I did exactly what your asking about. I had been using for the past two years a Draper 110" M2500 (2.3 gain) 1.85:1 screen with a NEC 7" CRT projector. The throw distance was ~12 feet.
Just recently I switched to a Stewart 92" Studiotek 130 (1.3 gain) 1.78:1 screen. The projector's new throw distance is now ~10 feet. The shorter throw distance allows a much brighter and sharper picture, and let's the projector run at a more optimal setting.
The difference between the two screens is very significant and part of that is do to the smaller more appropriate screen size. The Studiotek 130 material has near perfect white field uniformity across the entire screen and makes for a much more enjoyable image. Also, my screen uses the 3.25" black border that is wraped in the optional VeLux material. This aids tremendously in the perceived contrast of the image against the screen's borders.
If I have learned anything from switching screens, it would be the following:
- Stay well under 100" diagonal with a 7" CRT.
- Use a low gain (1.5 or lower, preferrably Studiotek 130).
- Make sure to get the Deluxe 3.25" screen borders w/VeLux option added.
If anyone reading this is buying a screen for the first time, please consider looking into getting a Stewart screen. In the case of screens, you do get what you pay for, and Stewart is simply the best screen, IMHO!
BTW, here's a pic of my screen. For reference of size, my front wall is 12'wide x 8'tall...
The Academy Home Theater