August 04, 2008 by Arlen Schweiger
We know how it goes with home theaters these days—you want to hear the great surround sound, but not necessarily see it. For better aesthetics, and for better sonic realism, a lot of theater designers and DIYers turn to acoustically transparent screens.
Manufacturer SI has been working to improve its own acoustically transparent offerings in this regard, and is shipping two new screen materials this month for its Reference line of products—the Gamma Maestro HD 1.1 (White) and Lunar Maestro HD .85 (Gray).
You can hide your speakers and use projectors of all types with either of these woven screen materials. Check out www.siscreens.com to peruse the Reference line, and you can even use SI’s screen calculator on the website.
The skinny on these materials is that you can still go plenty big on the projection screen size and not worry about compromising the audio. SI says the maximum screen size for each material is, in diagonal inches, 215 inches for a 2.35 screen, 186 for a standard 16:9 widescreen, and 152 inches for a 4:3 ratio screen.
On the audio side, measuring 6 inches in front of the screen, SI rates its acoustic transparency on the Gamma Maestro and Lunar Maestro as +/- 1dB up to 7,500 Hz, +/- 2 dB from 7,500 Hz to 20 kHz, with screens 5 percent open.
SI has impressed us with innovations like the Black Diamond screen, so we’re anticipating similar quality, on both the video and audio characteristics, orchestrated by these Maestros.
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Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.
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