton turned to Phase Technology and their Digital Audio Reference Theater System, or dARTS.

Mike Radcliff is a big Ohio State fan. He is a graduate of Ohio State. He, his wife and four sons were all born in Ohio. They are, as Mike says, “Buckeyes from birth.” But it is tough for him to get a high quality fix of Buckeye sports regularly since he now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.

He had a big screen TV but Mike thought that a high quality entertainment room in his home could feed his sports need. Through some friends he learned about Home Innovations in nearby Mooresville and owner/designer Bill Eaton.

The room Mike wanted to use presented some challenges, mostly in the acoustic realm. One wall contained a lot of glass. Another was open to an adjacent room. The seating was a large U shaped sectional sofa with another sofa behind that on risers. It provides comfortable seating for 13 people. With a new design the whole experience should make it feel as much as possible like being at the events.

How do you provide a good sound experience for such a large group? Bill’s go-to solution for 90 per cent of his installations is Phase Technology. The dARTS system in particular is extremely flexible and Bill says it is the best “unknown” speaker system there is. “It blows away everything in its price range and even outperforms many much more expensive systems,” says Bill.

The Digital Audio Reference Theater System (dARTS) system is available in the 525 series for small to medium rooms and the 650 series for larger rooms. Speakers are available in the FS free standing style, IW in wall style, and CB custom built style.

But the key to the flexibility is the dARTS DP-2000 which is a DSP controlled, digitally amplified, 16 channel, 250 watt per channel amplifier. It allows custom control of crossover points, EQ on each channel, and bi- or tri-amplified power to each speaker driver element. At the factory each system is placed in an anechoic chamber and all speaker elements are adjusted to within ½ dB of Phase Tech’s reference response curve. The only “unknown” then is the sonic performance of the installation room.

The acoustic performance of the room is treated with the Audyssey MultiEQ XT adjustment system. The installer connects a laptop with Audyssey software to the DP-2000 along with a calibrated microphone. The microphone is placed at various listening positions and through mathematical clustering algorithms the software calculates and sets equalization, an 80 Hz crossover point for the sub, time delays, and relative levels for all the channels. dARTS is the most precisely aligned system on the market as it ships to the customer.

Phase Tech president Ken Hecht says that the idea for dARTS started almost 20 years ago as he realized a digitally controlled system would provide the easiest way to customize an installation. At that time the hardware available was just not fast or powerful enough and the long delay times to get audio through a DSP were not tolerable. About 2004 the hardware caught up with the idea and dARTS was born. Ken says that the PC-supported Audyssey system was chosen because it is the highest performance and most flexible application of MultEQ available. Having a trained installer handle the adjustment process assures the quality of the final result.

In customizing the installation, Bill recognized Mike’s great interest in Ohio State and proposed a false wall behind the video displays. The wall is covered with acoustic fabric and a block letter “O” more than 9 feet tall, all in custom colors to match the official Ohio State colors. All the equipment and speakers (except surrounds) are located behind this fabric wall. The dARTS speakers here are Custom Box series which are designed to be located behind such fabric dividers. The only visible speakers are the On-wall surrounds in the rear of the room.

Bill replaced the original 70 inch rear projection TV with a pair of 63 inch LG plasma screens in the upper left and right corners of the viewing area. Between them is a 92 inch SnapAV AcoustiWeave screen to handle the JVC DLA-RS20 front projector.

All this video and audio is controlled from a single Control4 touchscreen table top remote control. Mike can quickly switch any display as needed and change the audio to focus on the desired video.

On game days Mike’s entertainment center is the gathering place for Buckeyes from throughout the area and for other sports fan friends. With the multiple displays it is easy to track all the top games. If there are fewer games some may end up playing a video game on one display while games proceed on the others. Or a movie may be on the main screen with less critical sports on the plasma displays.

Mike says the Phase Tech dARTS system is “Terrific, the best I have ever heard. And I have purchased a lot of high end speaker systems over the years. The ‘In the action’ audio experience is top of the list.”

Using dARTS smoothed out some acoustic bumps in the installation road. For Bill Eaton and Home Innovations, dARTS is a system he can rely on to provide a first rate experience for his customers. Mike Radcliff heard about Bill’s great work from a friend and now the friend-tell-a-friend process continues, thanks in part to Phase Technology dARTS.

About MSE Audio Group
The MSE Audio Group companies represent the pinnacle of loudspeaker technology in the premium home theater, distributed audio and commercial sound markets. Companies include Induction Dynamics (http://www.inductiondynamics.com), in Overland Park KS; SolidDrive (http://www.soliddrive.com), a division of Induction Dynamics; Phase Technology (http://www.phasetech.com), in Jacksonville FL; and SoundTube Entertainment (http://www.soundtube.com), in Park City UT.

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ELAINE JONES
Elaine Jones Associates Public Relations
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