2017 Father’s Day Gift Guide for Dreamers and Lottery Winners

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Most of us can’t spend unlimited amounts on Father’s Day gifts this—or any—year, but we can dream. And who knows, you might win the lottery or otherwise strike it rich someday. Even better, maybe you already have. If so—or you just like to dream big—here are some recommendations for over-the-top Father’s Day gifts.

 

TV

Sony XBR-100Z9D ($60,000)

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Dear old dad will absolutely love the Sony XBR-100Z9D. This 100″ behemoth—and it’s 65″ and 75″ siblings—represent the very best that LCD technology has to offer, including a FALD (full-array local-dimming) LED backlight. But this is no ordinary FALD backlight—called Backlight Master Drive, it independently controls the brightness of each individual LED, rather than groups of LEDs in dimmable zones, resulting in unparalleled contrast. Add to that a peak brightness of 2000 lumens, wide color gamut, and high dynamic range with HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLG, and you’ve got a TV that will make any poppa pleased as punch.

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PROJECTOR

Sony VPL-VW5000ES ($60,000)

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The Sony VPL-VW5000ES has been around for a while, but it’s still at the top of the consumer-projector food chain. With true 4K (4096×2160) resolution and HDR capabilities, its laser-phosphor light engine is spec’d to produce up to 5000 lumens and last 20,000 hours without needing to change a lamp. And two HDMI 2.0 inputs with HDCP 2.2 support a data rate of 18 Gbps, which allows the projector to accept 2160p at 60 Hz with up to 12-bit precision and 4:2:2 color—in other words, it can handle just about anything you throw at it. As Art Feierman concluded in his review at ProjectorReviews.com, “So, for now, no question, the VW5000ES rules. It’s bigger, badder, quieter (being liquid cooled), has great color, laser light engine, overall great performance, and a, by far, best-in-class 5000 lumens for tackling HDR content…The VW5000ES produced the most amazing imagery to ever grace my dedicated home theater.”

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PREAMP-PROCESSOR

Trinnov Altitude32 ($32,150 for 32 channels, 3D audio, and calibration microphone)

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At the heart of most high-end home theaters is a preamp-processor that selects which source device to use and processes the signals as needed for playback. (AV receivers do the same thing, but they also include power amps for the speakers; pre-pros require separate, outboard power amps.) Among the most drool-worthy pre-pros is the Trinnov Altitude32, which can be configured for 8- to 32-channel operation. As an extra-cost option, it supports all the immersive audio formats, including Dolby Atmos, Auro 3D, and DTS:X. And of course, it offers a wealth of other advanced features, such as speaker remapping for less-than-ideal placements. Now, all you need are amps and speakers for all those channels, and your father will be fully immersed in sound.

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SPEAKERS

Grimani Systems CinemaOne Ensemble ($260,000 for 7.4, $308,000 for 9.4.4)

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Simply put, Grimani Systems produces some of the finest-sounding speakers I’ve ever heard—clear, natural, smooth, and non-fatiguing with exceptionally wide dynamic range and uniform coverage throughout the room. All models are self-powered with onboard power amps and DSP to effectively compensate for almost any acoustic environment. They are also fully networkable and programmable.

The company offers several complete packages that include speakers, cabling, mounting hardware, and just about everything else you need to install a seriously kick-ass home-theater speaker system. At the top of the heap is CinemaOne, which is designed for very large rooms up to 2000 square feet. This package includes three Alpha speakers for the LCR positions, six Beta speakers for the surrounds, and four Sigma subwoofers. You can also add two more Beta speakers for the front-wide positions and four Omega in-ceiling speakers for immersive audio such as Dolby Atmos. In addition, the CinemaOne package includes room-acoustic treatments, consulting and documentation for optimum placement of speakers, acoustic treatments, and seating, and onsite commissioning and calibration.

If your dad’s home theater isn’t that large, Grimani Systems offers two smaller packages: the CinemaTwo ($150,000 for 7.4, $178,000 for 9.4.4) and CinemaThree ($60,000 for 7.4, $82,000 for 9.4.4). In any event, all you need to do is add a pre-pro—like the Trinnov Altitude32—and the sound system is done and second to none.

