Astrum Entertainment Group
Astrum Entertainment Group installs three stacks of Meridian in-wall loudspeakers in two adjacent homes to powerful results.
This project—two theaters from two clients who live right next door to each other—started three years ago. Both clients are friends and movie lovers, watching flicks several times a week. While the two theaters look different—one has a grey and black interior, the other uses an orange and red color scheme—the core technology is nearly identical.
The Meridian Tri-Stack arrangement in both home theaters consists of nine DSP520 in-wall loudspeakers. Each left, center, and right channel has three loudspeakers stacked up in a column in a wall specially built by Astrum to go behind the 14-foot 2.35:1 Display Technologies Screen.
While the images are stellar, the highlight of both theaters is the audio. Ragulan took advantage of the complimentary Meridian Design & Specification Service, and Meridian came to the site more than 10 times to make sure the project was on track, taking a special interest in how the Tri-Stack system works. “The staging of the front was elevated to a sweet spot in the center row, with the third row being a bench with a bar. We’ve done quite a few Meridian theaters, but this one is the best.” Complementing the nine DSP520 in-wall loudspeakers are two subwoofers located in the front stage, giving the room plenty of bass response to complement the Tri-Stack system.
Thanks to their design, no external amp was required, as the DSP520s are an all-digital design with amps built in to each speaker. “From the cost side of things, doing a system like this versus traditional loudspeakers is a wash,” says Ragulan. “Because with a traditional system you have to buy conventional speakers and spend money on amplifiers. Meridian’s built-in amplifiers simplify everything, and it’s also the best approach using the Meridian DSP technology to elevate the soundstage. We can bring it to whatever the client wants it to be. That’s normally not easy to do unless you purchase a very expensive audio processor.”
As far as the sound goes, the clients are just as impressed as Ragulan. They feel like even though the power is present, it’s subtle and neutral, and never overwhelming, even at high decibels. “The advantage of the Tri-Stack system is that there is more power to the front stage, and also more isolation when the sound moves smoothly between the left and right side of the screen. The vocal clarity is the best I’ve ever heard. The soundstage is also big, which would not have been able to be accomplished without a coning effect from traditional speakers and amplifiers,” says Ragulan. “It’s the first time I’ve experienced a sound like this in 20 years being in this industry.”