The event really started out on Friday as Mark Seaton from Seaton Sound came over to help fine tune the main theater room. The room is a dedicated home theater that is 21 feet long by 16 feet wide and resides just above my garage. The room was designed and built by my wife and I with only some electrical work being contracted out along with my carpeting. The room has seating for six with the second row elevated on a platform designed by Auralex that also serves as a broadband diffusor. I recently upgraded all the subs in my room and welcomed the first pair of Seaton Submersive HP+ subs Mark shipped out. This is a master/slave configuration with one sub featuring a 4,000 watt amp and the other sub featuring a slave plate that simply gets its power from the other sub. Each sub features dual opposed 15" drivers in a sealed cabinet. This was designed for co-location setups since the subs would have to be treated as one which was perfect for my setup. This also gives you the ability to buy one Submersive now and add a slave later at a much lower cost rather than buying two regular Submersives. I also added two of SVS's top of the line sealed subs, the SB-13 Ultras. These are sealed designs featuring their best 13" drivers coupled with a 1,000 watt BASH amp. With 6,000 watts of power, four 15" subs and two 13" subs, the room can readily deliver anything thrown at it at reference levels.
That night Mark toiled over the Anthem ARC room calibration results and fine tuned the system for optimal crossover points and levels. Roger Dressler, formerly of Dolby Laboratories, also made it over to observe our process and offer a few tips of his own. After some head scratching with the ARC settings in my Anthem Statement D2V 3D Surround Processor, we finally had things where they needed to be.
The day of the event was a beautiful Saturday and after sending word out via several websites we had a large number of guests confirmed from the local area and as far out as Central Oregon. Since I was expecting such a large number of guests I decided to reach out to AVS for some help with prizes along with some home theater manufacturers and movie studios. I never expected to get the level of support I did from the industry for this kind of event but we managed to put together some outstanding door prizes and raffle prizes for our guests. Because of the generous donations received, I put together a gift bag for everyone that attended. JVC was kind enough to donate no less than 40 drawstring backpacks that served as the gift bag. Inside each bag was two Blu-ray discs from an assortment of Blu-ray's donated to the event by Warner Brothers, Magnolia Pictures, and Lionsgate. Each studio sent quite a lot of Blu-rays enabling me to put at least two in every bag! Source Interlink, the parent company of Home Theater magazine (now Sound & Vision) also sent out boxes full of stainless steel coffee tumblers that were also included in each bag. Mark Seaton also contributed an LED flashlight with the Seaton Sound logo for each bag.
Rather than just trying to cram all the event attendance into my theater room I decided to try and offer multiple setups for people to enjoy. Downstairs we converted my daughter's playroom into a make shift two-channel system using a pair of Paradigm Signature Reference S8 loudspeakers being driven by Emotiva's XPA-1L monoblock amplifiers, an Emotiva XSP-1 preamp and an Oppo BDP-105 Universal Blu-ray player.
In my family room we had a couple things going. Sony was nice enough to lend us their latest soundbar offering, the HT-ST7. The soundbar features full DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD decoding built in along with three HDMI inputs and Bluetooth linking with a smart device or tablet. The bar features nine speakers, seven discrete amps and a wireless subwoofer. We also had Tyler Pruitt of Bionic AV here in Seattle to calibrate my Panasonic 65" VT50 plasma. This gave guests the ability to see how a calibration goes and the results you can achieve with the latest tools available to calibrators. Tyler is a THX and ISF certified calibrator and has been a friend of mine for years now. He even donated a calibration as one of our raffle prizes! If you're interested in a calibration I could recommend him more. You can find out more at bionicav.com
Without a doubt the main event for the get together was the theater room. I kept demos rolling throughout the day with movie and music clips that demonstrated what could be achieved in home theater today. Just a few days earlier I had installed a brand new speaker setup in the room from Legacy Audio. This includes their spectacular Focus SE loudspeakers, their Marquis HD center and Phantom HD surrounds. This is a truly full range audio system sporting no less than six 12" bass drivers across the front soundstage and dual 8" drivers in the surrounds. But as good as the bass delivery was from the Legacy Audio system, its the brilliant mid range and detailed top end that is the true showcase. These are some of the most musical speakers I've heard to date and their effortless presentation with everything I threw at them where truly one of the biggest highlights of the show. The front soundstage was being driven by some newly acquired Emotiva XPR-1 monoblock amplifiers which deliver 1,000 watts each. The surrounds were driven by the new XPA-2 second generation amplifier.
