Stewart microperf x2 owners please comment about your systems audio fidelity with this screen - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 36 Old 06-21-2013, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
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I am asking in this forum as many of you have high end audio systems to go along with top notch video. I have spoken with a few people over IM but most have self professed to not be that concerned about an "audiophile" level of obsessiveness over the audio portion of their system.

So I would like to get a few comments from Stewart owners that have high dollar speakers behind this screen. Can you hear negative effects? Effects of any comb filtering in the audio? Does it hurt imaging when listening to stereo?

All three of my front speakers are behind my current woven Enlightor 4k screen, and sound great in this setup, but I have been considering the Stewart because I want some gain. I am unwilling to take a significant step back in audio quality, however.

Thanks for any help!


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post #2 of 36 Old 06-21-2013, 12:23 PM
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I am considering putting my center behind a screen. What is the gain of your current screen? Of the proposed Stewart?

R 8:28


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post #3 of 36 Old 06-21-2013, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
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The EN4k has around a .80 gain. I think .84 is published somewhere. The Stewart Studiotek 130 has a 1.3 gain and is said to lose 10% gain when perforated.

I measured my screen and a Stewart sample, and came out with about 11 ftL on my 160" screen with my Sony vw1000 and a little over 16 ftL with the studiotek 130 perforated sample, if memory serves.

The other issue with the Stewart is cost, of course, at around $$9600 or something like that at list. So at that price I am unwilling to take a significant compromise over my current screen for the sake of gain. If audio isn't compromised significantly, then I may bite the bullet. At street prices the EN4k is about half the Stewart.


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post #4 of 36 Old 06-21-2013, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
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I found an article by Bob Hodas for Mix Magazine that doesn't present the Stewart in too nice of a light. That may have answered my question.

http://mixguides.com/studiodesign/product_features/new-perforated-screens-0405/


This was from 2005. I am not sure if the "Microperf x2" fixed any of the issues he found.

The article also said he used 8 inches as the speaker to screen distance, but Stewart recommends 12". Bob does say that he tested many distances and 8" performed best, though.

"I measured each at a variety of speaker-to-screen distances, but only published charts for one distance of eight inches. This distance gave an optimal reading for all screens."

He also didnt test the EN4k specifically, of course, since it wasn't out then. I can only make an assumption that it would measure in a similar fashion to the woven Screen Research Clearpix2.


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post #5 of 36 Old 06-21-2013, 02:13 PM
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En4k is a nice screen but studiotek 130 plus X2 results in a slightly sharper and much brighter picture. Colour rendition is also superior. I was unable to measure or detect significant sq issues in our X2 demo room post eq.

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post #6 of 36 Old 06-21-2013, 02:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok thanks....yeah I know the picture quality is said to be much improved, provided the adequate distance from the viewer, which I have,.

Neil you are the Trinnov guru, correct? So it takes care of anything and everything the screen may do?

What about 2 channel imaging? Does the screen seem to affect that?


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post #7 of 36 Old 06-21-2013, 08:02 PM
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We have a 14" micro perf screen with a custom high end audio system.

We use a ADA reference and the sound is superior.

Contact Dan Francis ( a member here )for more info.

Jim
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post #8 of 36 Old 06-23-2013, 02:24 PM
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hifiaudio, If you switch to Stewart be sure to report the difference in audio. In the past, there has just been no comparison for audio. The woven screen are MUCH superior to Stewart. However, Stewart always had an advantage for picture quality. To have the best of both worlds, you need the Enlightor 4k and a really bright projector. Personally, I think you are going to be disappointed switching to a perforated screen from a woven for audio.

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post #9 of 36 Old 06-23-2013, 09:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Well that doesnt help Bulldogger!! smile.gif I need a consensus!

In seriousness, I guess I am just going to have to get to someone's place and demo it. Someone relatively local has offered, I just have to get out there.

A few very knowledgeable members have IM'ed me and basically said that the Stewart should not be detrimental relative to the woven screen, so I still have hope.


