Originally Posted by PeterS
Sorry, heard the Datasat at CEDIA and spent some time with the engineers. Was not impressed. Looks like great specs, but those guys just don't have ears. I would NEVER have put that demo in front of the public. It was horrible. Now I'm sure it is a good piece, however on a quick listen the new Theta CB IV sounded MUCH better to me.
PeterS, you are very welcome to come over and listen to my setup.
I hope Roger does not mind, but this is what he had to say about it when he came over."Dave let me first play a CD I burned with several familiar music selections, and was happy to see we agree that louder is not always better. Playing at comfortable loudness, I was nonetheless immediately struck by the quality of the bass. Every note was heard as a separate event. No blurr or overhang, every note spoke with defined pitch, attack and integrated beautifully with the rest of the spectrum. The delicacy was a pleasant surprise, but whenever it called for either subterranean depth (the HVAC motors that were picked up in the Dido recording), or just a full measure of dynamics in Lyle Lovett, it was all there in full measure as easy as you please. No sweat, no strain.
Time for some movies. The famous WOTW "crawl out of the street" scene shook me in the seat, which was remarkable given the seats sit on a carpeted concrete floor that is not vibrating. This was when playing at -15 dB.
The "going down" crash scene in "Flight of the Phoenix" put me right inside that rickety aircraft. It was a jawdropping visceral experience. Just astoundingly good.
Now all this blubbering about the bass may lead you to think the rest of the sound was pretty normal. But no. The L/C/Rs are Quested HQ210, and whatever may have been bothering Dave about the high frequencies of other speakers he's had was not in evidence with these. Detail galore right through the woven screen, smooth clean sound one can enjoy for hours without fatigue. The surrounds were just as impressive. I forget the details, but they seemed to be 5' tall line arrays with ribbon tweeters. There may be a second pair in the future, I believe.
Watching Star Trek, which also sounded great, I felt the video image was tending to crush into the black, so we dug out the Spears and Munsil disc and did some quick fiddling with the Oppo controls just to see what would happen -- so as to not mess the PJ's settings. Raising the brightness and reducing the contrast helped a lot, but I suspect there's a better way to refine the calibration of the laser-powered image than that. More importantly, the curved screen fills what I estimate is a full 60-deg viewing angle when showing 2.40 content (it's a CIH setup), which creates its own sense of involvement that complements the likewise involving sound.
How much of this astonishing total system performance can be attributed to any one thing? I think it is the superb blend of all the factors that makes this theater and the experiences it provides so special. The processor, amps, main speakers, subs, room design and construction, acoustic treatments, tuning/target curve, every element is there in full measure. As Salieri said: "Displace one note and there would be diminishment...""
As Roger said, non of this can be attributed to one particular item, but the huge difference when playing direct mode to when the target curve was applied was very noticeable, everything just seems to come together and I attribute a lot of that to the the room acoustics and finally to refine everything the processing power of the RS20i .
BTW, I am not trying to sell anyone anything, but I find it very hard to believe that the RS20i sounded that bad, there must be a reason there, b/c I have tried many, many processors and the RS20i stood clear and above the rest. However, I have not heard all the processors on that list.