$400 to spend, what upgrade would you get? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 65 Old 10-27-2012, 06:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Say you decided to spend another $400 for an upgrade to your theater, what would you buy? I'm trying to decide between a Darblet, an A-lens (I am able to get a current model for a very good price, though it is slightly damaged but not such that it will affect the picture) and another subwoofer. What would you get? It doesn't have to be any of these, either.

I currently have an RS20, 120" CIH screen, 7.1 surround system with JBL Pro cinema speakers. I'm leaning toward the A-lens so that I don't have to zoom anymore and so that I don't lose any more brightness.

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post #2 of 65 Old 10-27-2012, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frosteh View Post

Say you decided to spend another $400 for an upgrade to your theater, what would you buy? I'm trying to decide between a Darblet, an A-lens (I am able to get a current model for a very good price, though it is slightly damaged but not such that it will affect the picture) and another subwoofer. What would you get? It doesn't have to be any of these, either.
I currently have an RS20, 120" CIH screen, 7.1 surround system with JBL Pro cinema speakers. I'm leaning toward the A-lens so that I don't have to zoom anymore and so that I don't lose any more brightness.

I would get the Darblet unless you have found a great deal on the Panamorph UH480 anamorphic lens. You didn't say which lens, which lens is it?

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post #3 of 65 Old 10-27-2012, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frosteh View Post

Say you decided to spend another $400 for an upgrade to your theater, what would you buy? I'm trying to decide between a Darblet, an A-lens (I am able to get a current model for a very good price, though it is slightly damaged but not such that it will affect the picture) and another subwoofer. What would you get? It doesn't have to be any of these, either.
I currently have an RS20, 120" CIH screen, 7.1 surround system with JBL Pro cinema speakers. I'm leaning toward the A-lens so that I don't have to zoom anymore and so that I don't lose any more brightness.

I think I would get the A-lens at that price point. Which lens are you talking about?

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post #4 of 65 Old 10-27-2012, 07:17 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been asked not say other than it is a current model from one of the three main companies (ISCO, Panamorph, Schneider). It isn't without some defects, but they shouldn't affect my setup given my current throw and screen size.

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post #5 of 65 Old 10-27-2012, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Oh! Other option is to get a MiniDSP to protect and EQ my JBL 4645C, which needs a high pass at 20Hz to protect the driver and a 6dB boost at 25Hz to get a little more from the low end.

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post #6 of 65 Old 10-27-2012, 08:32 PM
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Put it in the bank.



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Sorry, couldn't help myself. biggrin.gif

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post #7 of 65 Old 10-27-2012, 10:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Put it in the bank.
2346.jpg
Sorry, couldn't help myself. biggrin.gif

Good god I haven't seen that movie in ages. Time to dig out the VHS player.

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post #8 of 65 Old 10-28-2012, 05:55 AM
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if you can get an UH480 for that price...jump on it. I just got one and love it. Nowhere near that price though. Mine has a scratch on the front lens but it is out of the light path.
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post #9 of 65 Old 10-28-2012, 08:25 AM
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What's a "Darblet" really good for?
Sorry but I've been too busy to follow the AVS scene, and see "Darblet" showing up here and there in posts.

I've got the Sony VW60, so if the "Darblet" does wonders is it worthwhile me as upgrade tweak also?

If there is a "Darblet" discussion thread point me there and I'll get some reading done.
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post #10 of 65 Old 10-28-2012, 08:41 AM
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Things are pretty slow on the forum. Thanks for livening things up with your question.

My answer is obvious. You don't really need an A lens but you getting it for a steal. Buy it and put it on fleabay and you will make enough to pay for all your other choices combined. There is no other correct answer to your question other than the means to initiate the sale.

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post #11 of 65 Old 10-28-2012, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbdudex View Post

What's a "Darblet" really good for?
Sorry but I've been too busy to follow the AVS scene, and see "Darblet" showing up here and there in posts.
I've got the Sony VW60, so if the "Darblet" does wonders is it worthwhile me as upgrade tweak also?
If there is a "Darblet" discussion thread point me there and I'll get some reading done.

You can read about the Darblet in the video processor forum. Its like it lifts a veil and makes the image sharper without any side effects providing you don't turn it up too high. For the price every projector owner should have one.