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post #10 of 36 Old 06-24-2013, 06:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post

hifiaudio, If you switch to Stewart be sure to report the difference in audio. In the past, there has just been no comparison for audio. The woven screen are MUCH superior to Stewart. However, Stewart always had an advantage for picture quality. To have the best of both worlds, you need the Enlightor 4k and a really bright projector. Personally, I think you are going to be disappointed switching to a perforated screen from a woven for audio.

Are there any solid engineering level comparisons for both products? I find SE's claim of -2.5dB attenuation over the entire frequency range hard to believe.
Quote:
Enlightor 4K acoustic transparency differs from any other AT screen fabric : It provides a uniform attenuation of -2.5 dB over the entire frequency spectrum, allowing a simple uplift of volume level on the front channels without any EQ.

If the comparison is between Stewart with proper EQ and the 4k with volume boost, then I think in reality there would be a bass "boost" with the 4k which some people may perceive as better sound. Has testing been done to properly equalize both screens? And then what measurements taken after proper EQ indicate cloth is clearly superior?

 

 

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post #11 of 36 Old 06-24-2013, 06:15 AM - Thread Starter
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To me, it does seem that a piece of vinyl with holes in it would affect sound a great degree more than a simple cloth weave, but how MUCH more is what I am trying to figure out, without purchasing a screen that cannot be returned or resold for anywhere close to its value. smile.gif

It would be nice if someone could perform some up to date hardcore testing of each.


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post #12 of 36 Old 06-24-2013, 08:11 AM
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http://www.stewartfilmscreen.com/residential/resources/wp_perforated_screens/wp_perforated_screens_residential.html

Dan Francis
Head of Sales US
C'SEED Entertainment Systems GMBH

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post #13 of 36 Old 06-24-2013, 08:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. I had read that one before... but to be honest, it kind of reeks of a biased opinion. Perhaps its in the way I read it, but it seems pretty obvious that that paper had an agenda of "show how the Stewart is best" instead of "measure everything and draw a conclusion". I did some research on the author back when I first read it and came to the conclusion that the paper was the equivalent of the the prosecution or defense bringing in their own "expert witness". I could be totally wrong, though. That was just my take.

I also didn't really like the inclusion of a non manufacturer specified black backing and then testing with that.

I think they are dead on for the video side though....

I appreciate the link though. Your input Dan is especially important to me so your recommendation of the perf goes a long way. I guess I just need to go see it. Also its really hard to pull the trigger on a high dollar screen while my EN4k sits here. Need to get it sold!


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post #14 of 36 Old 06-24-2013, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hifiaudio2 View Post

I also didn't really like the inclusion of a non manufacturer specified black backing and then testing with that.

Yeah, that's pretty bad and invalidates the test results in my mind. They stated upfront that Brand B didn't follow manufacturer guidelines, hence the need to retest... and then they do exactly the same thing. The audio tests could have been done without the black backing, or wait a few days and get the manufacturer supplied backing. But to go out and source their own "fire retardant black backing" and use that in an official test between the 2 products? Why even test at that point. It moves the paper out of science and into fiction.

 

 

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post #15 of 36 Old 06-24-2013, 12:21 PM
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The videos on the Screen Excellence website are of me talking about the fabrics, screen construction etc. They were made about 4 years ago now but I guess you realise that I at least have some claim to experience with the products!

In my current Experience Centre ICE Cinema we use a Stewart DC100 with X2 micro perf and before that and in other locations in our centre we have Image screens with 4K fabric. I also have plenty of experience with ClearPix2 but no experience of Screen Research' newer fabrics.

For picture sharpness the Stewart is miles ahead of the woven screens (4K DP4K-ICE PJ) but you need to a decent distance from the screen (3m IMO) before the perfs become imperceptible. With the SE 4K you can get very close to the screen before any weave is apparent (1m or less) but the sharpness is just not quite the same.

For Audio, our main concern was reflection from the back of the Stewart and so we have 50mm absorber material over the baffle wall. With our previous woven screens I used only 25mm material. We run Datasat RS20i processors in our rooms using the Dirac room correction system and post calibration there is no perceptible difference between the SE, IMAGE, and Stewart fabrics. We have a variety of very high end audio products to play with including PRO Audio and Wisdom Audio speakers and would have no problem with recommending Stewart in front of them.

