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What is the best acoustic transparent screen currently?

post #1 of 97
Thread Starter 
What is the best acoustic transparent screen currently?

I need advice on some of the best AT screen for a combination of sound and image quality.

The screen is for a small 11' x 17' room with 2 rows of seating.

I prefer the 2.35:1 ratio
post #2 of 97
They all have their pluses and minuses.
Such an open ended question is impossible to answer.
Kind of like what is the best projector.

You need to define some criteria.
post #3 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Milt99 View Post

They all have their pluses and minuses.
Such an open ended question is impossible to answer.
Kind of like what is the best projector.

You need to define some criteria.

Also are you talking about best for sound, image or combination of both.
post #4 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjg100 View Post

Also are you talking about best for sound, image or combination of both.

I just edited my inital post.
post #5 of 97
You also need to indicate how large you intend the screen to be and what projector you plan to use. Most AT screens do not have much, if any, gain. This means if you want a large AT screen, you probably will need a bright projector. Stating your budget for both screen and projector would be helpful as well, because high quality AT screens are expensive, as are high quality, bright projectors. You can do almost anything for enough money; but if, like most of us, your budget is limited, some compromises may be necessary.
post #6 of 97
I would take a look at these:
www.seymourav.com/screens.asp
www.smxscreen.com/

Seymour will also sell you fabric for DIY.
post #7 of 97
post #8 of 97
Screen Research is in receivership with an as yet to be determined future(see Cinemascope's post below).
Good luck getting any info from them.
To try and answer the OPs question:
For the potential amount of money you're going to spend it would be worthwhile to get samples from Seymour, SMX, Screen Excellence and Stewart.
All except Stewart are woven screens, Stewart will take their screen and micro-perf it. A micro-perf will require EQ to compensate for the loss in db and specific frequencies.
The list above is also in order of cost from left to right with the last 2 being roughly equivalent, i.e, megabuck$.
post #9 of 97
Quote:


A micro-perf will require EQ to compensate for the loss in db and specific frequencies.

Why is that? ... and the others don't?
post #10 of 97
Thread Starter 
What about the DragonFly screens? Where do they fit into the category...in terms of price and performance?
post #11 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

Why is that? ... and the other don't?

I just trying to make to OP aware that the Stewart MP screen will require more EQ compensation than the woven screens. No that Stewart is inferior by any means, by all accounts, the Stewart screen will be superior in PQ to woven screens and that's why I suggested getting samples as viewer's mileage will vary on the PQ\\AQ\\cost balance when judging a screen.
You got me there as I don't have personal experience with Stewart but from having read posts on this forum by Stewart MP owners and I believe on the Stewart website, the MP screens require more compensation as the sound level is more affected than by woven screens and speaker positioning behind the screen is more critical.
The tests I've seen on SMX and Seymour depending on the material show a 1.5 to .5db reduction in sound level.
Again, I was just trying to give some general help and assume that the OP will do more thorough research on his own.
If I'm spreading misinformation, I welcome your guidance as I am a former customer of yours
post #12 of 97
The original compensation box which shipped with Stewart Micro Perf screens was to compensate for the fact the center channel was behind the screen and the L/R speakers were not. Any AT screen will have such a mismatch in that circumstance. Stewart provided a way to correct for that difference.

In a 2.4:1 or 2.35:1 system, it is not uncommon to have all three speakers behind the screen. If you carefully review the HF rolloff in the Stewart screens, you'll find that roll off very closely matches the rolloff provided by THX ReEQ or by implementing one of the "X" or "house curves". Rather a tail chasing exercise ... add the compensation boxes on all three channels and then defeat them with ReEQ (or similar).

The bigger issue with AT screens are the potential issues with reflections from the back of the screen back to the face of the speaker...this can create a notch.

