Originally Posted by nexus99
For those not familiar these are their top end models.
Since nexus99 has started a Starke Sound Owners Thread, I thought I might repost my experience with my own system, which I installed last year. Nothing has changed except adding two more H1's to have a total of 6 Height speakers. I'm continually impressed with the quality and sound of this system and would again emphasize that anyone wanting to have a top notch system at a manageable cost needs to audition Starke Sound. Continue reading to see my write up from last year.
Firstly, I would like to acknowledge that I’m an end user but wish to share my personal experience and assessment of the Starke Sound Speaker System I recently obtained. Through chance I had an opportunity late last year to work directly with Scott DeLoache, Chief Design Director for Starke Sound, in putting together a new Home Theater speaker system. This is something outside of their normal channels, but it was a unique opportunity for both of us since at the time there were no East Coast dealers available to me. I live in Lakewood Ranch, Florida.
My previous system was the first generation, Revel Ultima One. This system was no slouch by any means but after 18 years and a couple of mid-range driver replacements, it was time for a change. I also had been using the standard Revel Dipole/Bipole surrounds and wanted to go to a direct point source design due to the new discrete audio formats available.
I put together the following Starke Sound speakers for the new system:
IC-H5 Elite’s for Mains (custom color)
IC-H5C Elite for Center (custom color)
IW-H3 Elite’s for Side and Rear surrounds (custom color backer cabinets)
IW-H1 Elite’s for Ceiling Heights (color-black and adjustable brackets)
The Starke Sound speakers were integrated with two Funk Audio subwoofers and one Seaton SubMersive subwoofer. This mixture works flawlessly with no ill effects. A Marantz 8802A, soon to be Trinnov Altitude 16, handles processing and my previous Krell Amps handle the power for all speakers except the heights, which are now driven by an ATI amp.
The entire Starke system was shipped to me on one pallet and arrived in excellent condition. All the installation was handled by myself. From the minute I opened the first container it was apparent that Starke Sound put a high priority on quality and attention to detail. Every single item down to the smallest of packing material was absolutely first rate and as high of quality or better, as from any Company that I have encountered previously.
My install took a number of weeks due to new wire and routing, adjustments to surround/ceiling speaker locations, etc. Please take note that my room is dedicated and very heavy on acoustical panels. A sound barrier membrane sandwiched between two layers of ½ inch panels wrapped with SoundSuede fabric, covers all four walls. This was a purpose-built room by me to make sure I had minimal sound leakage into and out of the room from other parts of the house, as well as due to close proximity of homes in general in this area of Florida.
Now for the fun! I selected several CD audio recordings and several movie titles, including two with Atmos soundtracks. Let’s just say I was grinning from ear to ear after the start of the first selection. Whether playing music or movies, the most pronounced observation was that of the dynamic range. From the tiniest of discernable sound to the loudest notes, these speakers handle these various sounds with a higher level of quality, to my ears, than from any other speaker brand that I have heard, and I have heard quite a few. I’m speaking of pure clarity! The speakers are powerful and extremely articulate with an immense and open sound stage. Everything was clear as a bell with no distortion noticed. Please note: I do not drive my system to ear damaging levels and would not do so even to test a speaker’s threshold. Another observation is that these speakers carry the sounds with ease and do not appear to be straining at all. They perform at a level which place them near the top of High-End Audio Speakers in my assumption. It felt like the voices were in the room itself and discrete sounds during the Atmos tracks were clear, accurate, and precise from every direction. The H3’s and H1’s are fantastic performers as surround and height speakers and the sound blends seamlessly with their big brother counterparts in the H5’s and H5C. As real sounding as anything I have heard. Every nuance is on display and the sounds have a separation that enable everything to be heard as intended rather than overlapping or unrecognizable. My main passion is movies. Watching a Title uninterrupted for 2 to 3 hours is never fatiguing to my ears.
What I have learned over the years is that a Companies backing of their product is an indicator of the quality and confidence they have in what they are selling. Starke Sound provides a 10 year warranty, which is almost unheard of for a speaker company. This speaks volumes to me as to the quality of the system I purchased.
These speakers do carry a premium price tag, but not outrages by any means and the quality justifies the price in my estimation. If you are interested in a high end, high quality speaker system that plays equally well with both Movies and Music, then Starke Sound is a must audition. They have their own Demo room at their Showroom/Warehouse and they also Demo at a number of the usual Trade Shows.
Thank You Scott for your efforts, professionalism, and passion.