Ultimate Studio Home Theatre

Total Professional Concept


Ultimate Studio - First Steps

Here I will discuss the financial aspect of the Ultimate Studio home theater, as well as give advice on choosing the usual equipment, if you do not have the opportunity of buying and using the described equipment. How much will audio-video components cost?

We will consider three different sets: Stage Accompany, JBL Everest, homemade monitors on TAD drivers. The order price I will show you in next few lines **:

JBL Everest:

JBL Everest DD66000: 40 000Euros.

Three amplifiers Neva Audio Studio V: 4 300 Euros.

Total: 44 300 Euros.

Stage Accompany:

Two monitors M57: 11200 Euros.

Two subwoofers S30z: 6200 Euros.

Three amplifiers ES10: 9000 Euros.

Всего: 26400 Euros.

Handmade TAD casing*:

Four low frequency speakers TL-1801: 3 400 Euros.

Couple midwoofers TL-1603: 1 300 Euros.

Couple mid-tones with berillium membranes TD-4003: 5 500 Euros.

Couple high frequencies with berillium membranes ET-703: 2 300 Euros.

Four amplifiers Neva Audio Studio V: 5 700 Euros.

Всего: 18 200 Euros.

*Note: Do not forget that is the price without casing and horns.

**For all sets the additional crossover DEQX HDP-3 is needed. Its price is round 4 000 Euros.

It looks paradoxically, but the prices for the last two options are virtually the same. Stage Accompany is slightly expensive than the set with the TAD drivers. The most expensive acoustics is JBL Everest. Personally, I do not see a reason for buying these speakers, because the same set, but with a little more persistency, you can get with TAD drivers. JMF I should not comment - the mid-tones are also TAD and amplifiers cost round 10 000 Euros a piece. This is also characteristic of Kinoshita. Difficulties with the casing production that is at the firs look only for TAD will be present also for other varieties because the drivers of that level must be installed into the first class handmade casings sooner or later.

A video technique is not and will never be a problem. An excellent projector can be purchased for 5000-7500euros and video processor (if necessary) for 1000-1500euros. Projection screen and the player will cost no more than 750 Euros each. Total no more than 3000-4000 Euros, which is not so much compared to the sound reproducing equipment.

At the end above mentioned equipment can cost more that we assumed, round 30 000euros.Yeah it is a quite a sum but not insane after all. What can you buy today for that kind of money? A good car that will become old-fashion in five years time and will be a source of additional costs, or sound system that will be god and prestigious in period of 15-20 years from now? If you live alone this amount you can collect in few years time.

Modular (RA) principle of constructing sound systems Ultimate Studio enables us gradually improvement of sound quality with gradually increasing of our investment. For the beginning you should buy audio component of this category, after which you can rely on, in terms of further development. In my opinion, that device can be DEQX crossover. With this device the sound of any speaker you can turn into monitor. For example any three-lane home system speakers installed in average room can be used without fear of overloading. If the room is more than 30 square meters, then it makes sense buying cheap two-lane professional speakers with 15"woofer. Because the tri-band professional speakers are much more expensive than two-band you can turn your two-band into a tri-band model by buying a cheap compression driver that can operate from 600 to 8000 Hz that can simply be bolted to the top of the casing . For the amplifier you can use any model of no more than 400 Euros or a decent model for home use. It remains only to remove the passive crossovers out of the casing and weld on terminals of speaker cables that go from the connection terminals of amplifiers.

Further acoustic treatment of the room is needed due to dryer and cleaner sound that will be noticeable on the technique of different quality. If you live in an apartment, it won’t be a problem. Another important step is to purchase other Ultimate Studio components. If you choose Stage Accompany or TAD components, a scheme of gradual transition to the necessary components will pass more smoothly. For example, for the start you can buy a satellite Stage Accompany and use them with the old amplifiers. After some time you can buy Stage Accompany amplifiers and in the end, if space allows, a subwoofer. It is similar situation with TAD. You can gradually buy more new speakers and amplifiers. In the case of JBL Everest you will have to pay the entire amount instantly. Well, if you like, you can make a scheme of multiband transformation by setting for each frequency band individual DAC MSB. Also you can rearrange the casings.

