An ideal home would have four functionally different audio systems:
• A dedicated projection based home theatre.
• A high-performance two-channel system for pure music listening.
• A discrete distributed multi-room audio system.
• A sheer fun high volume entertainment system.
Typically space and budget exclude most of us from such a necessary indulgence. With this in mind, the full functionality of this featured system is remarkable.
• Home theatre in an open space.
• Front speakers provide a convincing wide musical sound stage.
• The amplifier which drives the home theatre also powers and controls music in the kitchen and patio independently.
• Klipsch speakers are highly efficient so can play a respectable volume
For a projection-based home theatre system, a dedicated, enclosed, windowless room, which completely inhibits any light from entering it, is always first prize, but often neither practical nor desirable. A recent home remodel was an opportunity for the client’s home office to also become the family’s home theatre. Our first suggestion of bricking up windows was politely declined. Solution – Blinds and a motorised screen convert the room into a home theatre with the room’s natural light maintained for office work. A fantastic multi-functional space.
The benefits of dealing with Audio Excellence are perfectly showcased by this cinema. Our client’s initial concept for his new theatre was themed with formal cinema seating. Over months of consultation and revisions with us, the project evolved into a theatre with no distractions, colour scheme to optimise picture quality, practical and comfortable seating, and acoustic treatment to optimise the movie’s soundtrack. The result is a highly engaging and completely immersive experience.
This spectacularly immersive 9.4.5 home theatre system by Audio Excellence features products from GoldenEar Technology, Emotiva Audio, Marantz, SVS, IsoTek Systems, and Supra Cables. Five powered subs, four overhead speakers, four side and two back speakers in a large room translates to a super realistic 360 degree sound field, solid impactful bass, scale, and a very happy client.
This depends on how the system is going to be used and what one’s performance expectations are. A dedicated two-channel stereo system will always deliver a more musically satisfying performance and a home theatre will provide a more dramatic and engaging cinema experience.
Ideally one would have two separate systems; in practice, most of our clients require a system that has a level of competence for both music and movies.
The real issue lies with the very different requirements that music and movies have. Movie soundtracks have a very wide dynamic range, dialogue and on-screen effects are mixed to play on a centre channel speaker, surround effects for ambience as well as directional steering, and have a dedicated bass channel. Music recordings are almost always mixed to play in two-channel stereo, are typically dynamically compressed and truly deep bass effects are rare.
In a music system, correct pitch and timbre are absolutely critical for instruments to sound realistic. This is less important in a theatre where speakers which can handle dynamics are necessary. In a theatre, we are also less critical of audio due to our attention often being focused on the screen. Audio in a theatre has a supportive role whereas audio in a stereo system needs to excel on its own.
For a home theatre, a sub woofer’s function is to supply room-shaking effects and for music one requires a tuneful accurate bass that integrates seamlessly with one’s speakers. If the above seems confusing, then the best advice is to come through to our showroom where we can discuss and clarify your requirements and demonstrate different options for you.
Over the years we have had many clients who initially approached us for a theatre but eventually purchased a stereo system and vice versa. Our objective is to supply you with the most balanced and appropriate system.
High-quality stereo music playback and home theatre are two very different experiences. Where budget and space allow, we recommend having both a dedicated cinema and a pure stereo listening music room. In this case, the client insisted on having both in the same space.
At the centre of this very special system is a pair of Magico S7s, a speaker which can deliver true high-end music and with three 10inch woofers can deal with the dynamics of a movie soundtrack. These are driven by 400W Constellation monoblock amplifiers. Two JL Audio subwoofers are in place, one for the LFE of a movie soundtrack and the other to supplement the two front speakers. Four overhead speakers, four surround speakers, laser projection and acoustic treatment round things off. An absolute system which is a true treat to experience.
Creating good sound in open-plan environments can be challenging. Here a stunning pair of KEF R series floor-standing speakers fit perfectly into a client’s home with equipment and bass reinforcement concealed.
This theatre proves that even a small space can accommodate an immersive cinema experience. A 2.6m wide projection screen with 11 speakers (3 front, 4 rear, 4 overhead, 1 subwoofer) would seem overwhelming, but with accurate calibration, the system performs with a sense of being in a much bigger space. There really are no excuses for not having great sound in one’s home.
Recent Audio Excellence home theatre installation of B&W CM series speakers, Yamaha AV processor, 5 x 200W Rotel power amplifier, JL audio subwoofer, Isotek power conditioner, and Supra cables.
Client is thrilled with the results and couldn’t stop grinning during his favourite movie! (Clapton also rocked!)
Next stop: Bigger picture to make it a true home theatre. Watch this space