Am I too arrogant?? or are DIY HT outperforming Theater ??? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 80 Old 07-09-2011, 10:32 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a very modest DIY HT but I can feel my clothes move.

I took the family to see Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon at the Movie Theater.

I was expecting sensational bass F/X.
But I was sitting there thinking that the bass f/x were too tame??

The last time I went to the cineplex was when I had two bash amps from pe and now I have four bash amps from pe for the 12 inch subwoofers.

I kept thinking about how tame the bass f/x sounded at the movie theater??
I noticed the rest of the crowd looked ok with the bass sound levels but my kids mentioned that it sounded kinda low??

Next day at the business I fired up Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and my kids mentioned that it sounded way louder than the movie theaters sound??

My question is do we just get used to our DIY bass f/x at 19 hertz and lower and then when we go to a Movie theater that maybe can do 35 hertz or thirty hertz do we then go ehhh? that sounds kinda wimpy at the movie theater??


Can anyone else chime in with the experiences they have had compareing DIY HT sound versus Movie Theater sound??

Thanks for reading this.

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post #2 of 80 Old 07-09-2011, 11:27 PM
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Well for one thing, your home theater is in a room that is 1000x smaller than a movie theater.
Take your home theater equipment to that movie theater and you'll be like "where's the bass".

"The boom is dead, long live the bass"
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post #3 of 80 Old 07-10-2011, 12:15 AM
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I don't think that was the point he was getting at of which equipment is better. I do think movie theaters sound lame except for IMax...the real IMAX. That blows everything out of the water.
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post #4 of 80 Old 07-10-2011, 12:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpray1983 View Post

I don't think that was the point he was getting at of which equipment is better. I do think movie theaters sound lame except for IMax...the real IMAX. That blows everything out of the water.

Yep!
At first I was wow! the sound at my Movie Theater is great! when I just had a Sony stereo amp to power the subwoofers.

Then I got two bash amps from pe to power the subwoofers but I was still Movie Theater sound is great!

But now with four bash amps from PE I was left thinking of Movie Theater sound like wheres the bass??

I was wondering can you please describe the sound at a real IMAX theater??
Thanks.

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post #5 of 80 Old 07-10-2011, 12:46 AM
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There is no way to describe it ..it actually sounds like you home theater in a movie theater and the bass is much more intense than a normal movie theater. I just saw the new transformers at IMAX and it was the best movie I have ever heard and it will be my reference disk when it comes out. It blows away inception and battle of La for LFE.
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post #6 of 80 Old 07-10-2011, 01:26 AM
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It's not hard at all for a home system to sound better or win an SPL contest. Normally I'd expect the home system to fall short on oomph, but easily get more depth. Commercial cinemas are usually designed for 105 db two thirds in and 115 db for the bass. Most HT systems won't match that. Cinemas do usually have horn coloration and that is where they fall down IMHO.


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post #7 of 80 Old 07-10-2011, 02:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpray1983 View Post

There is no way to describe it ..it actually sounds like you home theater in a movie theater and the bass is much more intense than a normal movie theater. I just saw the new transformers at IMAX and it was the best movie I have ever heard and it will be my reference disk when it comes out. It blows away inception and battle of La for LFE.


Thanks for that info
How low do IMAX subs go??


I also am going to be using the new transformers blu ray as my go to bass disc.

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post #8 of 80 Old 07-10-2011, 02:02 AM
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I don't think it's so much the low freq ext....it's more SPL
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post #9 of 80 Old 07-10-2011, 02:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Hmmm.

Is it that maybe IMAX uses subs tuned to 19 hertz?? or lower?? versus 35 hertz for cineplex??

I am wondering if thats it since compareing my ht setup at 19 hz versus the cineplex 35 hz??

At the cineplex on bass scenes it sounds ok?? but the low frequency chest crunch bass is missing.


I so want to try a real IMAX experience!

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post #10 of 80 Old 07-10-2011, 05:00 AM
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I recently watched thor in a dlp cinema it was plenty loud, but like you said "where's the bass?" I asked friends about cloverfield and got meh, eeh, and it was just another monster movie. They should have watched it at my house, I was genuinely terrified for the characters. I thought the lfe made that movie, I can picture my friends crowding around a 32" lcd with no audio equipment, no wonder you didn't like it. I wonder if they have the capabilities and they just dial it back because I watched cars 2 in the same theater from the same position as thor and it wasn't nearly as "loud" but there were more children present.

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post #11 of 80 Old 07-10-2011, 05:32 AM
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From what I have have gathered some or one of the Imax cinemas has TH50's from DSL and they have are able to reach down to about 15hz I believe.

Most of the normal cinemas around here only have subs able to reach 25hz but they might not have enough subs to do 25hz efficiently so maybe 30hz. Most cinemas dont need to have the lower octaves because they are not needed for 99% of public.

But for the 1% a HT will usually out perform anything commercial within reason. I still want to hear the DSL IMAX theater.


