Fortress Californian seats - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 06-26-2011, 08:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,
I was wondering if anyone has purchased or sat in one of the Californian seats from Fortress. I like the price as compared to the higher end brands but I am a bit leery of making a major furniture purchase ($10,000) without being able to sit in it and look at it for myself.

Does anyone know if there is a place where one is on display on the east coast?

Thanks,
Frank
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post #2 of 10 Old 06-27-2011, 11:29 AM
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Excellent chairs, highly recommended. Not sure where they are on display however. If you are looking for a contemporary model and prefer a slightly "firmer" chair then these should be on your short list.

If you prefer a traditional cushier type chair then I would look at another model. You can determine your preference by the furniture you have had in the past or the furniture that you have currently. Think of your favorite chair and what it consists of.

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post #3 of 10 Old 06-27-2011, 11:52 AM
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I have sat in this seat and can relate to you a few key things:

* First and foremost, the Californian sits more firmly than most other manufacturers' chairs (see Berkline, especially). It is also more firm than Palliser chairs. Fortress uses a higher quality and higher density foam than many other manufacturers. This feeling isn't for everyone, but the foam/chair will keep it's support longer and soften up a little bit over time. I happen to like firmer chairs for the support and for this reason. This chair is the antithesis of a marshmallow, for sure. The Californian has 2 layers of foam and a Dacron wrap. Their custom chairs have 3 layers of foam and the wrap.
* The stitching on the chair and all of the detailing (and all Fortress products) is impeccable- incredible attention to detail and nice straight lines. You can clearly see the difference in this chair and other chairs manufactured by Fortress when compared to most other brands.
* Styling- As you can see from the photos, the styling is very clean, sleek and contemporary. This is even more evident and impressive in person, in my opinion.

Ken Lerch
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post #4 of 10 Old 06-27-2011, 07:34 PM
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molar why are you willing to spend this much for a set of chairs?

Current Projects:
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ON HOLD - Building Theater room (Sim2 HT380, 2.35 14ft wide).
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post #5 of 10 Old 07-08-2011, 08:57 PM
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People spend thousands of dollars on equipment and electronics. Furniture is something that one uses the most, you sit in it every day. Not many recliners are built to last many many years at under $1000 per chair with top quality leather and fit and finish. Who doesen't want the above?

Some want the cheap faux leather chairs from Kmart that will last a couple years. In fact leave that inexpensive faux leather near a sunlit window and watch it crack/deteriorate in less than a year. To each their own obviously... Buy an inexpensive chair and repeat the process in a couple of years or buy a higher quality chair once that will last 10 years + and if you take reasonable care of it a lifetime.

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post #6 of 10 Old 07-11-2011, 04:12 AM
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Generally speaking, in most furniture the foam will deteriorate faster than the fabric/leather. The lowest grade/quality foam is 1.8lbs and is typical in most furniture. Higher quality foam has a density of 3.0lbs and will certainly last 10 to 15 years. Be cautious of any retailer who doesn't publish foam density as part of the specs, especially if they sell via the Internet.

It is difficult but possible to find furniture with higher grade foam at lower prices but you will spend a lot of time searching around for it. There are a few retailers who have cut their margins to the bone and I would start there.
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post #7 of 10 Old 07-11-2011, 09:00 AM
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I have a set of Fortress Matinee seats. It's me, my wife, my 2-year old and a small dog. Given the last 2 occupants, we needed something with a great warranty that will sustain years of abuse. I actually cut my speaker, amp, and projector budgets to accomodate this seating. The chairs are on the firm side, which I like since there is excellent lumbar support. The motorized recline mechanism is quiet and smooth. My kid loves rambling all over the place during movies and is constantly adjusting the recline. He seems to like jumping on the footrest as well. So far no problems

As Ken described, the internals and fit/finish of these seats are great. I only compared these to the La-Z-Boy Matinee seats which had a similar look, but were not quite as supportive. Perhaps someone will let you try them out in their home. If you are ever in southwest Michigan, shoot me a PM.
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post #8 of 10 Old 11-30-2012, 10:20 PM
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Hi-if you're still considering Fortress--pick another company. They didn't stand behind their product with us-lots of problems...
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post #9 of 10 Old 12-31-2012, 06:10 PM
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Hi theater1 can you please be more specific. ? Fortress is on my short list
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post #10 of 10 Old 05-18-2013, 11:06 AM
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I purchased a 3-chair and a 2-chair Fortress Californian set from Stargate Cinema about 1 1/2 years ago. It is always possible that there can be a lemon in the bunch, as theater1 relates. But my experience with these chairs is quite the opposite.

The chairs arrived in perfect condition and were properly set up (I bought the white glove delivery service from Stargate). These are very, very nice chairs, and are well-constructed, quite comfortable, and with an upper-end quality look and feel.

They also are the right width. When I was looking for chairs, one thing I noticed was that most "theater" recliners, due to their width and overdone padding, were just too big for my 11-foot wide theater room. And they just seemed like living room recliners that have been renamed as theater seating. The Californian chairs are ideal, with the 3-seat in the step-up back of the room and the 2-seat in the front. And they look like dedicated theater seating.

One other thing: Actually, I purchased these when another chair manufacturer continued to delay their delivery date. Fortress, on the other hand, was quite prompt. And as you say, the price was quite reasonable. Get them, if you haven't already.

PS: Stargate Cinema is great to deal with. A very customer-friendly vendor. I'm not sure if she is still there, but if she is, Mary is very good at making your buying experience as easy one.
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