The video setup consisted of my reference JVC X75R projector mated with a 120" Stewart Filmscreen Studiotek 130 screen. The screen also features a Carada Masquerade masking system. Front end duties were being performed by my reference Blu-ray player, the Oppo BDP-105 along with the latest media server from Baetis Audio, the Baetis XR. This is a home theater PC built from the ground up for audiophile quality music playback of any type of file including DSD and high resolution stereo and multi-channel playback. It features not only HDMI outputs but BNC ultra short path SPDIF output that can be coupled with the best DACs out there for truly reference quality 2-channel playback. I had the Baetis connected to a Berkley Alpha One DAC for demonstrations. The Baetis uses J River's playback interface making library access and organization a breeze. All of these were fed to my JVC projector through Lumagen's latest video processor, the Radiance 2021. The Radiance 2021 features not only Lumagen's signature "no-ring" scaling but also allows for 125 point color calibration and 12 point parametric grayscale/gamma correction. It also features Darbee's latest video processing. Jim Peterson from Lumagen was on hand to answer any questions about the processor and gave the thumbs up to the video playback.
But my setups weren't the only show at the event. Jason, Nathan and Chris from Oppo Digital made it to the event from California and brought a big surprise! Oppo was kind enough to bring one of the products that is still in early development.
Their newest device is a fully balanced Pure Class A headphone amp/DAC/preamp. The preamp uses the same ESS DAC featured in their flagship BDP-105 and features a host of digital inputs including SPDIF and USB. It also features Blutooth AptX connection for wireless devices like smartphones and tablets. The amp can feed both headphones through a traditional headphone jack or a balanced output. Oppo brought a pair of Audeze LCD-2 heaphones along to demostrate, which are planar magnetic headphones that are known to be difficult to drive. The amp can also be used as a 2-channel preamp with RCA and balanced XLR inputs and outputs. It's exciting to see Oppo delve into other markets and I'm sure this product will be the disruptor that their Blu-ray players have been to the industry as well..
All throughout the day local home theater enthuasists went from room to room but I was really happy to see so many of them talking amongst each other about their setups and passion. While we have a great community here at AVS to interact with, there is nothing like enjoying a day of movies and music with new friends. Oppo Digital was gracious enough to sponsor the event and provided both food and drinks for everyone. With the help of my wife we made sure that everyone was comfortable and well fed.
But what is an event without some great prizes? Luckily we had that covered. Not only did everyone walk out with a great gift bag full of goodies but there were plenty more to give out in our raffle. Sony was kind enough to offer some great movie posters from recent releases like White House Down, Zero Dark Thirty and Another Earth. They also provided some T-Shirts for me to throw into the mob. Sony Pictures provided a collection of their latest "Mastered in 4K" Blu-ray releases and we raffled those off in sets of two for three lucky winners.
Legacy Audio, AIX and DTS all contributed a mix of demo material including Legacy Audio's latest audio sampler, AIX's latest Blu-ray Audio sampler and DTS's 2013 Blu-ray demo disc. What home theater nut doesn't love a great demo disc!! I used the Legacy sampler in the home theater room for some of my demos as well.