There is another point not being addressed so far and particularly important as the screens get larger and or have masking - the quality of construction and ease of assembly. I honestly think that I have built more masking screens from more screen brands than almost anyone else and the Stewart i so far ahead in quality here it is almost funny. The fit and finish is really exceptional (and the frames on other brands can also be excellent) but it is the way the mechanisms just work that is key. Add in easy integration with Kaleidescape for a fully automised system...

So pretty clear for me for picture and over build quality the Stewart is the best choice no question. For sound, the X2 does not perform significantly worse than the best woven materials post calibration and with suitable absorbent material behind the screen. If you can afford the premium then Stewart is clearly the only choice.

Neil Davidson - Visit my
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post #16 of 36 Old 06-24-2013, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I really appreciate that answer, Neil. I think between you and Dan I am convinced to give it a try.

I think the parameters of my install will also work well with the Stewart. My eyes are about 12'4" back from the screen, and my speakers are about 12-13" behind the screen for the center speaker, and about 11" behind the screen for the left and right, since my baffle wall they are installed into is angled slightly.

My baffle wall is also covered in 1" Linacoustic.

All I have for EQ right now is a Marantz av8801 with Audyssey, as I cannot afford a Datasat or ADA. Im at the end of the rope on theater funds! Just getting this screen is going to take some work.

But I have hope in that the implementation of Dirac in the upcoming Emotiva XMC-1 will be up to snuff and will give me what I need.

Thanks again Dan and Neil for these answers!


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post #17 of 36 Old 06-24-2013, 04:39 PM
 
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Since we install both I'll give you a comparison.  Each type of screen has its tradeoffs but both can be exceptionally good.  I like the Stewarts for the video quality (if not sitting too close) because you can get a screen material that suits your application.  The audio on the Stewart has more high frequency loss but can easily compensated for with EQ.  Audyssey will do a fine job and you won't need the Stewart processor.  typically the biggest problem with using the Stewart is space behind the screen for the speakers.  If you have that foot of space or more it will work well.

 

 The Enlightor 4K also benefits from having the speakers a foot back or more.  But, if you don't have that space the detriment to the audio is not much if the speakers are placed closer.  Even if they are in wall speakers with the screen over it.  Also, the weave on this material is tough to notice even sitting close.  These are the type of situations the Enlightor 4K has an advantage.  Picture quality the material has a slight sheen to it noticeable from within ~15 feet.  Most won't notice but some enthusiasts do.

 

 It is difficult to make this type of decision.  I'm not fond of recommending samples as they are typically too small to get a good comparison, plus you can't test audio.  However, for not too much money Stewart will give a larger sample, like 4ft x 3ft.  If you can tension it by making a simple frame and staple the material to is you will be able to do some testing and give you a good idea.  The money you spend to do this might save you thousands on trying a different screen.

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Quote:
We have a 14" micro perf screen with a custom high end audio system.

We use a ADA reference and the sound is superior.

Contact Dan Francis ( a member here )for more info.
smile.gifsmile.gif

I have a smaller screen with a high end audio system (part custom)

I use an ADA rhapsody and the sound is superior

Contact Dan Francis for more info, as he helped design and install my system. However, to me the audio is extremely important. I am very particular and would NEVER put high end audio speakers behind a sheet of vinyl regardless of how many perforations it may have. How can the audio quality not be impacted if the manufacturer is giving you advice about how far behind the screen to position the speakers? If you can't hear the difference then perhaps you don't need a high end audio system.
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post #19 of 36 Old 06-24-2013, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbm007 View Post

We have a 14" micro perf screen with a custom high end audio system.

We use a ADA reference and the sound is superior.

Contact Dan Francis ( a member here )for more info.

Jim

Wow, that's an awfully small screen. Do you use a mono speaker and zoom out the projector???

wink.gif

Brian
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post #20 of 36 Old 06-24-2013, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hifiaudio2 View Post

Thanks. I had read that one before... but to be honest, it kind of reeks of a biased opinion. Perhaps its in the way I read it, but it seems pretty obvious that that paper had an agenda of "show how the Stewart is best" instead of "measure everything and draw a conclusion". I did some research on the author back when I first read it and came to the conclusion that the paper was the equivalent of the the prosecution or defense bringing in their own "expert witness". I could be totally wrong, though. That was just my take.

