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Thread: JBL Synthesis - Room Design and Treatment

  1. #391
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium Dome View Post

    At the recent Harman International Northridge tour, we had the chance to listen to the Eargle Theater (Everest Synthesis® set up), and those of the group who've heard my set up were quite complimentary in comparison. It helps that I have a smaller room and a single row of seats. Since no one in the room that day is likely to afford a full Everest Synthesis® system, those who have not been over are now seeking to get an invite to make the comparison, as futile as that might be given the time lapsed between listening. One member commented at the tour that he'd never heard better balance in a system than at my place, and I'd have to agree that the Eargle was a little less impressive in that one regard.

    The Eargle uses the S4Ai surrounds as does mine, and they really are superb surround speakers. I think my diffuser choice and diffuser placement (with Chris Neumann's advice) are better executed, and it results in a more satisfying surround sound field. So I'm happy with that. My two S1S-EX subs are just as convincing in my space as the four S1S-Ex subs are in the Eargle. Of course, my fronts are a long way from being Everests, but not so far away that a comparison can't be made. They definitely fit in my room and budget better. I think I'd prefer Everests as a stereo pair rather than in HT duty.
    The Eargle Theater looks better in its fit and finish--no doubt about that. Yet, I believe the emphasis on aesthetics compromises the system just a bit. For example:
    • All the speakers are mounted behind fabric wall coverings, including Everest, S4Ai, and S1S-EX.
    • The Everests are placed in separate chambers across the front, well up from the floor and recessed slightly into the walls.
    • The S1S-EX subs are placed above the Everest speakers in the front, partiallly obscured due to the shared enclosure's opening not being large enough to allow the whole driver to be open to the room.
    • The room has a drop ceiling with standard 2' x 4' white ceiling tiles. Above the ceiling is a warehouse-style open space many times larger than the room.
    • The sidewalls appear to be completely or almost completely absorptive, making for a very quiet room; too quiet IMO, deadening the requisite diffusion for good surround and requiring the system to work hard to liven the room.

    I almost made the mistake of over deadening my room. I bought enough panels to virtually cover the side walls of the room. Fortunately, Chris straightened me out on that, so it does a really good job of creating an excellent surround sound and stereo sound sense of space far larger than the room.

    My far less ambitious-looking room is more coherent. We tested it several times for vibrations and eliminated them. We measured, measured, then measured again, to get the exact placement of the speakers and diffusers.

    In the Eargle room, I swear I could hear ceiling tile and ceiling grid noise (rattles, resonances, and vibrations) during the loudest moments. The HVAC system was audible. It kept reminding me I was in a room watching a movie. At home, I forget about the room and don't even think about it until time to turn the lights up.
    In.

  2. #392
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium Dome View Post
    In the Eargle room, I swear I could hear ceiling tile and ceiling grid noise (rattles, resonances, and vibrations) during the loudest moments. The HVAC system was audible. It kept reminding me I was in a room watching a movie. At home, I forget about the room and don't even think about it until time to turn the lights up.
    Dude... it's a demo room in the corner of a factory. I don't think anyone would claim it is among the finest theaters on the planet. It actually is pretty good considering the limitations... one of which would be it was originally designed for a system other than the Everests... they had to "fit" them in.

    Too dead? Don't know. The absolute finest theater experience I have ever heard was at the Stag Theater at Skywalker Ranch... 99.9% fabric covered and padded. Stunning sound, coherence, imaging, surround, tonal balance, Many consider it one of the top five theaters in the world... I wouldn't know, but it certainly wasn't hurt by being insanely controlled.

    As for my experience of the Eargle Theater... It was good, it was extremely loud, but not painful since the Everests can really dish it out. The bass however boomed and was entirely disappointing. I have been told that was "fixed" by the new calibration software. Of course with the drop ceiling dumping sound into that cavernous factory/office building... it is fighting a serious up hill battle.

    As for a comparison between your SAM theater and an Everest theater... I'd submit the difference is slight enough, you would need to have a pretty large room and a ton of money to burn, to seriously consider that "upgrade". Now as you point out, in a two channel or perhaps even in a multi-channel music system, I'd go for the Everests in a heartbeat... if I had the cash and the room.


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  3. #393
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium Dome View Post
    The Eargle Theater...
    Yeah, they did the best they could with what they had (one would hope). It was easy to walk away from, in other words, I certainly wasn't left wanting.

    Now Greg's personal Array system? That was a whole other ballgame. Extremely realistic in every sense. But then, the man has epic skills...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget View Post
    Dude... it's a demo room in the corner of a factory.
    Mostly empty factory now.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget View Post
    The bass however boomed and was entirely disappointing.
    Yep.

