If you could build your dream listening room to your exact specifications,
what would you create, and what would you put in it?
We can tell you what we'd do
- or rather what we did. As part
of the move to our new 18,000-
square-feet Audiophile Fort Knox,
we decided to create two state-of-the-
art Acoustic Sounds showrooms
- a place where we can both demo
audio equipment and recordings
for customers, and evaluate them
for ourselves. No expense was
spared in the construction of these
rooms or in the selection of gear
that would outfit them.
Acoustic Sounds owner Chad Kassem decided
early in the process that the crown jewel of
these rooms would be the Avalon Sentinel
loudspeakers. We had just struck a deal to
begin sale of a select part of the Avalon line,
and what better way to get this relationship
off the ground but to feature Avalon's
flagship product in our flagship room?
More importantly, the Sentinels sound so
unbelievably incredible, and we'd decided
at the very beginning that our listening
rooms were going to feature the absolute
best. So, Acoustic Sounds in-house carpenter
Charles Littell got on the phone with Avalon
owner Neil Patel, and the two mapped-out
the perfect specifications to make the
Sentinels sing their sweetest.
Both rooms (they are adjoined by
a connecting door) are 33-feet
long by 18-feet wide with 10-foot
The exterior walls are made of
eight-inch split-face block filled
with Foamcore. Then there's three
inches of airspace before a 2x4-
structured wall filled with R-13
insulation. Next is 12 inches of
airspace, followed by a second
2x4-structured wall with more
insulation. The whole thing is
finished in one-inch sheetrock.
You'd never know by listening
that on the other side of the rooms'
east wall is Salina, Kansas' busiest
street. The rooms are dead quiet.
The ceilings are one-inch sheetrock
with R-13 insulation. The floors are
solid concrete with a half-inch
dense pad and three-quarter-inch thick
carpet. Both rooms are
trimmed with oak crown molding.
As for juice, we've got plenty. Every
110-volt, hospital-grade duplex
outlet is isolated on its own 20-amp
single-ground circuit. The high
voltage supply continues in our
Reference Room with a couple of
220-volt, 20-amp circuits with
dedicated grounds for use with the
Richard Gray SubStation and/or
PowerHouse. The sound rooms'
breaker box is also isolated from
the rest of our building with a
commercial-grade transient voltage
suppression system. On the street
are brand new transformers
installed by our local power company just for
And best of all, every audiophile recording you could possibly hope to
hear is available in the next room.
So, we built the rooms to what we
figure are the perfect specifications.
The back room is our Reference
Room, where the system will
undergo minor tweaks and tradeouts
but mostly stay fixed. The
front room is our Evaluation Room.
This is where we're constantly
switching out gear of all kinds,
evaluating seemingly everything
under the sun.