I also didn't really like the inclusion of a non manufacturer specified black backing and then testing with that.

I think they are dead on for the video side though....

I appreciate the link though. Your input Dan is especially important to me so your recommendation of the perf goes a long way. I guess I just need to go see it. Also its really hard to pull the trigger on a high dollar screen while my EN4k sits here. Need to get it sold!

I just want to give you my input...I've had a Studiotek 130 for a few years and am tired of the sparkles on the screen. It is very noticeable on large white portions on the image. I've decided to go bigger and to go AT as well. I need a motorized in-ceiling so my choices seem somewhat limited. I have compared some microperf to woven and in my case (perhaps due to a closer viewing distance) have decided to eliminate microperf from my choices. The woven has some texture but is much less noticeable close up in comparison to the perf.

If you are wanting something with positive gain without sparkles and microperf I would look at the Da-Lite HD Progressive 1.1 material.

Anyway, good luck.

PS. Have you seen this comparison of screen materials? It's newer than the articles referenced...http://accucalhd.com/documents/accucal_front_projection_screen_report.pdf

B.
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post #21 of 36 Old 06-24-2013, 08:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perfectionist2 View Post

smile.gifsmile.gif

I have a smaller screen with a high end audio system (part custom)

I use an ADA rhapsody and the sound is superior

Contact Dan Francis for more info, as he helped design and install my system. However, to me the audio is extremely important. I am very particular and would NEVER put high end audio speakers behind a sheet of vinyl regardless of how many perforations it may have. How can the audio quality not be impacted if the manufacturer is giving you advice about how far behind the screen to position the speakers? If you can't hear the difference then perhaps you don't need a high end audio system.

Well, I am not sure anyone is saying you cant hear the difference. Rather that the difference is an attenuation of the high frequencies that is fairly progressive and linear, and that can be almost completely corrected with a decent EQ. That is what I keep being told, and what I hope!


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post #22 of 36 Old 06-24-2013, 09:28 PM
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Whether correcting for placement behind a screen or placement too close to a side wall- both are equally negative, and both are common corrections.

Most people that are posting here have a room that probably contains at least one issue that when coupled with the loudspeakers placement is actually more serious than placement behind a microperforated screen.

I've swept speakers in all kinds of rooms and the sweeps at 1meter vs the sweeps at 2-3 meters are vastly different- because of the interaction with the room. My point is:
The room is probably doing more to hinder your audio enjoyment than is placement of speakers behind the screen.

More and more people want these enormous screens and if you have a wimpy projector you're using some high gain retro reflective thing that forces the front speakers to the sidewall or floor or ceiling....how is that better than more neutral placement behind the screen (third points of the room and well away from sidewalls or floors)?

These are all compromises. video for audio, audio for video, both for the excitement of a huge screen. The idea is to make as few compromises as possible and still maximize the overall experience. Don't lose the forest for the trees.

Dan

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post #23 of 36 Old 06-25-2013, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabident View Post

Are there any solid engineering level comparisons for both products? I find SE's claim of -2.5dB attenuation over the entire frequency range hard to believe.
If the comparison is between Stewart with proper EQ and the 4k with volume boost, then I think in reality there would be a bass "boost" with the 4k which some people may perceive as better sound. Has testing been done to properly equalize both screens? And then what measurements taken after proper EQ indicate cloth is clearly superior?
The woven screens don't need EQ. -2.5 attenuation over the entire frequency response should not be surprising at all. It's par for the course with nearly all of the woven screens. There is no bass boost whatsoever. Both types primarily effect high frequencies. Bass response is the same with either type screen.

