September 9, 2009

Transformers. More Than Meets The Eye!

Transformers, The Movie.

Though I was never quite a fan of the original Transformer cartoon series, I was hooked on the Micheal Bay directed Hollywood movie version. Now how can you beat, fast cars, transforming robots, superior US military hardware parade, and lastly the sexy Megan Fox, all in a single movie? I especially like the part when Ladiesman 217's old beat up yellow Camaro broke down and the lady teases us with her "S" shape body figure by offering to look under the hood! To me, that's classic Micheal Bay at his best, MTV style!

A truly exceptional Audio/Visual system.

Well this is not a movie review, but a home visit article, one that I had enjoyed my self tremendously doing so courtesy of James from AV Designs. James thought it'd be a cool idea to show me a system, where excellent AV, and great stereo sound quality can be had in one system. It's just like having your cheese cake and eat it too! Ha!Ha!

The AV equipment stack: Pioneer BDP-LX91 Bluray Player, Bryston SP2 Processor and 7BSST Power Amp.

The system owner, who requested to be anonymous for this article, so let just call him Mr S, is a very satisfied customer of AV Designs. A person of exacting standards, his mansion is tastefully decorated, just to give you an idea of the setting that this system resides in. Mr S is a PMC fan thru and thru. For the main lounge area, he even had a pair of PMC FB1 speakers providing much more than decent ambient music.

In his free time, Mr S spends most of them in his superbly equipped and comfortably decorated AV/music room. The room measures roughly about 22 x 30ft, is carefully treated with well chosen acoustic solutions. I have found the treated room neither too dead or alive, which is just nice.

The CD selection corner, note the tastefully decor intergrated acoustic panels!

The AV system consist of the following equipment:

Another look at the Bryston SP2 Processor.

Bryston SP2 Processor Preamplifier.

Bryston 7B Power Amp, 1 pair.

Bryston PP120 Power Amp, 1 pair.

Bryston 3B ST Power Amp, 1 unit.

Oops! Sorry for my bad photography, this one slipped thru! Pioneer BDP-LX91 Bluray Player.

Pioneer BDP-LX91 Bluray Player.

JVC DLA-HD100 Dila Home Theater Projector.

If you've got RM$40k+ to burn on a video projection system, this is tha BEST, $$$ can buy today! Period.

DaLite 126" wide 2.35High Power Contour Framed Screen.

Panamorph UH480 Anamorphic Lens.

The center channel, un usually hung above the projection screen, but very effectively tuned for dialougue. Unlike most AV systems which does "BOOM,BOOM,BOOM!" only too well, but leaves speeches very short changed.

PMC CB6 Center Speaker.

PMC DB1+ Surround Speaker with it's dedicated wall mounted Bryston PP120 Power Amp.

PMC DB1+ Surround Speaker, 2 pairs.

PMC XB2 Sub Woofer, one more unit to load the room with rumbling bass would be extra nice!

PMC XB2 Sub Woofer, 1 unit.

The following equipment are also part of the AV system but can be operated separately to run in stereo for music only:
The most musical and effortlessly refined PMC speakers I've ever heard! I could attribute that special mid range to that nice looking 3 inch fabric mid dome.

PMC IB2 Speakers (tri wired version)

Bryston 10B Electronic X-over, 1 pair.

The Bryston power stack for the PMC IB2 speakers, Bryston 4BSST, 7BSST Power Amps, and Bryston 10B 3 way electronic x-over. The huge power reserves on tap is probably responsible for that walk thru sound stage and effortlessly musical presentation.

Bryston 4BSST Power Amp, 1 pair, (i.e. 4 chanels).

Bryston 7BSST Power Amp, 1 pair

The Bryston BP26 Pre Amp with MPS-2 Power Supply for superb stereo performance!

Bryston BP26 Pre Amp C/W MPS-2 Power Supply.
My reference digital source still! Mr S is a lucky fella indeed.

Esoteric X-03SE CD/SACD Player.

Torus Power RM4A PLC for the sources and pre amps.

Accessories include FE Signature hifi rack, Ceraballs and Torus Power RM4A PLC. I also spotted many Wireworld Eclipse interconnects being used. Not sure about the other cables though.

See what I mean about the projection system's capabilities?

I watched the movie of the subject tittle on this system and found the picture plus surround sound quality to be beyond reproach. The surround sound time delay setting was spot on with the co-responding screen action. The special part of this AV system, which is also the most impressive of the sound quality is the center channel. The PMC CB6 center speaker was hung directly above the picture screen, yet James manages to tune the movie dialogue, which is absolutely critical to me in surround sound quality, to synchronise with the actor's mouth movement on screen! I find this fanatical level of attention to details, will ultimately make the difference between a great AV system and delegate others to also rans. However, if there was a part of the AV sound system that I could want more is to have more explosive, explosion scenes, sonic wise. I want to feel the earth move when there are explosions in a movie scene. I think adding another PMC XB2 sub woofer would just about do the trick! Do ask Mr S to think about it James? He!He!

The picture quality is first class indeed as per my previous experience with the JVC DLA-HD100 Dila home theater projector armed with the Panamorph UH480 Anamorphic lens. The colour balance is so brilliant, all the detailing of the Optimus Prime's metal grain on his robotic fingers are flushed out in full glory! I never knew all these details were there! I had watched this movie many times. Twice at the Cineplexes and many, many times on various occasions on DVD in my own, modestly budgeted home theater system.

When we finished the movie, the system was turned to perform in 2 channel audio. Truth be told, I was even more impressed with this system doing the two channel thing!

The stereo stack sits on FE Signature rack and Ceraballs.

Mr S listens to a lot of old Jazz and Swing, plus some Enlightenment music thrown in for good measure. The sonic picture was captivating to say the least. Tonal balance was exceptionally even with a tinge of pleasant soft pastel light kind of glow, which is absolutely gorgeous in tone. It made the highs seemingly smooth as silk, the high hat's long decaying fades in to thin air of nothingness. The mids are convincingly palpable with a good measure of body. The bass is tune full, yet articulate at the same time, though doesn't extend very low for a big tri-amped speaker system. I guess it's the unfamiliar music that I was listening to, or the low bass was just not in the recordings.

The tri wiring arrangement on the PMC IB2's back panel.

The 3 way active electronic x-over and tri amp arrangement for the PMC IB2 speakers. Brsyton 4BSST for tweeter and 3 inch mid dome power, plus 7BSST for 10 inch woofer power.

The staging and imaging is truly of the walk thru variety. Especially when playing a gospel like track, I could almost feel and touch the choir members which are arranged in the back end of the stage, if my hand could only reach that far! The musical instruments pan to the left and right side of the sound stage layered in front of the choir, and lastly the solo male vocalist stood projected slightly forward from the mix. The result was highly convincing spatial cues to give one the "you are there" sonic feeling. Sadly, I can't remember the song, or the artist of the special CD, which Mr S says he brought back from one of his overseas trip.

This system's capabilities are truly "More than meets the eye!" It personafies that nothing is impossible, in a sense that most pre-conceived notions of you can't merge AV and hifi in one system. This systems challenges the norm and triumphs. Just like the heroic Optimus Prime and his all transforming Autobots!

Well done, James and Mr S!


Capernaum Creative Solutions Inc. said...

Wow....this is definitely an av system to die for!!! Megan Fox would be proud to be on this silver screen! :-)


Big E said...


You really missed out on this one! He!He!

It's the best Bryston/PMC system I've come across yet!

Trully spectacular system indeed.