Mike

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post #12 of 65 Old 10-28-2012, 09:53 AM
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I recently purchased a darbee used here on the forum. I have used it on 3 different projectors and i can say without a doubt that it is a real improvement on each projector i have used it with, I thought with my new sony hw50 i may not need it since it is very sharp and detailed with the new reality creation settings. I was wrong, the darbee still makes it look even better. The difference is not night and day but still a subtle improvement imo.

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post #13 of 65 Old 10-29-2012, 06:47 AM
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I have seen a guy selling B or even C stock Panamorph lenses on Videogon. I know he has had both UH380 and UH480 lenses. If it's a 480 then I say go for it. If it's a 380 then skip it becuase you may have problems with your RS20. The UH380 had issues with light scatter and ghosting when used with the JVC projectors. The UH480 fixed the problem in addition to being a better lens. If I could find one at that price point I would be all over it.
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post #14 of 65 Old 10-29-2012, 08:27 AM - Thread Starter
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I've decided to jump on the lens. Since I've never owned one, I'm going to see how much of an improvement it is. If it's night and day, I'm sure I could find another good home for one. However, I've heard nothing about great things for a-lenses, especially on aging projectors like my RS20 which could do to keep all the lumens it can.

I'm just waiting for FedEx to pay me for a claim and then I'll hop on it!

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post #15 of 65 Old 10-29-2012, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frosteh View Post

I've decided to jump on the lens. Since I've never owned one, I'm going to see how much of an improvement it is. If it's night and day, I'm sure I could find another good home for one. However, I've heard nothing about great things for a-lenses, especially on aging projectors like my RS20 which could do to keep all the lumens it can.
I'm just waiting for FedEx to pay me for a claim and then I'll hop on it!

Well, if it's a UH480 and you decide not to keep it, let me know.
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post #16 of 65 Old 10-29-2012, 10:03 AM
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Like anything else, there are pluses and minuses to use of an anamorphic lens. The biggest negative is the need to scale vertically and the odd scale that has to be used. The 480 is certainly not a great anamorphic, decent but not great.

What? I have one and I think its great.

Its OK. I personally think you should buy it, sell it for three times the price you are paying and buy all the other stuff you are considering.

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post #17 of 65 Old 10-29-2012, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark haflich View Post

Like anything else, there are pluses and minuses to use of an anamorphic lens. The biggest negative is the need to scale vertically and the odd scale that has to be used. The 480 is certainly not a great anamorphig, decent but not great. What?. I have one and I think its great. Its OK. I personally think you should buy it, sell it for three times the price you are paying ang buy all the other stuff you are considering.

What do you mean "odd scale"?
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post #18 of 65 Old 10-29-2012, 03:17 PM
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The vertical scale is not an interger number multiplier. You have to vertically scale the image by a factor of 1.33, the scaling is done internally or can be done externally if the projector does not include a vertical external scaller, the horizontal scale is done optically by the anamorphic lens. This odd scale is difficult and severely messes with the vertical pixels.

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post #19 of 65 Old 10-29-2012, 07:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Mark, you seem to be contradicting yourself. You have a UH480 and think it's great, but you say it's not a great lens. Which is it? Also, I'm not going to simply sell the lens for a profit. That's dishonest and then I don't have a lens. My original question is the only one I want answered, not plans contingent on me selling the lens.

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post #20 of 65 Old 10-29-2012, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frosteh View Post

Mark, you seem to be contradicting yourself. You have a UH480 and think it's great, but you say it's not a great lens. Which is it? Also, I'm not going to simply sell the lens for a profit. That's dishonest and then I don't have a lens. My original question is the only one I want answered, not plans contingent on me selling the lens.

Mark does not use a lens. he has a VW1000ES. What he is saying, is the projector has to do scaling (vertical stretch) for an A-lens to be used. I use a Lumagen for the vertical stretch, because the Lumagen does a much better job with the vertical stretch compared to my projector. With the Lumagen doing the vertical stretch and the A-lens doing the horizontal stretch, my image is very sharp.