    Just buy the 1500 Array's and be happy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget View Post
    As for a comparison between your SAM theater and an Everest theater... I'd submit the difference is slight enough, you would need to have a pretty large room and a ton of money to burn, to seriously consider that "upgrade".
    Agreed.

  4. #394
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget
    Dude... it's a demo room in the corner of a factory. I don't think anyone would claim it is among the finest theaters on the planet. It actually is pretty good considering the limitations... one of which would be it was originally designed for a system other than the Everests... they had to "fit" them in.
    SuperDude... it's named after one of the pre-eminent sound guys of all time. It's showcasing the top-of-the-line system with the company's most expensive loudspeakers. It's in the same facility as the Harman International Reference room which has lesser components and a less-expensive aesthetic treatment but sounds exceptional. It has a traditional drywall ceiling as its basis. So I know they can do home theater rooms right.

    Since it's an HT, I wouldn't expect it to be world class, but I would expect it to spank my HT's ass.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget
    Too dead? Don't know. The absolute finest theater experience I have ever heard was at the Stag Theater at Skywalker Ranch... 99.9% fabric covered and padded. Stunning sound, coherence, imaging, surround, tonal balance, Many consider it one of the top five theaters in the world... I wouldn't know, but it certainly wasn't hurt by being insanely controlled.
    Not to pick nits, but we are talking about HT environments, not 300 seat theaters. The mixing stages I visited at Todd-A-O were full size movie theaters that were largely padded top to bottom and full of powerful reproduction equipment. There was definitely plenty of space for the sound waves to stretch out and lots of room volume to add spaciousness to the sound. The usual HT environment is significantly smaller and has different characteristics than such a large space.

    IMO and IME, in typical HT rooms, if the room is too quiet, or dead as you write, it seems small, tight, closed in. That's why I feel my room sounds bigger than it is. It's a quiet room, but not too quiet (dead).

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget
    As for my experience of the Eargle Theater... It was good, it was extremely loud, but not painful since the Everests can really dish it out. The bass however boomed and was entirely disappointing. I have been told that was "fixed" by the new calibration software. Of course with the drop ceiling dumping sound into that cavernous factory/office building... it is fighting a serious up hill battle.
    Widget[/QUOTE]

    Chris Neumann advised me to dump some of the bass from my HT into the adjacent room, so I changed plans to install a solid door and put in double drapes instead. Of course, I have a much smaller room, despite only having two S1S-EX units. OTOH, we knew the exact volume of the tightly enclosed room we were dumping into, and he could dial that in during calibration.

    You're right that it's quite a challenge when the character of the ceiling essentially adds such an uncontrolled and perhaps volume-unknown space.
    In.

  5. #395
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium Dome View Post
    SuperDude...
    Should I change my moniker here on the forum?

    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium Dome View Post
    ... it's named after one of the pre-eminent sound guys of all time.
    I would have thought the JBL blind speaker tester room would have taught you to trust your ears and not the label.

    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium Dome View Post
    It's showcasing the top-of-the-line system...
    ...and it is impressive, but I am sure if you asked any of them if it was the best implementation of that system they would honestly answer, "no".

    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium Dome View Post
    Since it's an HT, I wouldn't expect it to be world class, but I would expect it to spank my HT's ass.
    I would never say a Home Theater can't be world class... I've heard many that blow away most commercial Cinemas, and in some ways I expect it does blow away your SAM system, but as I said in my earlier post, what it potentially offers over a SAM system is fairly limited... especially when the cost differential is entered into the mix. Ultimately, just like we've discussed in so many music related threads the room is a significant component to any system. Harman spent a ton on the Eargle theater, but obviously not enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium Dome View Post
    IMO and IME, in typical HT rooms, if the room is too quiet, or dead as you write, it seems small, tight, closed in. That's why I feel my room sounds bigger than it is. It's a quiet room, but not too quiet (dead)..
    Please don't use "dead" instead of "quiet". While I understand why you would say it, every time I read "quiet" I think about isolation from extraneous noises and so it is confusing. In any event, I think a livelier room is certainly required for stereo and can be enjoyable for surround sound music, I disagree with your premise when it comes to HT or commercial Cinema. In both cases, the sound has been mixed on and for a playback system with total control. The ambience should all be generated by the speakers... not the room. But then even the industry leaders disagree on many fundamentals, and again there is no wrong answer when we are discussing our own personal systems.