AVS Forum provided some great T-shirts that arrived just in the nick of time for the raffle event. We also got a pair of RCA interconnects from SVS! Our two grand prizes were from DVDO and JVC though. DVDO sent their latest DVDO-Air wireless HDMI transmitter. This provides a wireless connection between two HDMI devices making tough installations a breeze. JVC provided their latest ADIXXION XA2 1080p camcorder. This is a "GoPro" style action camera meant to capture the fun and excitement of your active lifestyle while mounted to your helmet or just about anything else. Needless to say the anticipation of winning this prize could be felt in the room and Lisa Day was our lucky winner. Like all great home theater get togethers, the accompanying wives definitely made out with the bulk of the raffle prizes. Go figure.
After the raffle event we had another great guest, Don Munsil of Spears and Munsil. Don and Stacey just released volume 2 of their latest HD Benchmark Blu-ray disc which is the defacto standard for testing and evaluating your video and audio chain. Don did a great presentation of the disc in the home theater and showed how to pick apart your video chain and make sure you're getting the most of your video playback system. He also had copies of the disc on hand to give out to lucky attendees who answered his questions right.
Overall the even was a great success that was made even better by the support of the local home theater enthusiasts to showed up and helped throughout the day. A huge thanks goes out to Mark Seaton for helping tune the room to perfection just before hand. The bass presentation from the home theater was certainly one of the highlights of the day. I can't thank all the companies that supported the event enough: Oppo Digital, JVC, DVDO, Sony, SVS, Home Theater, AVS, Legacy Audio, DTS and AIX. All the prizes given out were a hit with the crowd and made the event that much more fun for everyone. With local home theater shops drying up it is becoming harder and harder for enthusiasts to see and hear the latest stuff out there and events like these go a long way in reigniting the passion for a great presentation. I hope this is the first of many more get togethers to come in this area.
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I look forward to reading what everyone's impressions were of the different items on display.
Trying to enjoy the simple things in life.
Tyler Pruitt - Pro Calibrator - BionicAV
Technical Support - SpectraCal
THX Certified - Video Calibration
sounds like every one had a grand time. One of these day's ill go to a meet up, hopefully locally here in L A area :) great wright up on the event..
Looks like an epic G2G that surpassed the very high expectations placed upon it by the AV enthusiast community! Congrats
I'm glad you are enjoying the Legacy speakers and the Baetis Audio server, they are serving me well too. :-)
I'd love to do this kind of event on the East Coast sometime. Maybe you can help me round up some prizes with your industry contacts?
I'm happy to simply get a chance to talk to others that share the hobby, let alone experience world class demo's, meet and talk to industry experts and come home with swag.
It was truly a pleasure to attend.
X-Box Live name: OGgamer1974
If you want to be friends on through xbox network, just send me a request through X-Box Live and mention AVS in the request.
Again, thanks for hosting the event! We had a great time and it was awesome to see your theater transforming even further! Finally hearing Mark's Submersives and the Legacy's were all truly inspiring. Gives me something to shoot at for sure!
We've enjoyed the Adixxion a bunch, its really cool! After I found out it was waterproof we took it to the pool and went down the waterslide. Full 1080p @ 30fps, looked great on my TV!
Can't wait till the next one!
Scott (Lisa's other half)
It ain't ignorance causes so much trouble; it's folks knowing so much that ain't so
I'm delighted to hear that the Magnolia store on Roosevelt is still open. I fondly recall buying my first VCR (a Mitsubishi), my first laser disc player (a Pioneer) and my first set of 5.1 speakers (Kef speakers and M&K subwoofer) at that store. Is the store part of the Best Buy empire now or is it still independant?
Which leads me to bsoko2's JTR/Seaton setup. I am currently saving for JTR 212 Noesis flagship LCR and most likely the JTR Captivator S2 dual 18 inch 4kw with dsp speaker power amp! So my first experience was a confirming one as I had hopes based on hours and hours of reading. The best way to describe my experience was opposite of harsh sounding. They were every bit of pleasing to the ears. Effortless, pleasing and lifelike sound. The kicker for me was no spike in volume dynamics were harsh or just plain loud sounding. Everything was handled with ease . We were at -5 and I felt I could have easily handled over reference. He also has quad Submersives witch made for very nice bass integration
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