I’m not interested in AV gear at all, which is really weird because I’m a cinephile and television show addict who owns hundreds of DVDs and Blu-rays and references Arrested Development, The Wire and Interstellar on any given day. So, whenever I spend time with a serious AV surround system I get emotional – why? Because, I realize what I’m missing out on sonically from all the films and TV shows I love. My stereo system is worth more than I’m comfortable to admit, but I don’t even have a sound bar for my flatscreen. My bad.
One would have trouble refuting the claims that projection television modules are rivalling LED screens in playback specifications.
Dimming the lights and letting Bohemian Rhapsody flicker to life from the Wolf Cinema Short Throw Laser Projector onto the Solo Pro 2 motorized screen is an exercise in education to what is attainable from state-of-the-art home cinema technology in 2020. If it’s been a few years since you took in a film at a friend’s place who has a surround system, then you’ll be in for an awakening.
Focusing on the scenes from Rhapsody which involved the Live Aid performance at Wembley Stadium, the first thing that struck you was the presented scale and spatial placement of oneself into the film score and dialog: You feel like you're immersed in the soundscape. Cliché sounding? Yes. But, accurate nonetheless. The big Golden Ear Triton 'One R' floorstanders with SuperCentre Reference Centre Channel fronting the system (and Supersat Surround/Atmos speakers) created realistic sound stage imaging and actor placement, that, while part parlour trick and part future-fi, melded together to secure the illusion. The suspension of disbelief is maintained. You’re there.
Like any great system, the sound here was about balance with no bloated subterranean bass rumbling for effect that AV systems of old constantly touted. Closing my eyes, I hear just taut, meaty bottom end where required – it wasn’t trying to drown detail out like hot sauce on perfectly delicious Eggs Benedict. What was on the soundtrack was being translated with an obvious attention towards resolution and detail retrieval, but also balancing the frequency spectrum. Plenty of forward momentum and precision on leading edges of musical notes, and excellent control of sibilance in the dialog.
Shutting my eyes once again and focusing on the midrange – where the bulk of film dialog lives thanks to humans talking – there was clarity, definition and the conveyance of emotive tensions: the rise and fall of cadenced interaction, close mic’d breathing and air and space around everything – the sound had reach, breadth and most notable for me, realistic height to the staging.
Visuals were bright, evenly lit and had excellent screen edge-to-edge resolution with no discernable brilliance or detail falloff even at the extreme corners. One would have trouble refuting the claims that projection television modules are rivalling LED screens in playback specifications. I for one, could get used to using a projector vs. a large flatscreen LED not only for the inherent image quality parity, but for the convenience that retracting out of the way affords when not in use.
This brings us to the end of our Vancouver Virtual Audio Show coverage, we hope you enjoyed experiencing these listening windows onto the curated systems put together by Hi-fi Centre.
More information on these products HERE.