Can Home Theater be "High End"?

I have an ongoing arguement with a friend of mine about this topic. What are your thoughts on this subject guys? Who considers home theater to be capable of "high end" sound and why? Or is it just all about high spl and super low rumble? Let's hear from ya!!
Sure can! Just listen to a setup consisting of the Meridian 861 Processor, Revel Speakers and Jeff Rowland MC-6 multi channel amp and you'll get more than a taste of high end sound. Granted this setup costs a small fortune but you didn't give any budget restrictions!
Of course you can have a highend home theater, but highend two channel (for music) costs much less for the same quality, and the music software is more plentiful by a margin of 100,000 to one. I'd love to have a Runco/Stewart Filmscreen/Faroujda setup, but I can't afford $150,000 for a home theater, and enjoy my $15,000 2 channel music system as much, or more, than I would the home theater. If you have little interest in music, and primary interest in movies, by all means invest in the best home theater you can afford.
well said guys!! I am winning this arguement!!
My Idea was to build a quality two channel system first: Jeff Rowland Consummate Pre Amp Jeff Rowland Model 7's Power Amps Duntech Sovereign 2000 Speakers Alpha Goertz AG2 speaker cables Magnan Signature Balanced interconnects Theta DVD CD transport Theta D/A Converter Now add for home theater: Hitachi 60" HDTV, Mono blocked center chanel (200 WATTS) Jeff Rowland Model 5 Stereo for rear channel power Duntech Prince's for rear channel speakers EAD Theater Master to control the 5 channels & last but not least a 16 x 24 building to put it all in. This is dicated 2 channel & an acceptable Home Theater. This my life long dream system. I am moving in the new building this month, I have all the electronics boxed & standing by, can't wait. Heaven can't be better than this,LOL mtineagle
As someone who custom designs and engineers hometheaters from an accoustical, visual, structural, design, and visual standpoint, I would add that, as in two channel audio, you can build a satisfying audiophile set up for HT, at all price/ambission levels, just like in 2 channel systems! I've ussually found that given the complexity of sytems usually ivolved in 5.1 channels vs 2 channel set ups, and considering the source material recorded (mixed) for movies, I'd say that the more refined experience is usally going to come out of the 2 channel system more readily, with a lot less $$$ output! The 2 channel recordings, as a whole, are simply more pure sounding than a movie mix to begin with, which would warrant a certain amount of inherrant compromise in sonics (to a point) for the movie source material! All things being on an equal playing field however, I think your going to find that It takes a lot more know how to squeeze a more refined sound experience out of a HT set up(at all price points) than with a dedicated 2 channel set up....There's simply a lot more variables to consider with HT! But, as with all equipement related considerations, there are certain tools (equipment choices) that one can zero in on, at any given budget, that will help maximize one's experience bassed on one's needs and expectations, given the medium of choice! If you'd like some suggestions, or even some quotes, I'd be happy to throw some your way! Best to ya...Alex
Besides, are there any movie soundtracks that sound as refined and natural as the best stereo discs? Not from what I've heard, and I've heard some of the so-called best on the so-called best HT setups. While it is possible to make an HT setup that's also high-end for music, the aesthetic is fundamentally different. In HT the visuals distract you. And the mix favors boomy bass and ear piercing highs. Ultimately, if you're an abs. sound kind of guy, movie sound just isn't optimized to do acoustic instruments right. Even the human voice sounds processed and electronic.
Yes, but practically speaking, no. The concept of high-end sound hinges on the faithful reproduction of the original recorded event. For film the equivalent recorded event is the sound stage mix. Assuming you have a well designed room, there's no reason why the sound stage mix cannot be accurately recreated by a home theatre system. The practical problem is the well designed room. 2 channel systems are difficult to set up. Setting up a 5 or 7 channel system is proportionally even more difficult. Then there's the bass. By their very nature home theatre is full range with high levels of bass. Acheiving smooth, deep and powerful bass is never easy. A dedicated, professionally designed room is a nearly a requirement for a high end home theatre. Practically speaking most home theatre systems are mid-fi.
Probably not, at least not in my 13x22 room, believe me I've tried. The speaker placements required for high end audio to yield the best in terms of imaging, depth, and focus are NOT compatible with home theater use. For HT they should be roughly the same distance as the center channel, if you move the center channel out from the wall the HT is messed up. You can use hi-end equipment both for HT and stereo, but the part of the equation everyone forgets about - the room itself - rarely allows both to work well together. It's always a compromise and true megabuck audiophiles never compromise their two channel playback. Sorry, if it was just a matter of equipment I'd be agreeing with you, but in terms of actual use... HomeTheater can't be high end (unless you compromise your HT setup to accomodate it).
Yes, try the new Calfornia Audio Labs ss-2500 sp and the rest of the system. Finally you have equipment that can do both. Is this stuff as good as the best 2 channel stuff, no. But it is better than a lot of stuff considered hi-end. I have auditioned almost all surround gear and this stuff is the best that I have heard.
IMHO the jury is still out on this. Virtually everyone I have spoken with agrees that dedicated two channel is generally far superior at a given price point until you start talking about a lot of money. Room acoustics and placement issues also reduce the chance that you will obtain audiophile quality sound, as do all the engineering and production tweaks inherent in movie soundtracks and effects. Having said that, it certainly is possible to get very satisfying HT sound and certainly improve dramatically the sound quality offered in consumer grade and entry level audiophile systems. I think that we need more technology to overcome some of these issues (e.g. inexpensive flat screen TV's so we can eliminate the problem of a giant TV or entertainment cabinet in between your from right and left channels) and more experience with HT - it is relatively new when compared to stereo gear. I recommend a setup where music is played through dedicated two channel gear with an A/V loop for the front right and left channels when watching movies. Still not perfect given placement issues, but it is a cost effective way or preserving high quality 2 channel sound and saving money on your HT setup.
For high end home theater sound, try Wilson Audio loudspeakers. These speakers are great for movie soundtracks and two channel audio recordings. My WHOW sub is awesome, deep, fast, moves lots of air, and it pounds like a big bass drum. The WHOW sub is the best of anything out there. The WATT 5.1 is very rich in low level detail and all other frequencies. I hear background sounds on movie soundtracks and two channel audio that are never heard on other speakers. The CUB is great too. I bought these speakers used and in perfect condition. New, they would have cost over $35,000.00!!!! My next goal is to buy a Jeffery Rowland amp, used or new. I bought a pair of Transparent Musicwave Super spk cables and they blew away my old pair of Audioquest Midnight 3 cable. If you know what to look for, you can buy some great used gear. It is a PLEASURE to kick back and listen to these speakers.
I will be running Avalon osisris speakers through a Theta casablanca II ( when it comes out). My sound is an SCD-1 with an electroglide PT Glide cord, off of a PS Audio 300. The main speakers are driven by Rowland 9Ti'S on a Richard Gray power station. The center will be the new JM lab Mini-Utopia CC and the surrounds will be the new JM labs in-wall Utopias. Cabling is Cardas neutral reference and the center amp is a bridged Classe 150. the rear amp is a classe 400. I bought most of the stuff over the Net either used or demo. The sound id FANTASTIC both for music and movies (Currently a Nakamichi CA-1, for sale cheap). The compromise is speaker placement. I'm sure that if I moved the Avalons out into the middle of the room, they will sound even better, but it ain't going to happen (WAF). David
Oh yeah. My subs will be either REL stentors or Aerial's. Got to wait on those for a bit. David
Thanks for all the input guys!!!
Deshapiro : Avalon Osisris W-O-W!!!
Deshapiro : Avalon Osisris W-O-W!!!