If you have a free land with a possibility of building, then you can make a truly uncompromising Ultimate Studio theatre, satisfying all the requirements of the concept. If you don’t, that will put in question possibility of building a full-fledged home theater.

But what can you do if you are strictly limited in the budget and realize that will never be able to buy and fully exploit this technique in extremely cramped conditions of our city apartments, or you do not need such a high quality audio reproduction. Or do you do not have any home theater, and you want to create a good system for sound reproduction. Which rules to follow and what concept is better: domestic or professional, no matter that in both groups there are low cost models .There is no simple answer. Use low cost studio monitors (800-1100 Euros per pair) you can use only if the distance to the listener is less then 1.5m and monitors itself are placed right. In different case, their main advantage in the linear amplitude-frequency response will be compromised by adding the resonance of the room. The main operational shortcoming of studio speakers is balanced adapter that will necessarily limit our choice of models with a standard RCA adapter. The next shortcoming is odd look, because of which these speakers simply cannot match into the interior of the room, although the Home acoustics is often well designed and in different varieties but it requires careful choice and listening. The main technical advantage for home use is possibility of buying tri-band system models for same amount, models with more bass and a pair of 8-10’’ woofers. If you like action movies ,loud sound and thunderous bass this will be a good solution for you than flat but less efficient sound of studio speakers but only then if the size of the premises allows the use of the large outdoor speakers.

Main sugestions regarding choosing the home acoustic systems are:

  1. Remember the main rule: all speakers sound almost alike, especially when installed in a room without acoustic treatment. Simple difference in sound between the home speakers is somehow bigger than among studio models.
  2. Do not buy expensive speakers that cost 750Euros for a pair. There is only one exception, the biggest specimens of tri-band system speakers with twin drivers 8-10 "inches or more. For example, the company Cerwin-Vega has models with single and double LF speakers of 15". In this case, the high price is OK because manufacture of large speakers and enclosures requires more material. In the case of buying two-lane speakers the upper budget limit should be 400 Euros.
  3. Try to avoid speakers with sensitivity under the 90 dB/1W/1m.
  4. If possible, purchase speakers with dome midrange speakers and high frequency transmitters drivers with metal membranes.
  5. Optional and subjective advice: Pay attention to the particular differences, licensed technologies and driver design. For example, choose the acoustics whose dynamics are not made of cheap polypropylene pancake worth one euro, and say, Kevlar or carbon fibers or other composite materials.

Few more advices on choosing the two or three remaining devices in the system of home stereo surround theatre.

Selection of the DVD or Blu-ray players:

  1. When buying a DVD and Blu-ray player, limit the budget to 150-200€. In the case of Blu-ray players there is no option of detecting the exact limitation because the price of that equipment is slightly decreasing.
  2. Pay attention to the ability of playing SACD discs (As DVD players) because in that case DAC has better quality. If possible, identify the brand of micro scheme of DAC and its characteristics.
  3. Look at the technical characteristics of the analog output of the player: the lower the noise, and distortion, greater is dynamic range.
  4. Choose a player with high degree of functionality: the ability to play various audio and video formats, a USB input, viewing high resolution photographs, the possibility of the image zoom to Full-HD…

Selection of amplifiers:

  1. Budget 250 – 350 €.
  2. Minimum power 80 W.
  3. Pay attention to low values of noise and crosstalk.
  4. Optional and subjective advice: do not buy amplifiers of typical audiophile companies, because such products may have deliberately lower quality in order to stimulate consumers to buy more expensive models.

For a conclusion, I can only say one thing: no matter what you choose, whether it's cheap studio monitors or home acoustics, the total cost of your acoustic system of your home theatre should not exceed 1500€. If you want to hear a totally different sound, you can achieve this only with Ultimate Studio concept. Everything else, whether it's home Hi-End or eminent studio monitors (with some exceptions) is simply overvalued, because there is no fundamental difference in the sound and you won’t notice the difference no matter how you try, and if you do hear, then this comparison of systems with Ultimate Studio can only cause a laughter. Miracles do not happen...


Basics of studio sound reproduction

Ultimate Studio audio systems