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SOUNDBAR

Yamaha YSP-5600 ($1700)

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If there’s no room or inclination to install a multi-channel speaker system for daddio, consider a soundbar, which provides far better sound quality than any TV’s onboard speakers. One of the best is the Yamaha YSP-5600, which the company claims is the world’s first 7.1.2 soundbar. A total of 44 drivers and two woofers, each driven by its own amplifier, use beam steering to send the surround and overhead sounds to reflect from the walls and ceiling, forming a 3D soundfield. The YSP-5600 provides four HDMI 2.0 inputs with HDCP 2.2 for 4K/UHD video pass-through and decoding for many audio formats, including Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. It also implements Yamaha’s MusicCast wireless, whole-home audio system that lets you stream music from smart devices and computers to the soundbar and other MusicCast speakers using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Apple AirPlay. For extra bass, you can connect any powered subwoofer with a cable or wirelessly using the optional wireless subwoofer kit (SWK-W16).

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UHD BLU-RAY PLAYER

Oppo UDP-205 ($1299)

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To get the best audio and video quality, you must start with the source. Of course, streaming and downloading are all the rage these days, but the highest-quality source is still optical discs, and the best optical-disc players come from Oppo with build quality second to none. The new UDP-205 is Oppo’s flagship UHD Blu-ray player that can play just about any disc you put in its tray, including UHD Blu-ray, HD Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray, DVD, CD, SACD, and DVD-Audio. It’s designed with the audiophile in mind, including dual ESS SABRE Pro DACs, USB DAC, HDMI jitter reduction, high-quality headphone output, and dedicated 2-channel analog-audio outputs on balanced connectors.

If pop isn’t an audiophile, you can save some dough and get him the UDP-203 ($549). It omits the high-end audio features but retains everything else, including universal disc playback, support for wide color gamut and high dynamic range HDR10 now and Dolby Vision with a firmware update. Dual HDMI outputs let you send the video directly to the display and the audio to a legacy AV receiver or pre/pro, and an HDMI input lets you connect an external streamer or other source. This is very handy, since neither player offers any onboard streaming apps.

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SERVER/STREAMER

Kaleidescape Strato Movie Player ($4495 with 6 TB)

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Kaleidescape has always represented the pinnacle of movie servers with bit-for-bit copies of Blu-ray discs, and the Strato really ups the ante. This player offers 4K/UHD playback of titles from its online store—of which there are over 180 as of this writing—at bit rates up to 100 Mbps and frame rates up to 60 fps, the same as Ultra HD Blu-ray. Also, it performs high-quality upscaling of Blu-ray and DVD content. Even better, it supports high dynamic range (HDR) in the HDR10 format and lossless multichannel audio, including Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. The optional 6 or 10 TB internal hard drive can store up to 180 UHD movies, 330 Blu-ray movies, or 1500 DVD movies. For even more storage and multi-room capabilities, you can add one or more Terra movie servers with up to 24 TB of storage ($7995 each with maximum storage) for up to 400 4K/UHD titles, 800 Blu-ray titles, or 3600 DVD titles in each server with cloud backup. A movie-loving dad’s dream!

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HEADPHONES

Stax SR-009 ($3825)

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I had the pleasure of reviewing the Stax SR-007 Mk II electrostatic headphones some years ago, and I quickly fell in love with their sound. However, they were simply too expensive for me to buy at the time—or now, for that matter. The current Stax flagship is the SR-009, which I haven’t heard, but InnerFidelity.com editor Tyll Hertsens has, saying, “Simply put, this is the world’s best headphone. The speed, clarity, and resolution is simply stunning…These are electrostatic headphones and require a special type of amplifier to drive them. Because they are ‘cost no object’ headphones, and because they are so extraordinarily good, I highly recommend purchasing the best possible electrostatic headphone amplifier. For me, that means the HeadAmp Blue Hawaii SE [$5799-$6879].” That’s right around $10,000 for a pair of headphones and an amp, but as long as we’re dreaming.

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