Originally Posted by garygarrison
BTW, I think IMAX's sound is overrated. While it is plenty loud, and would read that way on an SPL meter, it doesn't seem to have the frequency balanced impact of the old multichannel magnetic tracks (especially 70 mm, like Todd-AO). IMAX, so far, seems to be a bit bright, and lack mid-bass (perhaps). So, given that, I wouldn't want it any louder. So far, the best sounding IMAX may have been Fantasia 2000, but, oddly, the Beethoven lacked the proper impact. The Firebird sequence sounded just fine, though. I realize that the sound may vary quite a bit from IMAX theater to IMAX theater.
Your comment about Todd-AO dredged-up some old memories. We lived close enough to Denver when I was growing up to go to the Cooper Theater, one of the first and best Cinerama venues. Although I can only remember seeing one true Cinerama movie there (How The West Was Won), we saw a number of wonderful 70mm movies there including: Around The World In 80 Days, Fantasia, Ben Hur, El Cid, Lawrence Of Arabia. That was our first real exposure to first class 2.35 or 2.5 aspect ratio movies, and both the picture and sound quality were spectacular. I think I remember reading somewhere that they used the big Altec speakers in some of those theaters, but I may be mistaken.
With all the usual caveats about the unreliability of audio memory, particularly from so long ago, I would have to entirely agree with you. That theater had amazing sound at whatever volume levels, and some of those soundtracks got very loud. The several IMAX theaters I have been to are mainly very loud, although to be fair, I did think Skyfall had pretty good sound.