If you have a retractable perforated screen and lower it, you can hear the sound change as it lowers. The perforated screen has a picture advantage because it is more reflective for light. However it is also more reflective for sound. If you lower the screen, the highs and mids are effected the same way as placing the speaker closer to the rear wall. It's easy to hear. Try it. With the woven screens, I don't hear any change in the sound. If you think about it , it's almost impossible for the screen to be more reflective, higher gain, and not also be more reflective for sound as well.

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post #24 of 36 Old 06-25-2013, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hifiaudio2 View Post

Well, I am not sure anyone is saying you cant hear the difference. Rather that the difference is an attenuation of the high frequencies that is fairly progressive and linear, and that can be almost completely corrected with a decent EQ. That is what I keep being told, and what I hope!
Perhaps room correction can do something to eliminate the sound reflections off the vinyl screen. You can EQ all you want but the more "solid" screen will have more of a boundary effect, more reflective for highs, than the woven. Listen for yourself with a retractable. As soon as the a piece of vinyl is lowered between the speakers, you will hear the effect. When I have tried this with a Screen Research screen, the effect is tiny almost unnoticeable.

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post #25 of 36 Old 06-25-2013, 02:19 PM
 
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With any AT screen you are typically treating the front wall behind the screen.  No screen that I know of attenuates 2.5 db across the frequency range.  The woven screens attenuate the high frequencies just like perforated but not as much or might not start as low as the perforated screens.  Sometimes the woven attenuate more if used with the black scree backing.  There is no free lunch each type of screen has its tradeoffs.  Dan hit the nail on the head though.  Don't lose the forest from the trees.  The advantages of AT still outweigh putting speakers in corners or on the floor or ceiling.

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post #26 of 36 Old 06-25-2013, 03:28 PM
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I have measured a SSE 4K unfortunately I can't find the measurement. From memory the reduction was a pretty consistent 2-3dB above maybe 8kHz. Next time I am in the demo theater with my measurement rig I will take another measurement.


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post #27 of 36 Old 06-25-2013, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post

The woven screens don't need EQ. -2.5 attenuation over the entire frequency response should not be surprising at all. It's par for the course with nearly all of the woven screens. There is no bass boost whatsoever. Both types primarily effect high frequencies. Bass response is the same with either type screen.

2.5dB attenuation at 40hz with a thin piece of cloth? I put bass boost in quotes, realizing the screen isn't actually going to boost bass but if the highs are being attenuated and not the lows... and you compensate for the loss in the highs by raising the overall volume... that's going to effectively boost your lows.

 

 

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post #28 of 36 Old 06-26-2013, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabident View Post

2.5dB attenuation at 40hz with a thin piece of cloth? I put bass boost in quotes, realizing the screen isn't actually going to boost bass but if the highs are being attenuated and not the lows... and you compensate for the loss in the highs by raising the overall volume... that's going to effectively boost your lows.
In most case it's not going to boost the bass at all. Typically the only speaker behind the screen is the center channel and it's crossed over typically around 80hz. When you balance the channels, the level of the center for the frequencies it produces will be down. HOWEVER smile.gif, the sub will not be effected because when you balance it's level relative to the rest of the speakers, having never actually been behind the screen, it will not be effected. Whether or not a thin piece of fabric would attenuate the bass is irrelevant for nearly every application I have seen. The subs are typically in different locations. I would not think it wise to put subs behind the screen at any rate, just the center.

Note also the entire frequency response as they define it with their chart starts about 500hz. Considering the chart, I don't think they are actually making the claim that the frequency response at 40hz for example is effected http://www.screenexcellence.com/products/projection-surfaces/enlightor-4k.html .

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post #29 of 36 Old 06-26-2013, 02:46 PM
 
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With any of the woven screens it will not effect bass or midrange.  They don't start to roll off until about 2-4kHz gradually decreasing as you go higher in the frequency range.  With Enlightor 4K it is ~ -4db at 20khz with the black backing.  And there is no problem putting a sub behind the screen if it is a good location for the sub.  I wouldn't place it very close to the fabric as a good sub might flap the fabric.  But acoustically the screen will not affect the bass frequencies.

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post #30 of 36 Old 06-26-2013, 03:10 PM - Thread Starter
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No way a screen affects bass. If it did then bass traps wouldn't need to be so thick! smile.gif


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