In any event, we don't use the compensator boxes and find we don't need 'em (rather redundant in any case with a Tact, Audyessy, QSC in the system for calibration); but, Stewart at least provides a free way to overcome whatever their screen may roll off. I don't know of any other manufacturer providing that option.

BTW, enjoying your room?
post #13 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

BTW, enjoying your room?

Ah, I didn't realize the Stewart service was free.
I did visit the Stewart site and read up on the MP stuff, whitepaper etc.
You mean my sanctuary?
Immensely, as does everyone who spends time there.
Lots of time, work, attention to detail, materials and thinking to construct a room to your demanding specs but the result "speaks" for itself, Dennis.
One of the things that struck me was how quiet the room is.
post #14 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

The original compensation box which shipped with Stewart Micro Perf screens was to compensate for the fact the center channel was behind the screen and the L/R speakers were not. Any AT screen will have such a mismatch in that circumstance. Stewart provided a way to correct for that difference.

In a 2.4:1 or 2.35:1 system, it is not uncommon to have all three speakers behind the screen. If you carefully review the HF rolloff in the Stewart screens, you'll find that roll off very closely matches the rolloff provided by THX ReEQ or by implementing one of the "X" or "house curves". Rather a tail chasing exercise ... add the compensation boxes on all three channels and then defeat them with ReEQ (or similar).

The bigger issue with AT screens are the potential issues with reflections from the back of the screen back to the face of the speaker...this can create a notch.

In any event, we don't use the compensator boxes and find we don't need 'em (rather redundant in any case with a Tact, Audyessy, QSC in the system for calibration); but, Stewart at least provides a free way to overcome whatever their screen may roll off. I don't know of any other manufacturer providing that option.

BTW, enjoying your room?

Sorry, Dennis, but that made me laugh.
post #15 of 97
Some people are too easily amused.
post #16 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

Some people are too easily amused.

Not really. I am pretty sure the cost of the EQ box is factored into the sale price of the screen.
post #17 of 97
Let's change "free" to no additional cost. But so what?
post #18 of 97
The only real benefit perforated screens provide is added gain. If you don't need the extra gain, then woven screens will provide superior performance.

Video wise, woven screens are much less likely to exhibit video interference patterns.

Audio wise, woven screens do not attenuate high frequencies nearly as much as perforated and do not need EQ to compensate. it is virtually transparent. And they do not exhibit nearly the same amount of comb-filtering that perf screens do. This is all supported by measurements from several sources... the latest one I know of being WSR issue 141.
post #19 of 97
I would go with screen excellence since that is all they make. they specialize in AT screens. The way movies are meant to be heard. And they are about 40% cheaper then stewart
post #20 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by smallhometheater View Post

I would go with screen excellence since that is all they make. they specialize in AT screens. The way movies are meant to be heard. And they are about 40% cheaper then stewart

Wouldn't that go the same for Seymour?
post #21 of 97
There is always going to be a tossup between woven vs microperf. I prefer going with microperf when my seating can be located at least 8' away from the screen. At this distance, majority of people will not be able to distinguish the perforation. Those who have 20/15 vision may be able to see them, but at 8'+ they will disappear just as your ability to resolve individual pixels does. With perforated screens I have found that image quality far surpasses a woven screen and sound can be corrected with simple eq.
post #22 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by RooRwOrks View Post

There is always going to be a tossup between woven vs microperf. I prefer going with microperf when my seating can be located at least 8' away from the screen. At this distance, majority of people will not be able to distinguish the perforation. Those who have 20/15 vision may be able to see them, but at 8'+ they will disappear just as your ability to resolve individual pixels does. With perforated screens I have found that image quality far surpasses a woven screen and sound can be corrected with simple eq.

I am the opposite. Use a microperf if you need the gain, other wise use a woven screen.
post #23 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by RooRwOrks View Post

There is always going to be a tossup between woven vs microperf. I prefer going with microperf when my seating can be located at least 8' away from the screen. At this distance, majority of people will not be able to distinguish the perforation. Those who have 20/15 vision may be able to see them, but at 8'+ they will disappear just as your ability to resolve individual pixels does. With perforated screens I have found that image quality far surpasses a woven screen and sound can be corrected with simple eq.