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post #12 of 80 Old 07-10-2011, 06:19 AM
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Its not everywhere you can hear a decent 20hz effect. My living room sounds wicked at 20hz. My dogs look everywhere and start barking lol... its awesome.
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post #13 of 80 Old 07-10-2011, 06:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CZ Eddie View Post

Well for one thing, your home theater is in a room that is 1000x smaller than a movie theater.
Take your home theater equipment to that movie theater and you'll be like "where's the bass".

+1. The cost of reaching the same levels and extension in a theater versus a living room makes it prohibitive for most theaters. Not that they couldn't afford it from just the profit on popcorn, but they're in the business of making money, not spending it.

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post #14 of 80 Old 07-10-2011, 07:36 AM
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Aside from the immense volume difference between a theater and a "regular" living room, I've read that the VLF stuff is filtered to prevent sound "bleeding" or contamination into the other theaters/connected structures near by. The world is run by Economics.

When I saw WoW in theaters, there was a preview of Ghost Rider before the main feature and the scene where Blaze drove up the side of that skyscraper/building sounded a-w-e-s-o-m-e in the Movie Theater. I got goose bumps just by what I heard (not into cycles). But on the forums, I didn't read anyone rave with that scene. But mabye that's becasue that movie was just awful, and like me, not a justifiable buy for the fx . Who knows what was the LFE FR characteristic of that theater or most theaters for that matter.

My family and I agree that movies are more impactful at home than at the theaters. Smaller space and closer proxmity to all the speakers. My current ID subs living room setup I get usable LF response down to 15Hz. I'm banking on DIY getting me closer to 10Hz and no lower. I'd be happy with that.

You'll rarely hear anyone say, "I wish I'd gotten less Sub."

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post #15 of 80 Old 07-10-2011, 08:11 AM
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Yup, great minds think alike ! I said the same thing as my son as i left the theater...

Cant wait to buy the BR disc... Same with Battle LA.....

I cant see the theater systems getting much lower than 25hz, at least where i live


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post #16 of 80 Old 07-10-2011, 08:20 AM
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mktheater has complemented on his imax theater being great.

Also my theather has a 80 feet wide and 35 feet tall screen but it isn't imax though, the sound system though is actually better than imax in my opinion.


Also have you calibrated your subs, the theaters most likely have and you may prefer to have your subs calibrated a little hot.


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post #17 of 80 Old 07-10-2011, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpray1983 View Post

I don't think it's so much the low freq ext....it's more SPL

I would like to add, that there is something about a system, either home or cinema that has gas in the tank as its belting out sound. You can just tell that there is a little more left on the volume dial.... I like that the best


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post #18 of 80 Old 07-10-2011, 08:23 AM
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Some movies are turned up louder than others...my buddy's wife worked at a major movie theater in Canada and she was the manager. She told me when dispicable me came out it can with a card with a minion on it that said "+7" decibels. They got too many complaints that it was too loud and had to turn it down. I think it's relative to the theater and you have to find a good one. Just like some restaurants are better than others, even if they are a chain and the same restaurant.
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post #19 of 80 Old 07-10-2011, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stgdz View Post

mktheater has complemented on his imax theater being great.

Also my theather has a 80 feet wide and 35 feet tall screen but it isn't imax though, the sound system though is actually better than imax in my opinion.


Also have you calibrated your subs, the theaters most likely have and you may prefer to have your subs calibrated a little hot.

My IMAX is at the king of prussia mall in PA which is the 2nd biggest mall in the country. Its a huge tourist attraction. The PA one is a gigantic curved screen and I have never heard anything this good before. I have also been to an IMAX in new jersey that wasn't nearly as good. The screen was about 50% of the size and possibly less than that even and the bass was nothing to write home about, yet it still held the IMAX name. That is why I said real IMAX...when I say that I mean the big one. IMAX only has to do with 70mm film instead of 35mm. All movies are not filmed in it yet because the tech for the cameras cannot pick up dialog clearly yet. I believe Christopher Nolan is working with a new IMAX camera for the new batman that can pick up dialog clearly.

All IMAX theaters are calibrated to every seat in the auditorium. They make a huge deal about it at the beginning. They also advertise 20,000 watts during the intro. I know from my friends wife that other normal theaters are not maintained the same as when something blows like an amp...the manager usually just replaces without cAlibrating again.
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post #20 of 80 Old 07-10-2011, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpray1983 View Post

I don't think it's so much the low freq ext....it's more SPL

I would like to add, that there is something about a system, either home or cinema that has gas in the tank as its belting out sound. You can just tell that there is a little more left on the volume dial.... I like that the best


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post #21 of 80 Old 07-10-2011, 08:55 AM
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I've heard good theaters and bad theaters. When I watched the new star wars movies in theaters, I couldn't handle the sound. The highs were so high that I had to plug my ear because it was painful. Could have been a poorly setup system, but I definitely didn't like it and thought it was too loud. In that same theater in another room I found the volume for Atlas Shrugged to be too low. The dialog was almost inaudible and there were only 10 people in the theater.

I really think it depends on the theater and how they set-it-up. I definitely prefer my home theater these days. Just can't handle people crackling their bags, talking and farting.

