LA Audio Show 2017: Starke Sound and the art of Home Theatre

laas4Cinephile. Oh, and also audiophile. I’m a man of ‘philes it seems. And, as much as I consider myself a lover of cinema of all types (major Kurosawa fetish), I’ve not spent any real time with a proper surround-sound, Dolby-enabled home theatre system. Movie theatres? Yes, I go often, and love the cinema experience, but I don’t know anybody who has a serious 7.1 system at home, so I was pretty interested to spend time checking out what Starke Sound had in play for the Los Angeles Audio Show.

Sit back, relax, and take it all in: Dolby Atmos.

They had a large section of space on the Lobby level of the Sheraton Gateway Hotel, and made excellent use of it by dividing it into three sections: A large Dolby Atmos-enabled surround-sound full theatre experience that could seat about 50 people, a smaller home theatre set-up (typical of what you’d see in someone’s house), and a static display area showing off a number of Starke’s hardware offerings.

Part of the selection of Starke Sound equipment offerings.
The smaller, secondary home-theatre room Starke had set up.
Los Angeles Audio Show 2017 coverage brought to you by Spatial Audio.

I spent my listening time with the big, bad Atmos system, and was not disappointed. With assistance from bricks and mortar the High End Zone, Starke Sound had created a true movie-theatre experience that offered not only breathtaking sound impact, and realism, but visually stunning optics with up to 4K resolution. Starke’s team had put together a demo reel featuring a number of climatic moments from several films including La La Land, and Pacific Rim – two films I’m a huge fan of , and have seen several times, but nothing prepared for what I got a dose of during my watching/listening session.

Dolby Atmos nerve centre.
Part of the large 11.8.8 Atmos system.

The depth of the bass, the effortless headroom in the way the system handled massive dynamic swings, and the spacious 3D sound stage, and pinpoint imaging of the most subtle details from the scenes being showcased left me shaking my head. This is why I go to movie theatres to see the blockbusters, this type of real, raw, emotional-roller-coaster-of-a-ride film experience that comes from having a massive screen with flawless, retina-saturating visuals, and true surround sound.

–Rafe Arnott

In between screenings.

The system:

2017 LA Audio Show Gear List for Starke Sound and High End Zone

Large Cinema Room: 11.8.8 Dolby Atmos

  • (3) Starke Sound IC-H5 ELITE FLOOR STANDING (MSRP $13, 920 USD/pair
  • (8) Starke Sound IW-H5 ELITE WALL MOUNTED (MSRP $12,960 USD/pair)
  • (8) Starke Sound IW-H3 BE CEILING MOUNTED (MSRP $7,240 USD/pair)
  • (6) Starke Sound SUB36 Subwoofer (MSRP $2,750 USD/each)
  • (3) A7 Mark II Amplifier (MSRP $7,900 USD/each)
  • (2) Rythmik FV25HP Subwoofers (Not yet Released)
  • Trinnov Altitude32 processor: (MSRP $31,500 USD)
  • JVC DLA RS 4500 projector (MSRP: $35,000 USD)
  • Seymour-Screen Excellence RF 160HD Enlightor 4K  Acoustically Transparent
  • Screen (MSRP: $6,360 USD)
  • Kaleidescape Strato 4K Movie Player 4K Ultra HD and HDR Movie Server (MSRP: $4,500 USD)
  • Oppo UDP-205 4K Ultra HD Audiophile Blu-ray Disc Player (MSRP: $1,300 USD)
  • Audio Vault Elite Rack (MSRP $6,250 USD)
  • (1) ASC IsoThermal TubeTrap (MSRP: $500 USD)
  • (16) Haikoustics Sound Absorption Panels (MSRP as shown in room w/ arT $1,000  USD each, also available with same sound characteristics and no art for $500 USD each)
  • (3) Custom Mogami DB25 XLR breakouts by Pro Audio LA for Trinnov DB25’s to Starke A7’s (MSRP: $300 USD each)
  • (2) Metra HDM-GA1 Gigabit accelerators used on 2 runs from video sources to JVC projector (MSRP: $489 USD each)
  • Metra Velox 18Gb HDMI cables for all HDMI (Approx. $1,500 MSRP for all
  • these cables)
  • 8 Metra XLR Cables from Trinnov XLR’s to Starke A7 XLR’s
  • Sommer Speaker Cables
  • 3D Audio Calibration and speaker placements by Curt Hoyt.
  • Truss design by Scott Deloache of Starke in collaboration with Studio 116
  • Crestron Remote control system and programming services provided by Matt Turner of Turner Systems Consulting
  • Kaleidescape Strato scripting by Danny Thompson
  • Overall System Design by High End Zone