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We recently featured a home theatre installation which used Krix’s Series MX “wall of sound”... but Krix has one level above even these in its home range (and of course, real commercial cinema speakers above that). The toppermost of Krix’s home speaker range is the Series X.

So we were keen to bring you this installation using the Series X, completed by Sydney Hi-Fi Mona Vale, where Director Mick Stillone had taken over the home cinema project after being recommended by friends of the home owners.

“The client knew that they wanted a good cinema system — they’d had a system in a previous house and enjoyed watching movies with their children and extended family,” Mick remembers. “And this new room was initially quoted by another installer as a 7.1 system, the same as in the previous home. The products were all good, but they weren’t suitable for the size of room to achieve a good SPL [sound pressure level] from the planned seating positions, based on what the client expected.”

While Mick could see how the cinema should be designed, he was also aware that he’d be quoting higher than the other installer’s suggestion, the solution being both higher quality and more comprehensive. The owner wasn’t aware, for example, about the possibilities of Dolby Atmos.

“We always provide a degree of education, so clients are able to make informed decisions,” explains Mick. “We discussed the advantages of Atmos, and demonstrated the solution — which went down well. We discussed the expectations and the technologies, and the client was happy to go with our equipment recommendations, but of course we did have challenges with budgets, because we were quoting against that relatively simple original 7.1 theatre solution. We spent a considerable amount of time in discussions, explaining SPL and the importance of why the speakers had to be so big, why we needed to use three surrounds on each side, why the amplifiers we were using needed to be stable at two ohms.

“And we spoke about Krix, their involvement in commercial cinemas and the support we receive from Krix as a business partner. All this gave our client confidence. He understood that we were creating an impressive room that would give the ‘wow’ factor, and we were given the go-ahead.”

The only stumbling block was the projector, since for the size of screen and the room length, the ideal would be a very high-level projector to maintain excellent picture quality. This suggested a projector price-tag potentially over $60,000, a cost which it was felt might stall the room progress.

“So we decided to do some testing with projectors under the $20k mark, settling on the Sony used here,” says Mick. “We tested it in relatively poor lighting conditions, and the client was happy with the results. By setting it up eight metres from the screen, the client was happy with the end result. I felt we were losing some light and focus to the far corners of this 206-inch screen, but the client felt both the picture quality and value exceeded his expectations."

Krix Series X speakers installed within the sound treatment of the front baffle.

X hits the spot
Why were Series X speakers used, then, and not, say, the Series MX solution?

“We did consider the MX-30 wall,” says Mick. “But the room being 12 metres long, with the three seating rows at 4.5 metres, 6.5 metres and close to 9 metres for the third row [see above, and more plans overleaf], we felt that the MX-30 would be borderline to achieve SPLs of 105dB. Also the MX-30 wall will not provide for angle adjustment for midrange and tweeters, and with the third row being 600mm higher than the first row, we knew positioning the MX-30 for all three rows would be tricky.

“With the Series X we were able to make angle adjustments to the high frequency drivers, which also helps with the sharpness of the horns. We had consultations with Krix to get the mid and high frequency driver height positioning just right. The end result is stunning — rich dynamic sound. And it has an amazing live sound with music, too. We listened to Joe Bonamassa, the Blu-ray of ‘Live from Albert Hall’ — the track High Water Everywhere was just amazing.”

▲ The custom rear artwork draped over seating prior to mounting (below) and installed above the theatre’s kitchen/bar (above); the artwork also doubles as acoustic treatment for the room. “Some people thought we’d put a second screen at the rear!”, says Mick Stillone from installer Sydney Hi-Fi Mona Vale.

Ch-ch-changes
Not that it was all plain sailing, with room layout changes continuing as the project progressed. The owners decided they wanted a kitchen as well as a bar at the rear of the cinema — great for the movie night experience, but taking over positions where equipment had been planned.

“Yes, this element popped up close to completion,” says Mick. “It ran the length of the back wall, and the height encroached on the artwork — a custom-made print of a design by the client’s graphic-designer brother, which had already been printed by then. We had to raise the rear speakers, angle them down and re-design the artwork to allow for the kitchen bench, sinks and a high tap fitting.”

The star ceiling also grew to encroach on planned speaker positions.

“Initially the star ceiling was only going to be a small feature,” says Mick, “but it became extended to cover the entire ceiling. The Atmos speakers had to be moved in to accommodate the larger bulk head. But it was OK, the changes just created some re-working of the acoustic plans and speaker heights. It all worked in the end.”

The Sony projector was to be hidden in the bulkhead, but changes to the room design made mounting within an extended ‘star ceiling’ the best option.
The three-way Krix Cinematix
used here for front LCR speakers
— 199cm high, with dual
15-inch bass drivers.

To put this impressive project in context, the cinema is just part of a sizeable new-build home, built over four levels, with extensive water views.

“To give some sense of proportion, the cinema room is 12 metres by 6 metres, and that occupies less than a quarter of the floor space on a single level,” says Mick. “The house is using Crestron to control lights, blinds and multiroom audio, which was already organised, so although we had originally specified a Clare system for control we continued the Crestron into the cinema for consistency, where it controls all the theatre functions and screens linked to the LED lights and star ceiling.”

Magical movie nights
The family is, needless to say, exceedingly happy with their new home theatre.

“Indeed!” says Mick. “And I must give credit to the team at Krix — fantastic to work with, all the technical support available to us on a project of this scale. The client has on many occasions told us the cinema is his favourite room of the house.”

Which in a new-build home of these proportions, is quite the compliment.

 

EQUIPMENT LIST
While the full home has significantly more electronics than listed here, this is the main equipment list for the theatre installation:
Oppo UDP-203 UHD Blu-ray player
Apple TV media player
Foxtel IQ cable TV box
Anthem AVM60 11.2-channel pre-amp processor
QSC DCM10D electronic crossover
QSC- CA-1622 2-channel amplifier
QSC-DCA-1644 4 -channel amplifier x 2
QSC-DCA-1222 2-channel amplifier
QSC-DCA-1824 4 -channel amplifier
Sony VPLVW550ESW 4K HDR projector
Oz Screen Custom 206-inch projection screen
Krix Cinematix front LCR speakers
Krix Cyclonix passive 18-inch subwoofer x 2
Krix Megaphonix flat 10-inch speakers x 6 side, x 2 rear
Krix Stratospherix AS in-ceiling Atmos Speakers x 4
Creston remote control
Star ceiling

Krix: www.krix.com.au

Installation: SYDNEY HI-FI MONA VALE
Telephone: 02 8088 3088
Web: sydneyhifimonavale.com.au