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Westlake, California
Installation by:
Evolution Audio & Video
Agoura Hills, California
Glenn Campbell
Westlake Media Center
By Bryan Dailey

Space is a premium in Southern California, where real estate prices have sky rocketed to over $1,000 per square foot in some of the best neighborhoods in recent years. Having enough room to build a dedicated home theater room is absolutely a luxury even in the suburbs of La La Land. When this client came to Evolution Audio & Video in Agoura Hills, California to have a custom home theater installed, space was a premium in a narrow space that was added on to one side of the house.

Evolution Audio & Video was challenged to create a home theater system that sounded big and spacious within a room that is actually rather long and definitely narrow. You'll note in the photos in the image gallery that there is not much space on the sides of the screen. Ideally, you want to give your speakers, even in-walls, at least a few feet of space on the sides so that first order reflections do not occur almost instantaneously as the sound emits from the speaker.

Since square footage was at a premium, some rules of room acoustics just had to be bent. The homeowner's love of vintage action movie posters posed another acoustic challenge for the crew at Evolution. The highly reflective posters and parallel walls are buffered a little by the heavy carpet and pad in the room, as well as the rows of couches and chairs and some subtle sound diffusers in the back.

To house the electronics, a small cabinet that resembles a wet bar with a beautiful granite countertop is cut out of the side of the room. Two small white doors swing open to reveal rack-mounted gear that features very high-performance yet cost-effective AV equipment, ranging from the beefy Sunfire Ultimate Receiver to Sony’s HD-200 HDTV Satellite receiver. At first glance, you'd think that getting to this gear would be a nightmare, with the equipment tucked away in the cabinet. However, Evolution system designer Marc Elkin smartly included two Avrak AT30 slide-out, rotating equipment racks. This allows the installer to have extremely easy access to the back of all of the equipment for upgrades, troubleshooting and/or adding new pieces of gear.

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