HOME CINEMA ON AN EPIC SCALE

A recent blog from speaker maker Krix, reposted here with kind permission concerning this fantastic home cinema project created by Sydney HiFi Castle Hill.

Every now and then a home cinema project comes along that has few restrictions, a clean slate for the designer to create ‘movie magic’.

One such project came to fruition last year. Michael Bigley from Sydney HiFi Castle Hill explains how the company created an epic cinema retreat that offers the highest level of cinema performance within a modern family home.

It all started when the client approached Michael after reading about Krix. “The client was fantastic to work with – he was genuinely interested in the story of Krix and loved the fact it was engineered and made here in Australia. The commercial cinema history really resonated with him.”

The system specification was then created with the intention of exceeding the clients’ expectations. The immense size of the space was an important consideration, measuring in at 9.8m x 7.4m x 3.7m. The final specification meant the system could play incredibly loudly and cleanly in the room, with over 10dB of headroom available above reference levels.

Product choice

The Series X 3-way Cinematix were chosen for the main speakers, with two colossal Megacyclonix sitting between them. With sensitivities of 101dB and 106dB respectively, the front soundstage of speakers and subwoofers could drive immense volume levels in such a large room.

Michael explains, “It was then time to focus on the speaker layout and processing. We wanted to ensure every viewer was surrounded by what was happening on screen. Every seat needed the ‘Wow Factor’. We knew the Trinnov Altitude32 could not only offer incredible optimisation and configurability for the room, but it could also handle the crossover functionality for the bi-amped Cinematix, all within the one unit.”

A 9.4.6 system was drawn up to Trinnov specification, with front wide speakers bridging the gap between the front soundstage and side surrounds, adding another point of origin for the spatial cues of sounds throughout the room. With Dolby Atmos and DTS:X Pro functionality built into the processor, the system could draw out the full positional and dynamic detail from movie soundtracks.

Michael adds, “The front wides, surrounds and overheads were positioned at up to 5m distance from the ‘hero seat’, so we needed a surround speaker that could deliver clean and high-volume effects from those distances. The Megaphonix family of speakers were the obvious choice, each of them angled towards the main seat.”

So which projector and screen system would complete the experience? For that, Michael specified a 240in cinemascope screen with the Barco Balder, a natively scope 4K UHD projector. The 5.6m wide screen allowed the left and right Cinematix speakers to be spaced out to reach recommended angles while remaining behind the screen. The soundstage would feel expansive and wide, while sound to picture coherency remained intact.

For the room décor, three rows of modern, comfortable recliners were supplied by the client, and the install team were able to place acoustic treatment behind the curtains and overhead.

Michael explains, “We were stopped short of being able to paint the ceiling dark, but I can understand why. There’s a variety of complementary textures, colours and lights, and a dark ceiling would have felt a little too heavy in the room.”

What the biggest challenge of the project? As is often the case, it was the geographical distance. “The project was about 3 hours away,” says Michael, “so in the design and build stages I couldn’t just jump in the car and whip around to the site. It helped having such an enthusiastic and down-to-earth client. He had very high expectations and standards, and we were able to deliver on them. The family are taken to another world every time they enter the room, and that is what it is all about.”

Essential Kit List

Room Dimensions

9.8m deep x 7.4m wide x 3.7m height

Speakers
3 x Krix Cinematix
8 x Krix Megaphonix Flat
4 x Krix Megaphonix
2 x Krix Megacyclonix subwoofers
2 x Triad silver 12in in ceiling subwoofers

Electronics
1 x Trinnov Altitude 32-24
Parasound Halo power amplifiers (18 channels)
2 x Yamaha PX-10 2 channel power amplifier
2 x Triad 700 amplifiers
1 x Pioneer UDP-LX500 4K Blu-ray
1 x Apple TV 4K

Projection
1 x Barco Balder CinemaScope native 2:37 5K UHD projector
1 x 240” 2.37:1 Oz Theatre Screens – Majestic Acoustic Vision 4K screen

Control
1 x Control4 EA-5 processor
1 x Control4 handheld remote

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