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  6. #396
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget View Post
    ...and it is impressive, but I am sure if you asked any of them if it was the best implementation of that system they would honestly answer, "no".
    Maybe... There were a few "top guns" there when I was there.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget View Post
    Harman spent a ton on the Eargle theater, but obviously not enough.
    I'm sure alot of people walk away from there impressed. We're just not in that lot. :dont-know

    Anyway... this thread is turning into a bummer. Doug's Synthesis system is really quite nice and I personally couldn't give a rat's ass what JBL is doing with their sound rooms.

  7. #397
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4313B View Post
    Doug's Synthesis system is really quite nice.
    Five months of DIY labor, accompanied by did I start here?, some great, practical insight and calibration from Chris Neumann, and a super buying experience from Scott Fuelling of Phoenix Communications in Memphis, and I've got a room and a HT system that eclipses everything else I've heard at any price under $120k in any HT venue. You're right. It's really quite nice.

    My grandson is going back to Chicago tomorrow, and his final words on the issue are these: "This is my favorite room in the whole house. In the whole world. I wish I could come here every day."

    That's good enough for me. I wish he could come every day, too.
    In.

  8. #398
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium Dome View Post
    Five months of DIY labor... You're right. It's really quite nice.
    Ultimately that is what it's all about.

    Enjoy it!


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  9. #399
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium Dome View Post
    My grandson is going back to Chicago tomorrow, and his final words on the issue are these: "This is my favorite room in the whole house. In the whole world. I wish I could come here every day."

    That's good enough for me. I wish he could come every day, too.


    It's awesome to sit and enjoy these systems with family and friends.

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    Roger Dressler stops by

    This is the last of my posts on Roger Dressler's visit a couple of days ago. The others are

    http://www.audioheritage.org/vbullet...l=1#post300675

    and

    http://www.audioheritage.org/vbullet...l=1#post300704

    Thanks to Grumpy's efforts in taking pictures during the calibration of the Synthesis® One Array, some of the shots were posted here and there. When Roger Dressler saw the final curve, he said he was interested in hearing it, since he imagined that kind of curve would appeal to him. He was speaking to Sanjay Durani, an avid, respected, knowledgeable, and prolific poster over on AVS, who responded, "I know that guy." So on his recent trip to LA, Roger teamed up with Sanjay and they came over.

    After letting him perceptively improve my two main floor systems (K2 and Performance Series) and making him sit through an XPL200A active bi-amp demo, we finally got to the Two Jims Theatre. When I explained the first Jim was Jim Lansing, he nodded, and when I said the second Jim was Jim Fosgate, he smiled a big smile and said he'd have to tell Fosgate about it. He'd already noticed that I had a lot of Fosgate Audionics gear, so he even suggested I take some pictures of it and send it to Jim Fosgate to prove "it's still in use and greatly appreciated by a fan."

    In the Two Jims Theatre room itself, he was very curious about the S4Ai surrounds and the Saturn diffusers. He asked a number of questions, which I hope I answered satisfactorily, and I blathered on about the SDEC units, the dedicated 20 Amp circuits, the absorber placement, room measurements, etc. When I mentioned the deliberate omission of a door in the room, he immediately commented, "It's a bass trap!" referring to the function of the adjacent room as a dump for all the excess LF.

    We finally settled in and listened to a lot of music from the disc he brought. He commented on the SAM1HF horns, wondering why they were standing on end. It was even more interesting when I told him they were designed by GT, the same guy who designed the K2 horns on the main floor. "Really?"

    "Yep." (I should have had a better answer, huh?)

    Upon first hearing, just like I did, he had to remark, they're really not horn-like at all.

    "Yep." (Gotta work on my responses.)

    We played around on the AV2 a bit in some of the music modes to see what we could hear, but of course, I kept an iron fist on anything regarding cinema or film modes. That was already calibrated, thanks.

    We eventually put in Master and Commander for the obligatory movie demo. To say he was spellbound would be underselling his reaction. As a Dolby ProLogic, Dolby Digital, Dolby PLII, Dolby Digital EX, Dolby PLIIx, etc. veteran, he was checking every nuance of presentation, spatial cues, placement, etc. During the initial cannon salvos, I swear he jumped in his chair.

    When it was over, his praise for both the S4Ai and SAM1/SAM2 units was effusive, including comments about how effortless and powerful they were, how they seemed to have no practical limits to accept power and produce clean, undistorted sound, and how incredibly balanced they were, top to bottom and side to side. When I told him it was -10 dB below reference, he was even more impressed

    His respect for the S1S-EX was abundant. That's when he remarked it was not just a pants-flapper but a shirt-flapper as well. "I've never had my shirt flap before." He made some reference to tennis balls and air cannons or something when comparing the sound he gets at home. We then talked about the subs' placement, placement in general, and the Harman International approach to sound rooms, multisubs, etc.