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post #21 of 65 Old 10-30-2012, 06:38 AM
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I noticed the vertical stretch phenomenon too when I put up a grid pattern. I had to use my dvdo vp50 to get the correct aspect ratio where all the lines are even. If you have a problem with buying an item for a bargain and reselling it, don't buy it if you do not have a way to get the proper stretch. I actually did not even notice that the vertical stretch was off however until I put up a static pattern, so you might be ok without an expensive scaler.
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post #22 of 65 Old 10-30-2012, 06:39 AM
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You cannot go wrong with a DArbee on the other hand.
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post #23 of 65 Old 10-30-2012, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AV Science Sales 5 View Post

Mark does not use a lens. he has a VW1000ES. What he is saying, is the projector has to do scaling (vertical stretch) for an A-lens to be used. I use a Lumagen for the vertical stretch, because the Lumagen does a much better job with the vertical stretch compared to my projector. With the Lumagen doing the vertical stretch and the A-lens doing the horizontal stretch, my image is very sharp.

FWIW I also found this as my projector (currently until my X35 arrives cool.gif) is an older JVC RS10. My Lumagen Mini3D does a better job of the vertical stretch as the resultant image looks sharper. It also helps that I have a lens with astigmatism adjustment (Isco II) so I can get the gird pattern nicely in focus in both planes.

Zooming: Been there, done that, bought the lens...
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post #24 of 65 Old 10-30-2012, 06:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AV Science Sales 5 View Post

Mark does not use a lens. he has a VW1000ES. What he is saying, is the projector has to do scaling (vertical stretch) for an A-lens to be used. I use a Lumagen for the vertical stretch, because the Lumagen does a much better job with the vertical stretch compared to my projector. With the Lumagen doing the vertical stretch and the A-lens doing the horizontal stretch, my image is very sharp.

Mike,
Why do you use the A-Lens at all?
From my reading, the Lumagen can do non linear stretch to any aspect ratio you want. Why not just use the Lumagen to get you there and take the A-lens out of the light path?

I've been considering this option to go to a 2.0:1 Screen like this one:
http://www.stewartfilmscreen.com/residential/products/variable_masking_dedicated_fixed/directors_choice_2.0/directors_choice_2.0_residential.html

Then use the Lumagen to adjust both ARs to fit...
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post #25 of 65 Old 10-30-2012, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frosteh View Post

Mark, you seem to be contradicting yourself. You have a UH480 and think it's great, but you say it's not a great lens. Which is it? Also, I'm not going to simply sell the lens for a profit. That's dishonest and then I don't have a lens. My original question is the only one I want answered, not plans contingent on me selling the lens.

No. I don't own a 480. I am simply saying some out there that have it will jump in claiming its great. Its OK but certainly not great. There are much better A lenses out there. Much much better but they cost more, some a lot more.

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post #26 of 65 Old 10-30-2012, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by mark haflich View Post

No. I don't own a 480. I am simply saying some out there that have it will jump in claiming its great. Its OK but certainly not great. There are much better A lenses out there. Much much better but they cost more, some a lot more.

Yeah Mark, just think how many cigars you could buy for what an ISCO III cost! smile.gif
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post #27 of 65 Old 10-30-2012, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frosteh View Post

Mark, you seem to be contradicting yourself. You have a UH480 and think it's great, but you say it's not a great lens. Which is it? Also, I'm not going to simply sell the lens for a profit. That's dishonest and then I don't have a lens. My original question is the only one I want answered, not plans contingent on me selling the lens.

This of course is a friendly discussion and I hope I am not entering into a political discussion or offending you, but frequently people buy things at a great price because they can immediately flip it for a higher price. I hope to sell my house which I have owned for many years at a higher price then I paid for it but for much less than the price I paid plus the money I have spent err upgrading it. smile.gif But buying a whole sale or retail involves normally paying a price higher than the seller paid. Overhead plus profit.

I don't think many people would call buying something for a low price, below market value, and then immediately reselling to be dishonest. The only ethical consideration I suppose would be paying the person you bought it from too little but then again people sell below market because they need cash quickly, all sorts of things. But selling something immediately for a higher price than you paid is not dishonest in our capitalistic economic society.

Now as to the question of A lenses and various aspect ratios, I don't use a lens, nor do I zoom. I only have room for an 8ft wide, 1.78 aspect ratio screen. When I watch HD TV etc, I watch on full screen 1.78. When I watch a higher aspect ratio subject, such as a wide screen movie, I gat black bars which I cover up with automated top and bottom masking. After a movie, people ask to see HD TV and when I open the masking for the full light up, they ooh and ah about the size increase, You get it both ways. If you want a bigger picture (wider) for movies, you need a 2.35 or so screen. You can fill the screen two ways, by zooming, and with that method you give up using about 25% of the vertical pixels and about 25% of the light the projector is capable of putting out. Don't worry about the exact percentages. Using the 2.35 and going to 1.78 full height, you increase by by 33%, going the other way, the base is higher and you decrease by 25%.

