Recently Xyscreen added the soundmax 8k to their line-up. Thanks to my contact at Xyscreen I got a screen sent to me for review.
The soundmax 8k is the successor of the soundmax 4k and has a given gain of 1.0. I noticed instantly that the fabric has a smaller thread, is lighter and allows a tiny bit of stretch. For me, this was the biggest issue with the soundmax 4k, which doesn't allow any stretch and is very hard to get super thight as a DIY-man. In my home theater, I have 3 spots directly above my screen who emphasise every small inaccuracy in the screen. While projecting, I never noticed any flaw though.
With the soundmax 8k, getting the screen super-thight is possible in DIY. I still need to work away some tiny details, but I will definitly get there.
My gain measurement is right on the spot compared to the gain given by Xyscreen. The soundmax 4k produced 19ftl, the soundmax 8k is at 17.3. In therms of greyscale, both are very similar.
Acoustically the fabric tends to mute the sound less than the soundmax 4k. When watching the first movie on the screen, it appeared that the center speaker was louder. I made some acoustic measurements to vouch for this impression, but strange enough there appears to be little difference between the two.
Personally I never found these minor differences in acoustically transparant screens important. The difference that's measurable starts at approximately 5khz and IMO is very easily corrected with the adjustement of gain or equalizing.
In therm of sharpness, the soundmax 8k seems a tiny bit better than its predecessor.
With the soundmax 8k, Xyscreen introduces a nice follow-up for the soundmax 4k. For me, the biggest advantage is that the fabric is now slightly stretchable, which allows a DIY screen much easier. Others might find the small improvement of acoustic transparacy more important.