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    Parsons Theater Update

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    Leland Crooks
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    Parsons Theater Update

    Post by Leland Crooks on Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:32 am

    Last night was my first opportunity to get back to the theater for a movie worth doing some RTA's with.  Man of Steel.  It was excellent.  The LCR, which are GC46's, was spot on.  Voices and sounds floated in front of the screen, intelligibility was outstanding, even during the loudest battle scenes. It had air, presence, and just made you forget there were speakers up there.  The sound was huge, as big as the screen.  Considering the cabs they replaced were 2 12's in a 4ft tall ported cab with a comp horn on top about 2ft wide, not bad for a cab that's just got 4 6" drivers, 2 compression drivers and measures 25x13x16.  

    The RachE 18's are just animals.  I was reading solid output to 30hz, about 10db down at 20hz.  And when I say flat to 30, I mean the chart was showing 30hz peaks 3-5 db above 40-100 in the really thunderous scenes.  Just outstanding, everything you'd want in a theater subwoofer. 

    The surrounds can use a bit of work.  It's surprising how much content is in the surrounds.  They carry as much of a load as the mains.  The GC25 surround model used here is a different driver than the GC25 PA version.  They were rolling off above 8k.  Which according to movie standard EQ settings, is the spec.  Well, it's not our spec.  They sounded great, but just missing that sparkle the mains provided in spades.  Compared to the 12 with a horn they replaced, it's not contest.   There is a scene in the movie where Clark and Martha are talking outside the house at dusk.  It's in Kansas, and they nailed the evening sound of Kansas.  It sounded like we were sitting on my front porch.  The cicadas, crickets and whatnot were completely surrounding us. 

    BTW, it's a damn good movie.  Not just a good superhero movie, it's a good movie period.  Their reboot of the story breathes a new darkness and vulnerability into Superman that was needed.  The battle scenes are just what they should be, basically a couple demigods having at it.
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    rich4349
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    Re: Parsons Theater Update

    Post by rich4349 on Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:28 am

    So where DO these roll off instead? 

    And what was the theatre's budget for the upgrade?  I think I remember you saying they used most of their original DSP and amps?
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    Leland Crooks
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    Re: Parsons Theater Update

    Post by Leland Crooks on Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:13 am

    The mains start to roll off about 15k. Going to address that maybe.  In this application it's probably enough. Actual industry standards roll off sharply at 100hz and 9khz.  It's all about intelligibility, everything else is secondary. 

    We used all their original equipment.  Crown DsI 1000 amps, I don't remember the processor brand, but it's  a dedicated surround processor for theaters.  Interprets the code, and has a reasonably powerful eq section for each channel.  Not nearly as powerful as a DEQ2496 or a Driverack, but probably enough. 

    There was no budget.  Lee and I are old friends and he agreed to let me use his theater as a test bed.  Basically put his livelihood on the line so I could try out speakers.  All on me. Once we get it all where we want it, I'll start promoting it to small theaters.  Give them basically IMAX sound on a very small outlay.  I am shooting for  5-6k budget for a system like the one here, as Lee tells me it just won't happen for much more than that.  Driver selection is the dominant factor here.
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    Leland Crooks
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    Re: Parsons Theater Update

    Post by Leland Crooks on Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:28 am

    Check the RTA graph on my ipad with a real measurement mic attached.  Taken during Man Of Steel duing a seriously thumping scene.  That 30hz response "makes me horny baby"  A pair of RachÉ 18's.  About a 200 seat theater. 

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    Steve Regier
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    Re: Parsons Theater Update

    Post by Steve Regier on Sun Jun 23, 2013 5:00 pm

    Is that a little notch at about 2KHz I see?rabbit


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    BigE
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    Re: Parsons Theater Update

    Post by BigE on Sun Jun 23, 2013 6:21 pm

    Damn!!! I want one!!! LOL!
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    Leland Crooks
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    Re: Parsons Theater Update

    Post by Leland Crooks on Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:56 pm

    Yes.   I think there was a lot of surround activity right then.
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    rich4349
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    Parsons review

    Post by rich4349 on Fri Jun 05, 2015 11:36 pm

    Being a self admitted Big E fanboy, and knowing that there existed a theater outfitted with Big E gear, it was only a matter of time until I managed to work my way over to it. Located in beautiful downtown Parsons, the Parsons theater is a nice little multiplex in the deepest center of Mellencamp's America. (Yeah, yeah, yeah, I KNOW it's not Indiana, but little pink houses abound there, nonetheless). So my better half and I schlepped on over on our way to the great western U.S. states. Unfortunately, only the big #1 main screen has the primo stuff, but one's far better than zero. We saw our only choice of fair: San Andreas. This is a really, really poorly written and acted movie, but for demoing a (real, not home) theater surround sound system, it would be hard to do better. Crystal clear mids for dialogue, thundering bass for explosions. And not your typical muddy "whomp blommm" kind of bass; REALLY articulate, clear, impactful sounds. Probably the best thing I can say is that I kept catching myself NOT paying attention to the sound system I was trying to analyze, and ACTUALLY paying attention to this turd called a movie. The sound was just THERE: there as you expect it, as you like it, as you want it. Kind of like when you've been sick, waking up morning after morning, coughing, aching etc. Then one morning you wake up, start going about your day, and after 10 or 15 minutes you realize: "Hey, I'm not sick anymore!" When everything is working, you just don't think about it, you don't have to-it just works. That's how the speakers worked at the theater. And here's the kicker: these are like 4 or more generations behind the current ones. Imagine what the current ones would do?!
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    Steve Regier
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    Re: Parsons Theater Update

    Post by Steve Regier on Sat Jun 06, 2015 1:06 am

    Thanks for the review and the photo, Rich.


    We have heard from Lee, the owner. The only complaint is that folks in the adjacent smaller theater get bothered by the LFE from the main (BigE) theater. I really appreciate Lee letting us take liberties with the install to make it as spectacular as possible.

    One such liberty was the FOH EQ curve. I studied the THX curve that Hollywood recommend as outlined in the manual for the processor. It was clearly setup for attempted vocal clarity with a severe high shelf: 1950s all the way. I threw that out the window and used the BigE Loudspeakers EQ theory knowing what our loudspeakers can do. They have air up top, chrystal vocals, and tight powerful LFE. Yes, the new stuff is even better but with the doctor (Dr PsYchoBoom) dialing in FOH... Well, I'm glad you enjoyed at least the sound from the movie. After finishing the audio install Epic was showing in that theater-I feel your pain.


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    Leland Crooks
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    Re: Parsons Theater Update

    Post by Leland Crooks on Sat Jun 06, 2015 8:08 am

    I really enjoyed meeting you and Amanda. Thanks for making the side trip.
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    rich4349
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    Re: Parsons Theater Update

    Post by rich4349 on Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:19 am

    The vocal clarity, even during times of heavy screen action, were just that: crystal clear. I don't know if it's me getting old ("What'd he say??") or the over compression seems so popular, lowest possible cost sound systems, or (likely) a combination of all three, but I don't remember once wondering what somebody said and having assist ask Amanda. Nicely done!

    Leland, we'll have to together again- TOO many shared hobbies and interests to cover in such short time frame! Very nice meeting you, too (and your brother!)

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