Using an A lens, you get to use all the pixels and the full illumination of the projector (with certain caveats) because you electronically stretch the image vertically to light all the pixels. This is a nasty scale to do. All scales except say 2 to one and numbers like that as distinguished from odd number multipliers are nasty and severely screw with the vertical pixels. The lens deals with the horizontal stretch by doing it optically and what comes into play here is the optical qualitty of the lens. The 480 is OK but that's it. There are worse and there are many many much better. You end up losing light from the max capable because anamorphic sets up need long throws for a variety of reasons such as the need to keep the image coming out of the projector lens small and to minimize pin cushioning which all anamorphics cause.

It shuld also be noted that anamorphics cause a minor loss of ANSI contrast and while a 25% increase in light out of the projector may seem like a lot, to your eyes the increased brightness will only look about 5% brighter.

As to what you should buy there is no definative answer. Many like the best deal and your best deal is the lens but only if you plan on keeping it foreever or for a long time and using it. Nothing in home theater should ever be considered a long term investment.

I mean no offense to you by anything I have said and I am trying to be helpful and offer explanations. With a decision to buy and keep the anamorphic, you will need a 2.35 screen if you don't already have one and that alone would clearly bust your budget. Just another thought. smile.gif

Take care and feel free to ask me anything else, as some will say I am full .... You can insert the rest. smile.gif Answers, explanation, BS, whatever. Have fun.

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post #28 of 65 Old 10-30-2012, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humbland View Post

Mike,
Why do you use the A-Lens at all?
From my reading, the Lumagen can do non linear stretch to any aspect ratio you want. Why not just use the Lumagen to get you there and take the A-lens out of the light path?

I've been considering this option to go to a 2.0:1 Screen like this one:
http://www.stewartfilmscreen.com/residential/products/variable_masking_dedicated_fixed/directors_choice_2.0/directors_choice_2.0_residential.html
Then use the Lumagen to adjust both ARs to fit...

Sorry for the brief reply, but using a Lumagen to perform a non linear stretch is only useful for making 4:3 'fit' a 16:9 screen. I can't see how it can stretch a 2.35:1 image so that it 'fits' a 16:9 unless it makes objects look tall and thin and/or crops off part of the image. In any case IMHO buying a Lumagen to do this is a bit like buying a Ferrari to tow a caravan. tongue.gif

FWIW I use a Lumagen with a lens, even though it's not the 'full fat' Isco III it's the smaller/cheaper Isco II, bit still gives a cracking picture that I found (in my set up at least) gave me better results than zooming (or shrinking).

Zooming: Been there, done that, bought the lens...
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post #29 of 65 Old 10-30-2012, 09:40 AM
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I've decided to jump on the lens. Since I've never owned one, I'm going to see how much of an improvement it is. If it's night and day, I'm sure I could find another good home for one. However, I've heard nothing about great things for a-lenses, especially on aging projectors like my RS20 which could do to keep all the lumens it can.

If you are looking for more lumens on your " aging projector ", spend that $ 400.00 on a new bulb !! It's amazing how a new bulb can make an old projector seem brand new again !!

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post #30 of 65 Old 10-30-2012, 09:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Don't worry about it, no offense taken and I didn't mean to seem like I was attacking your morals. smile.gif

I've only ever seen a UH480, and I thought it was pretty good. Granted, I'm not sure how it will look in my system, but it's worth a shot, right? My main reason for wanting an A-lens is because I don't have a total bat cave. My room is 100% light controlled, but the walls are cream colored, so I can easily see the black bars when I zoom. They're not super distracting, but they are somewhat annoying. That and the fact that the RS20 doesn't have a lens memory, so zooming is getting to be really annoying since I watch so much TV and movies interchangeably. Perhaps a better investment would be to just get a second projector, a cheap DLP, for TV only and then have the RS20 permanently zoomed to fit my scope screen.

Frosteh is offline  
Reply Digital Hi-End Projectors - $3,000+ USD MSRP

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