    Finally I had a lot to say! Both he and Sanjay commented that most of the principles of Toole, Olive, etc. were at play in the room and working to great effect. Then he commented that his own HT had little impact at all compared to this. Of course, it wasn't just the equipment, good as it is; it's also the calibration curve.

    On that happy note, we exited the room and went to lunch, where we got to talk about Dolby, Jim Fosgate, 6Axis sound, Logic7, a little about Harman and Citation, Madrigal, Audax, etc. It was a pleasant way to pass the time with a couple of really intelligent guys and soak up their combined knowledge, experience, and expertise.

    One of the better things about the day was being able to show the strength and enduring quality of JBL's leading consumer products to someone who's lifelong profession has been sound. He's a very professional and down to earth man who's quite certain about what he likes, and I'm happy/relieved that he liked everything he heard. Beyond that, he helped me make two of my main systems much better than when he came, and left me the demo and test disc to boot.
    In.

  11. #401
    Senior Member Mike Ronesia's Avatar
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    The cure for almost anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea.

  12. #402
    Senior Member Valentin's Avatar
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    congrats

    synthesis systems are top noch

    you are one happy client

    or let me say an adult with very nice adult toys

  13. #403
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium Dome View Post
    His respect for the S1S-EX was abundant. That's when he remarked it was not just a pants-flapper but a shirt-flapper as well. "I've never had my shirt flap before." He made some reference to tennis balls and air cannons or something when comparing the sound he gets at home. We then talked about the subs' placement, placement in general, and the Harman International approach to sound rooms, multisubs, etc.
    Trousers and shirts don’t really flap. Its how they are attached to us if the fabric is stretched across tightly then chances are you’d never feel it. Maybe the in chest or in the arms legs (face and eyes) very rare! It would take a lot of vibration that is only felt not heard, done though tactile transducers.

    Some lows blow out some air that blows along the room and you feel it. You’d best bet is to watch a movie naked something like Naked Launch. No really naked because then you’re body want have any fabrics to give false readings.

    Real life gives trousers and shirt flapping at lesser db level because it is what it is natural, and that’s something a sound system can’t do.

    Wind effects in some films softer ones just don’t work, louder ones do like the desert scene in Lawrence of Arabia (1962) where one of the boys falls into quicksand and there’s a huge dust storm blowing.

    So how does it feel when naked? How does it feel standing up and sitting down in the seat? Only one JBL/THX cinema pressed on me, Wycombe6, from standing at the back with lows taping on my trouser legs, body as well.

    Must be nice having Roger, former Dolby coming over, that’s better than inviting Justin Bieber, coming over. I bet you’re not going to wash you’re hands for month now.

  14. #404
    Obviously... not a golfer grumpy's Avatar
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    Think I'll use some Purell on my eyes now.
    It's uh... uh... it's down there somewhere, let me take another look...

  15. #405
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    Quote Originally Posted by grumpy View Post
    Think I'll use some Purell on my eyes now.

    Oh, ouch god god man don't do that!

    My eyes have only vibrated once to some low sub bass on Brainstorm (1983) one of the scenes where it has that nightmare sequence the lows vibrated though the wooden floor and next I know my eyes going blurry for a few seconds due to the about of vibration SPL db.

    I’d say the frequency was somewhere between the 20Hz to 80Hz range thou I think the film is limited to 25 or 30Hz on the Dolby mix.

    More recently travelling on the yellow busses once a fortnight for the shopping I noticed one bus to be uncomfortable for the 20 minute trip. It was reverberating badly enough that my vision blurred I can see everything flicking when the bus stopped at bus stops. Once moving the frequency changed. Plus it was too damn loud on the ears.

    I don’t forget how it felt if I go to decent enough cinema with nicely EQ JBL with THX. (I still can remember that pinching low end) from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) in my stomach at the Empire, 21 years ago.

    Thou there could be several reasons for that? One the system was so awesomely EQ turned and that way I was sat in the rocker 4 or 5 row from the front centre/line. It could be the tightness in the trousers around my waste? I didn’t have belt buckle sticking into me. Oh no!

    I had light clothing on my coat was laying on the floor beside me.

    So that low end I felt was from one of the LCR fronts not the surrounds as I have played the scene and there isn’t enough low end on the surrounds during the scene where Indy pours the Holy Grail water onto his, dads wound.

    There’s no subwoofer track playing at that time so one of the LCR is putting out a good pure sonic feel. It was covered by score only so one or two frequencies in the musical score will pinch you in the stomach?

    It was then I knew JBL was the Holy Grail of sound or least those JBL 4675-A ware the dogs bollocks! That's what got me hooked on JBL one film in one special one of kind cinema. Now then!

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