I believe I was one of the first to actually own Elunevision’s new AudioWeave screens, but due to a complete basement overhaul, it took me a while to get everything up and running. First, let me say how great it was dealing with Dave Hao of Elunevision. Dave was/is extremely knowledgeable about his products and he always made himself available for questions or help. Overall, the Customer Service at Elunevision is really great.
I also have to disclose that I am no expert when it comes to screens or screen materials. I did however, own a few screens in the past, ranging from Goo systems to Dalite HP screens. The idea of going with an AT screen has always fascinated me, but I just didn’t want the hassle of having to build a false wall and to install the requisite acoustic material behind the screen, not to mention the extra work to black out everything behind the screen. Since I was doing a basement overhaul, I thought it would be a good time to get it all done in one big extensive project.
Having no previous experience with any kind of AT screen, I was very sceptical. I was concerned about light loss, poor definition, audio problems, moiré and a whole host of related issues. Dave Hao assured me that during his research and development of the new material, he had eliminated all of the inherent problems with the AudioWeave. After demoing his regular Reference Studio screen and being utterly impressed by them, I took his word that the AudioWeave would retain all the strengths of the Reference Studio with the added benefit of being Acoustically Transparent. So, I bought myself a 130 inch diagonal, 2.35:1 scope screen (120 wide by 51 high) AudioWeave.
I have been using the AudioWeave Extensively over the past week and here are my impressions:
1) There is absolutely no way ANYONE can tell that the material is a Weave anywhere outside of 6 feet (8 feet if I shine a flashlight directly on it). And that is without any program material. With movie material, I would have to go directly right next to the screen to see any patterns at all.
2) Moire was one of my primary concerns. Well, I can confirm that it simply does not exist anywhere on the AudioWeave.
3) Sharpness. Wow!!! All I can say is I am stunned. I was worried that, being a weave, there will be noticeable softness. I honestly believe that this weave is no less sharp than my solid High Power screen.
4) Color. Another home run. Damn, this thing is as true as I have ever seen.
5) Light loss. I was really expecting this area to be truly dreadful, especially coming from a Dalite 2.8 gain High Power Screen. Yes, the HP is definitely brighter. But for all intents and purposes, the AudioWeave does not suffer from excessive light loss. I am running a fairly wide screen (120 inches wide to be exact) with a projector that is not known for calibrated brightness (JVC X30). Although Dave told me I should run the JVC in high lamp mode due to the size of the screen as well as the Weave material, I have found that I can, and do, run it in normal mode with plenty of brightness (sorry Dave, it looks great in normal mode). In fact, I have my iris closed down to -10 (out of 15) and it’s still plenty bright.
It should be noted that I have total light control and not a speck of light gets into my room and I use non-reflective black fabric on my walls, ceiling and floor. In my surroundings, and from what I can remember, it is only slightly less bright than Elunevision’s own regular Reference Studio white (for those who have seen the Reference Studio). In fact, the difference is very subtle and you may not even notice the slight difference.
6) AUDIO. As much as I am impressed by the video performance of the AudioWeave, I am equally impressed by the Audio performance. Naturally, it would be ideal without any barriers in front of your speakers and obviously there would/should be some level of loss or attenuation with the AudioWeave in Place.
As stated earlier, I am no expert in this area but I did take some measurements with my Radio Shack SPL Metre with the AudioWeave in Place and with it removed. From what I have measured, using the test tones from a receiver, the difference was no greater than 1db. And I am not even sure about the 1db because it seemed to fluctuate back and forth (it is a digital SPL meter).
In any event, when actually listening to movies and music the sound is fabulous and you completely forget there is a screen in front of the speakers. All you hear is the sound coming from the appropriate and proper locations on the screen---and it never sounded more “right” and natural.
Having the sound/dialog coming from the precise location of the characters on screen is truly an eye-opening experience. Once you have tried it you simply cannot go back (to having your speakers either on the floor or on top of the screen). In this layout, I can actually have all my speakers standing vertically and not the compromised position of having the center channel lying flat. That alone is a fundamental improvement. For those who have not experienced an AT screen system done right, be careful----It’s fracking addicting.
Okay, now for some negatives. When I bought my AudioWeave, Dave had not yet finalized the instruction sheet. As a result, I had a tough time trying to figure out the schematics and putting it together. It took me about three hours, a few stiff drinks and several calls to Dave Hao (not to mention I developed a whole bunch of new cuss words out of sheer frustration) to get things done. I even had a faulty (very important) screw that holds one of the “L” brackets in place—it had no treads and there were no extras in the package. Hint to Dave, include a couple of extras in the box in case there are duds or you could lose one. I had to improvise to make it work.
The above notwithstanding, if Dave has ironed out the kinks in the instruction manual then there really are no negative aspects to speak of. Let’s just say that this is one of THE BEST investments I have ever made in my home theatre experience.
I would like to disclaim that I am not a friend of Dave Hao and I have absolutely no affiliation with Elunevision. I am simply a well satisfied owner of a truly great product. Go check it out for yourself and I guarantee your opinions will be very similar to mine.
Best regards to all
PS: I have watched three 3D movies with the AudioWeave and while my (now stored) High Power screen would have provided a brighter picture, I find that the brightness is more than satisfactory. My Projector automatically switches in to high lamp mode for 3D and the increased birghtness and related settings are just about right. It looks phenomenal! Hopefully, as the lamp ages, there will not be a steep drop-off. Now that could present a problem. I will have to keep an eye out for that.