The Directors Choice

best home cinema systems

“It’s amazing how many systems we get called out to tune that have been bought without a demonstration” says Allan from Ideal AV.

We’re having a catch up after the winter season when Allan and his team were trying to juggle three big cinema installations while also tweaking the systems that other less professional installers had fitted.

“Why would you buy a system without hearing it first? Don’t people realise that they’re just being sold what makes the dealer the most money?”

Allan seems to need to vent his spleen but this outburst is most out of character – normally he’s a lovely guy…

Ideal AV simply has one of the best home cinema systems on demonstration that you’ll ever see/hear. It’s simply superb and if you live within a 100 miles of Normanton it is really worth a visit. The installation that we’re going to see is in Cheshire for a client that made the pilgrimage to Ideal AV after a recommendation for a friend.

“The client plays the drums and we were the third dealer that he visited as he wasn’t satisfied with the other systems he’d heard. It’s surprising how many of our customers play an instrument or listen to live music regularly. The first track I played Steve was from a Police’s concert and the solo by Stewart Copeland on the MK’s simply sounds exactly like being at a gig. It sold the system for me”, smiled Allan.

“We always play a variety of music Blu Rays as this really exposes the flaws in most home cinemas. I’m not a big jazz fan but Fantasia 2000 gets played to everyone who visits because the jazz and classical music on this disc just doesn’t sound convincing on most surround systems. Typically most AV systems that we are asked to tune have the bass management set up all wrong so the main speakers are being over driven and the bass is a mess. Although most home cinema lovers won’t play much of this type of music, when they hear the recordings they can quickly hear why we use it for demonstration.”

The house we have drawn up in front of is huge and as we’re led – via the tradesman’s entrance of course – down to the basement, the room is equally impressive. The system is already running when we arrive and as the lights are dimmed the picture really pops. The 2.35 screen is 12 foot wide which most rooms wont accommodate, but the high ceiling that was covered in black Fidelio velvet to absorb light reflections makes for a near perfect projection room.

“The fixed screen is from Seymour AV who make the most acoustically transparent screen surface available, explains Allan. On a screen this size it’s important not to lose any light from the screen surface and Seymour screens are the only acoustically transparent screens I’ve found that add rather than reduce the light reflected.”

The screen is wide enough to place all three front speakers behind it and still create the width of soundstage required. Here three MK active 150 monitors are used, built in to a framework behind the screen. Six SS150THX rear speakers are used for surround duties with no less than 4 MK MX350THX subwoofers.

“This room and the client were exceptional, you don’t usually have a free reign to design your perfect system but that’s exactly what this system turned into. Steve’s sons love their music as much as their films and like his dad he likes his music loud.”

To make the point Allan cranked up the system to reference levels playing a recording of Tiesto’s recent concert. I’ve simply never heard bass and dynamics accompanied by such clarity in a domestic system before. Awesome.

This is one system that’s even better than Ideal AV’s superb demonstration rooms.

To find out more and to book a visit to Allan’s demonstration rooms, call Ideal AV 01924 781011.