For many people a dream home cinema is something of a fad, for others it is a real passion.
With a love of music and film since childhood Mr V had dreamed of owning his own private screening room since he was a boy. For him, this project was most definitely a labour of love.
A self-made man who now trouble shoots for ailing companies, Mr V is a perfectionist. For him good was not an option, after waiting so long for his dream home cinema, this system had to knock spots off the best commercial cinemas, or it wasn’t going to happen. So began his pursuit of finding the perfect home cinema.
“There are a huge number of companies offering surround sound as an option, but there’s little logic to their system design and choice of products. I’ve owned some great stereos in the past and I know there’s a lot more to getting great sound than choosing products that you happen to like. What I liked about Gecko’s approach is that they encourage their clients to understand as much about the process of delivering great sound and vision as possible. Years ago I trained as an engineer and I’m a hands on sort of guy that want to know why all the details in a project are important.” explained Mr V.
“Most of all, Gecko really encourage you to hear for yourself as wide a range of options as possible so you can see for yourself what can be achieved and what suits your own tastes. I find it incredible that anyone would consider buying a system that’s all about performance, without testing how it performed for themselves. Our whole family visited several companies with home cinema facilities but Gecko’s showroom was really in a different league. They are clearly very proud of their systems and rightly so. When I walked in and saw the Police playing in concert on a system, we thought were watching a plasma screen. We simply couldn’t believe we were watching an 8 foot projection system”.
“The projector in question was the Epson 5500” explained Geckos Rob Sinden. “This product has really signalled the end of expensive projection systems for us. When we opened the first home cinema showroom in the UK 20 years ago, we had projection systems on show that cost as much as the latest Ferrari – now we can create a far better picture with a sub Â£5,000 projector. Provided the room is correctly prepared and laid out the Epson gives simply incredible results.”
“The clients’ room had already been designed and wired for a home cinema; however it had been done by a company that specialised in home automation rather than in home cinema.The reason this system provides such spectacular performance is because the client was willing to have the room correctly designed and built for optimal performance. We can’t deliver great performance alone, the choice and layout of the listening room, the physical construction of the walls, floor and ceiling and all the final finishes within the room all have a huge impact on the quality of the final system. It was only because Mr Vaughan was happy to go to such lengths to prepare the room that the end result was so stunning.”
After an initial visit to our showrooms with his family and a site visit to view the space he had intended for his home cinema, the client visited our showrooms for a second visit with his builder.
This gave us a chance to look at the best methods of designing and constructing the space for great sound and vision. These changes have to be done at the earliest stage in a project for the best results. The addition of additional layers of plasterboard and insulation typically only adds a tiny amount to the cost of an installation however the improvement in dramatics are huge. This is why we often work with architects and builders so that rooms can be correctly prepared for great sound and vision as early as possible in a project. This way there’s little increase to the costs involved but a huge improvement in the end result.
Gecko’s facilities are the only purpose-built listening rooms in the UK. With rooms built to the same standards as the best recording studios you can really hear precisely what their systems are capable of. With the right products and room design the end result is a system that provides far greater clarity and dynamics than will ever be heard in most homes regardless of how much is spent on the equipment used.
The audio system Andy heard and chose for his home uses the exact same loudspeaker system that the world’s top film makers use to mix their films with. Our aim for a home cinema is to perfectly reproduce exactly what the director intended you see and hear and the only way to do this is to use the exact same speakers and layout that the film makers used. The MK 150 loudspeakers in this system are the exact same ones used by the world’s top film makers such as Warner Bros, 20th Century Fox, Paramount, Sony, Disney, Lucasfilm, Universal etc. etc.
Andy and his family are “over the moon” with the cinema. We return after the system has been run in for 50 hours to do the final calibration of the system when its thoroughly run in. Typically 50 hours use might take a moth to run up, with Andy it was run ready for tweaking in less than a week.
As the home cinema market is maturing we’re seeing a change in client expectations. These days customers are less concerned about the “bling” of how a system looks and are far more concerned about the quality of what they’re buying. This perfectly describes Andy’s “back to black”, cinema. The system has been designed for the very best picture and sound quality, and keeping the “architecture” clean and understated, achieves this.
The real test is how a system makes you feel when the lights are dimmed and the volume is turned up to reference levels. Is the system better than the cinema? I know Andy would say “absolutely, yes”.
DREAM HOME CINEMA DETAILS
- Projector: Epson 5500
- Screen: Seymour AV Accurus
- Pre amplifier: Accurus 5 x 200w power amplifier
- Front speakers: 3 x Active MK 150 loudspeakers
- Rear speakers: 4 x MK Tripolar SS150 THX surround speakers
- Subwoofers: 2 x MK MX 350THX active subwoofers
- Lighting: Leax control system
System total: £30,000