You can't fix comb-filtering with EQ my friend. But you are correct that in the end, it's about tradeoffs... it's the golden rule of HT.
post #24 of 97
There is a great article in the past couple Widescreen Review mags....


dbldare
post #25 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by RooRwOrks View Post

With perforated screens I have found that image quality far surpasses a woven screen and sound can be corrected with simple eq.

"Far surpasses", is a bit of an exaggeration imo.
I don't think there's anything simple about real EQ and the cost of a Stewart MP must be weighed in as well.
I know people who are very particular about both Audio & Video and some would never use a MP or woven and others who prefer an AT.
Personally I can't justify a Stewart MP but I love what having 3 identical L\\C\\R speakers does for the audio.
Like pocoloco said it's all about preferences and trade-offs.
post #26 of 97
Currently, I think that Screen Excellence has the best woven material on the market.

As far as the overall build quality of their screens, not only do I find into be first rate, I also prefer the implementation of their masking system to the other premium screens.

Their screens are considerably cheaper than the Screen Research or Stewart screens, and are definitely the best value in the realm of premium AT screens.
post #27 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Milt99 View Post

Screen Research is defunct essentially being replaced by Screen Excellence.

This statement needs clarification... Screen Research is in receivership in France, so their future is up in the air at this time, but they are not "defunct".

Screen Excellence is owned by Patrice Congard, who used to work for Screen Research. Patrice developed the multi-layer weave fabric for SR that made them famous. Patrice has also developed the new generation of tighter weaves which are now only sold under the Screen Excellence name, although SR and SMX have since copied them.

(Although SMX now has a competitive fabric, their first fabrics were single layer weave fabrics made by companies like Phifer for roller shades, and were not taken seriously by real pros)

Also, Screen Excellence has the Craftsman series, which is a DIY-friendly line of products with just the material which you can stretch into your own millwork.

I have been a dealer since it the product came to the US, and I use it as often as possible.
post #28 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by cinemascope View Post

This statement needs clarification... Screen Research is in receivership in France, so their future is up in the air at this time, but they are not "defunct".

Screen Excellence is owned by Patrice Congard, who used to work for Screen Research. Patrice developed the multi-layer weave fabric for SR that made them famous. Patrice has also developed the new generation of tighter weaves which are now only sold under the Screen Excellence name, although SR and SMX have since copied them.

(Although SMX now has a competitive fabric, their first fabrics were single layer weave fabrics made by companies like Phifer for roller shades, and were not taken seriously by real pros)

Also, Screen Excellence has the Craftsman series, which is a DIY-friendly line of products with just the material which you can stretch into your own millwork.

I have been a dealer since it the product came to the US, and I use it as often as possible.

I have a question. How long have the new multi layer fabrics by Screen Research and Screen Excellence been out? I thought that they were relatively new, as in came out last year. What was the construction of their fabric before these new screens?

Added:
Was ClearPix1 a single layer fabric that was introduced in 2005?
post #29 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by cinemascope View Post

Currently, I think that Screen Excellence has the best woven material on the market.

As far as the overall build quality of their screens, not only do I find into be first rate, I also prefer the implementation of their masking system to the other premium screens.

Their screens are considerably cheaper than the Screen Research or Stewart screens, and are definitely the best value in the realm of premium AT screens.

Do you know how the Screen Excellence screens compare to the SeymourAV screens, price-wise? I'm considering altering my setup for an AT screen.
post #30 of 97
Quote:


I think that Screen Excellence has the best woven material on the market

I do think the original post was directed to the "best" regardless of approach (woven or otherwise).

Just for the record, I believe (not certain) that only THX to date has provided independent third-party testing for both audio and video qualities of AT screens.
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