Features

Cinepro and Custom Home Theater

ARTICLE INDEX

Listening

Although I chased Bob away while I auditioned some 2-channel music, I enjoyed the spacious Tallis Scholars like I’ve never heard in my space. Immense and full, the group’s vocals filled the space like a cathedral. To say it was a full soundstage would be an understatement. Although I was concerned with the spacing of the Left/Right speakers as they were positioned far enough apart to accommodate the large screen, I was immersed.

Kelly Joe Phelps’ unique gravely voice and sweet guitar were both accurate and rich from his CD, Tap the Red Cane Whirlwind, a live recording from 2005. Again I was interested in the real life believability potential of the room which it accomplished.

Equally on the female side, the live recording from Rene Marie, Live at Jazz Standards presented nuisances only achieved during live performances. She smacks her lips to focus her voice, and her breath taken between choruses palpable.

So to attract Bob back into the room I promised him a show, and I asked him to drop in Shakira’s Blu-ray disc live performance Oral Fixation Tour. The last track Hips Don’t Lie is a visual treat (hmmmm) but the full percussions and intense stage presence of Shakira and her band is fully appreciated in this space.

The Evolution-2 surprised me with delicacy and finesse during the tunnel water scene in Ratatouille, a favorite demonstration these days. Preceding this scene is the old lady’s exploding shotgun as she tears her house apart over the rats. The subs thunder with attack and precision.

Likewise with the cannon fire from the Master and Commander, so deep and earthy is the bass that I felt it in my gut.

In the end I was impressed. Tweaking a room such as this must be constant to get the final settings just right. Bob did actually re-adjust the bass down during some 2-channel music but otherwise tonally, it was just right. In general I expected power and lots of it because I’d heard this before. I expected big and accurate but what I wasn’t expecting was the natural sounding piano or guitar and the warm vocals.