Unconventional Private Cinema
Entertainment AV systems are often integrated in living spaces, otherwise known as lifestyle AV systems. In some other cases, the home cinema or HIFI system is installed in a dedicated, custom-built space designed to deliver the highest possible audio and video performance.
In terms of approach, audiophiles usually build their home theater system around their high-end main Left and Right speakers whilst movie enthusiasts tend to go for a better integration with hidden speakers and subwoofers.
For this case study, we spoke to Javier Tan, director of operations for The Clarity Group, our distributor in Singapore. They designed a system which we could qualify as unconventional in both respects. Javier explained to us how Trinnov made this system work at the highest possible level.
An Unconventional System
This system looks very intriguing. Somehow it could be described as a high-end bedroom cinema, how did it all start, and what was the client’s request?
First, I need to mention that this is not our client’s bedroom but effectively, his theater. It may look like a bedroom, but the reality is that he just preferred to install a bed rather than a sofa/theater seating to watch movies.
This system features a bed instead of traditional seating - Credit: Clarity
Could you explain the different steps of the project?
The client first wanted a high quality 2-channel system. We demonstrated and installed a pair of T+A CWT 2000 SE electrostatic speakers with T+A electronics.
The system is built around a 2-channel T+A system and electrostatic speakers - Credit: Clarity
From there, the customer made several requests to add more features to the system and we eventually turned it into a home theater.
After a few iterations, we got where we are today. Whilst the core 2 channel system has not changed, we have added speakers from two other speaker brands to meet the constraints of the room in terms of integration but also to match the T+A electrostatic speakers used for left and right in terms of sonic characteristics.
Starting with the processor, we first installed a Lexicon MC10 AV Processor to enable the client to play video content. The client decided that movies are not the focus for him, and wanted to go with something simple.
We then had to find a speaker for the center channel that would match the T+A characteristics. It was a real challenge. We started looking at speakers with similar driver technologies.
Ultimately, we tried 3 different speakers until we settled on a Wisdom C150i. Upgrading the MC10 to a Trinnov Altitude16 was instrumental in making it work to the high standards expected of the client.
The Lexicon MC10 got upgraded to a Trinnov Altitude16 -Credit: Clarity
Adding surround channels was easier. Given the rather restricted listening area, we went for 2 side surround and 2 rear surround channels, also by Wisdom Audio.
For the subwoofer, we installed a Wisdom STS subwoofer in a corner of the room and two SCS below the screen.
The Massive Wisdom STS subwoofer installed in the front right corner of the room - Credit: Clarity
Upgrading to Immersive Sound
How did you go from stereo to surround and finally immersive sound?
Adding the Altitude16 opened the door to immersive sound so we made the jump and installed 4 Revel C763l speakers, which met the integration requirements for the ceiling in this room.
So, the system is basically a 7.3.4 speaker layout, which we considered sufficient for a single listening area. Using the Altitude16 instantly added support for Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Auro-3D, Dolby Vision, 4K and HDR and having worked with Trinnov ever since the Altitude32 was introduced, we had the confidence any required codec would be supported in the future.
We installed a Kaleidescape Strato system to upgrade the video quality and make sure the client plays great material.
Back to sound, this again raised a challenge to match the sound of all speakers as the Revel speakers are using dome tweeters whereas the T+A are electrostatic and the Wisdom use planar-magnetic drivers.
The power of Digital Room Correction
Could you elaborate a little on the calibration process?
Using the Optimizer technology made this straightforward and the sound field created by these different speakers is really seamless. Something we could not have imagined before we started working with Trinnov. As of today, I’m still surprised to see how good the system sounds even though it uses so dramatically different types of speakers. If the client is critical and discerning about sonic performance in their cinema, there is no better tool I would appreciate more than the Trinnov Altitude models.
Our job as a custom integrator is to meet the requirements of the customer and this sometimes needs us to make unconventional design choices and equipment selection. Trinnov truly helps us achieve this goal and gives us greater flexibility in our work to meet the client expectations.
What did the Optimizer show you in terms of acoustics after you ran the measurement?
After we ran the measurements, we could confirm immediately that the natural responses of the left and right speakers were different from the center speaker. As one would expect, it was also the case with the surround and height speakers.
The Optimizer shows the different responses between the different speaker types
The Optimizer fixed these inconsistencies with ease, which was very reassuring for the client.
The flexibility of the system allowed us to decide which amount of correction we wanted to apply to each speaker and to tailor the sound to our customer’s taste and preference effortlessly.
Following the whole history of this system, we started by focusing on the left and right speakers until the customer was happy. The According to L&R optimization mode is perfect for this requirement but we edited the target curve manually in this case. We then edited the target curves of other speakers to reach the results we wanted.
In terms of bass management, the Altitude16 also provides an impressive amount of flexibility, which allows us to treat the main speakers differently to the surround and height speakers.
The STS sub is used to bass manage every speaker in the system and to reproduce the LFE channel. The two SCS are only used for the front channels.
Working with Trinnov Audio
What has been your experience working with Trinnov Audio?
We have been working with Trinnov for more than 5 years now so we are pretty familiar and comfortable with their technology so that we did not need to rely on them too much during this project.
But when we do, the service they provide is impressive and usually exceeds our expectations. Imagine being on site in front of a problem and being able to get on the line with the manufacturer within a matter of minutes, and having them resolving the issue remotely in front of the customer.
At the end of the day, a great product is as good as the service provided with it and with Trinnov we get both outstanding products and service, which is why they have been on top for so long and the reason we keep recommending Trinnov equipment to all our customers who are looking for nothing less than the best.
About The Clarity Group:
The Clarity Group is the premier purveyor of entertainment solutions ranging from private cinemas, superlative audio systems, automation solutions and lifestyle AV solutions. With a heritage going back to 1929, Clarity has been serving the high-end market pursuing excellence in the field of audio and video reproduction. Clarity represents world-class brands that are best in their categories, and put together solutions designed around the client’s requirements and needs.