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Fortress or Elite : Home Theater Seats

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi :
I am looking to get a set of 3-seaters. Fortress and Elites are on my short-list.
Can anyone chime in on which manufacturer is better in terms of workmanship and reliability (power recliner etc) of their product?
I don't have any dealers nearby to check them out myself.

post #2 of 7
Which Fortress and Elite models are you looking to purchase? Are you looking at the Californian and C1-M or at going with both companies' fully customizable models? Both are very good companies with excellent warranties, raw materials and construction methods. I will try to post a comparison and contrast of the materials used sometime tomorrow for you.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Yes i am debating between the Fortress Californian and Elite C1-M. Price-wise they are in the same ball-park. But not being able to actually check them out in person, it is kind of tough to make an educated decision. I am also thinking to add the buttkicker option; wondering if both these models can be installed (as part of the seat itself and not using the mounting kit) with the buttkicker LFE kit?

post #4 of 7
Thanks. The Buttkicker install would be a self-install. There is a metal bracket available that can mount to the frame and allow for a nice, solid installation.

Here are the construction details of both seats. We have more info from Elite because they have provide more info. Please contact me offline for my personal opinion of them if you would like my input. We have the C1-M here and the Fortress Matinee here (custom version of the Californian) here and I can relate anything anything you need to know about them.

Elite C1-M:
* Made in Canada
* Ergonomically designed w/strong lumbar support
* Power Recline uses Canadian-made or German-made motor
* All top grain leather (no vinyl match anywhere. They are 100% leather)
* Ten-year warranty (5 years on upholstery). This is the best warranty I have seen in the industry.
* Chairs weight approximately 150-200 lbs per chair (compare this to other brands that weigh about 125 with power. We have one in our store and I've moved it before and flipped it over for customers. I can tell you that It is built like a tank!)
* Heavy duty, thick-wall frame construction
* Arms attached with screws and bolts not an L-Bracket at base; no loose or wobbly arms
Some "marketing" info from Elite:
* The headrest cushion is strategically placed to provide optimum head and neck support while maintaining the best possible viewing angle.
* The added lumbar support provides excellent support for the lower back. As the body heat warms the chair, the special high quality foam becomes softer and molds and conforms to the occupant.
* Usually found in Europe's finest sports cars, our unique "dual- cushion" seat design provides optimum support primarily because body weight is equally transferred and distributed by the two independent cushions. The inner cushion supports the buttocks, while the outer cushion supports and lifts the legs which in turn alleviates pressure on the lower back.

Fortress Californian:
* Made in USA
* The Californian has leather on the seat cushion, inside back and tops of the arms, everything else is faux leather. 
* Frame: All Birch ply frame, Seat base is all wood (no webbing)
* Foam: Californian has 2 different layers + Dacron wrap
* Ten Year Warranty

My thoughts:
In general, the C1-M has much more detailing and "wow factor" than the Californian. The Elite will be a firmer sit than the Californian and give you better head support when reclined. If you plan to go with the C1-M and use it in the upright position more than reclined consider the shape of the headrest which is better suited for a reclined position.
post #5 of 7
Price differential:

Californian: $1100

leather on seating surfaces, back and side are match, manual is standard but power can be added...

C1-M: $2799, on sale for less at $2250

full leather (black or brown) and power recline standard

Just stating this because both chairs are at different price points. Full leather is quite a bit more no matter the manufacturer so that's the main difference when it comes down to pricing. Then obviously, power recline as well. Hope this helps.
post #6 of 7
I have the Fortress Californian seats; 2-set up front; 3-set in back. Had them 1 1/2 years now. Great seats: obvious quality, good looks, comfortable, and perfect size for my 11-foot wide theater.
post #7 of 7
What about Cinematech? In this pricerange there are many alternatives smile.gif
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