Over all the years setting up hi fi systems, I have come up with a path to a world class listening room. These are things Ive learned from others as well as myself, and if you follow these steps you can be sure of a true world class listening rig and room.
1. Dedicated room. Can be large or small but it must be dedicated to listening and/or watching movies. In other words full reign of the aesthetic meaning you can place things wherever you want. if you have several to chose from pick one that is not perfectly square. Rectangular is much better. Other good features are little to no windows, on a slab rather than second floor, high ceilings or pitched ceiling.
2. Seperate AC power panel and 2 isolated grounds. If you can, run an AC feed directly from the meter box on the side of the house (perhaps 60A) and put a dedicated breaker panel near (best) or in the listening room. From this breaker panel, run a safety ground outside to the earth where you drive 2 solid copper rods 8 to 10 feet in the ground 8 feet apart These 2 grounds are the safety ground for the one or two duplex receptacles that are behind the audio rack. Wire these direct to ground and you will also wire the panel box direct to ground. You can create a "star point" that these three connect to along with the wires from the 2 rods outside. Equal length ground runs are best.
Sink the additional 2 grounds away from the others, and run these inside to a ground buss bar which is a copper block with a bunch of sockets for wires to terminate. These grounds will go to the signal ground of each piece. The easiest way is to use an RCA plug and connect it at the outer ring, with nothing at the pin. then run a wire to the ground bus bar.
This step effectively isolates your equipment from the noisy house AC panel where all the appliances and dimmer switches and other noise polluting things are, it also gives you a nice earth ground for signal, and keeps it away from Chassis or Safety ground. Go from the one or two receptacles to an Audio Grade Power strip or distributor, and then to the components.
3. Acoustically balance your listening room. This step is one of the biggest things you can do towards good sound. Even equipment type is less effective at creating good sonics. So spend the money and have the room measured, and get it to +/- 3db from 20 to 20KHz or less. This will cost $5 to $10K, perhaps more and even if you can partially treat for $1500 its much much better than nothing. The room is the single biggest thief of good sonics.
4. Balance your loudspeaker response. God knows why, but I have learned that speakers can come from the factory completely colored one way or another. I do not mean the voicing, I mean all over the place. If you do not do this step, you may possibly be trying to tune for a bad loudspeaker response curve. I did this for years before Ryan Scott of Vapor Audio, showed me how out of whack my Magnepans were from the factory. This takes a microphone and software and isolating the speaker from the room with absorbers. What you want is +/- 1db from flat 20 to 20Khz. If they are within this spec or close, you're good to go. If you find the speaker is say down 5 to 7 db all across the midrange for example, or over somewhere else, or just really bumpy, then the crossover must be redesigned to optimize the loudspeaker. This is not complicated and we can provide the design ans well as the crossover.
5. Use a rack made for audio components and vibration isolate them..
6. Use a listening chair that does not block the back of your head, and does not have reflective surfaces near your head
7. Get the cables up off the ground and routed properly.
8. Couple the speakers to the floor
Now your room and rig are ready