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post #22 of 80 Old 07-10-2011, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpray1983 View Post

My IMAX is at the king of prussia mall in PA which is the 2nd biggest mall in the country.

I gotta visit that place and IMAX.

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post #23 of 80 Old 07-10-2011, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Today I went back to the theater and tried the plastic cereal bag test.
Cardboard box with plastic bag with cereal inside.

I opened the box and placed the plastic bag with cereal inside on the empty seat to my right.
And nothing! no danceing cereal or plastic bag flexing.

I went and asked them to please turn the subs up a bit and one of the sound guys/pj guys said they were up since they liked Transformers and the first question they had was why do you think the subs are low?

I told them that at my office this same plastic bag with cereal has cereal jumping around and bag flex like crazy and here nothing!

What I really think is they still had a bit more amp power for the subs at the cineplex but are volume limited due to the rabbit hutches being next to each other??????

Yeah I know poor mans spl meter


I hate these new rabbit hutch cineplexes and miss the days of when it was one or two very, very large cinemas........sigh.

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post #24 of 80 Old 07-10-2011, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
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I gotta visit that place and IMAX.

I heard theres an IMAX theater in Orlando, Florida close to the house of mouse???

If so I have to go there!!!
To the IMAX theater.

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post #25 of 80 Old 07-10-2011, 02:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell Burrows View Post

Hmmm.

Is it that maybe IMAX uses subs tuned to 19 hertz?? or lower?? versus 35 hertz for cineplex??

I am wondering if thats it since compareing my ht setup at 19 hz versus the cineplex 35 hz??

At the cineplex on bass scenes it sounds ok?? but the low frequency chest crunch bass is missing.


I so want to try a real IMAX experience!

Don't confuse an IMAX theater with an OMNIMAX theater. They are two very different animals. There is no home system that can even come close to an OMNIMAX.
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post #26 of 80 Old 07-10-2011, 02:32 PM
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It's worth noting if your home system subwoofers are not EQed flat, you maybe comparing apples to oranges.

Most home systems have at least one large hump in the mid bass which adds to the chest impact effect if not EQed flat. While this will actually feel better because of this hump which adds spl it is not accurate.

By EQed I mean with outboard eq and room analyzing software. I have not seen an AVR that adequately eqs subs but I hear the new Audyssey stuff does a good job.......

The only reason I bring this up, I recently EQed my setup and found all the above to be true. Initially I preferred that huge hump in midbass, but after some listening I began to see what I was missing. This preference for accentuated lower-mid bass actually has led some to use house curves(like me).

Not everybody likes flat bass. I actually like mine hot WITH a house curve.

Cheers.
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post #27 of 80 Old 07-10-2011, 02:34 PM
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http://www.reelviews.net/reelthought...identifier=580

This link takes you to an article called "the great IMAX scam"

I have been to both of these IMAX theaters and the one in Saco, ME. Cherry hill and Saco both are smaller IMAX theaters and I was not quite as impressed. I saw avatar 3d in Maine and the green hornet 3d in cherry hill. The screen is significantly smaller and the sound system...even though they say it's the same...it's not. I feel the bass in my chest in king of Prussia. I prefer not to go to normal movie theater unless I'm going to a movie for the GF like black swan. I would rather watch at my house where I can feel the bass. King of Prussia IMAX is the real size for IMAX which means 6 story screens. At darkside of the moon I was in the 3rd row and I still couldn't see the whole screen and I was absolutely fine with it. My entire field of vision was all robots! I saw Thor and was in the middle of the auditorium and still it was amazing experience but I could see the whole screen from the middle. So get there early!

There is a huge difference between IMAX theaters so if you don't think So you should check out some of the fake IMAX websites and make sure you are going to a legit location.

I paid $39 for two tickets and $20 on food and the place is 45 minutes away for the new transformers and I want to go again!

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post #28 of 80 Old 07-10-2011, 02:35 PM
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House curves are awesome!
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post #29 of 80 Old 07-10-2011, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mb1756 View Post

Don't confuse an IMAX theater with an OMNIMAX theater. They are two very different animals. There is no home system that can even come close to an OMNIMAX.

Agreed. For visual immersion, Omnimax is entirely unbeatable - but it depends on the film, too. I've seen Omnimax presentations about tornado chasing and dinosaurs that weren't all that great, while the "under the sea" one was absolutely epic. The feeling that you were actually underwater with the tropical fish was absolutely uncanny. And even among Omnimax I think the quality depends heavily upon age. I've been to the one in Cincinnati a few times as well as the one in Detroit, and the one in Detroit, comparatively, sucks. Though they did have reclining chairs which the Cinci one doesn't.

Do they show any "regular" films in the Omnimax where you are? The only films I've ever seen them showing were educational and documentary sort of stuff that I think was shot specifically for that venue.
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post #30 of 80 Old 07-10-2011, 03:02 PM
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Use this to check out if a theater near you Is a real or fake IMAX. Google maps based doesn't work on phone.

http://destroyfakeimax.blogspot.com/...-specific.html
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