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Kipnis Studio Standard Discussion Thread with Jeremy Kipnis


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#1 of 24 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted April 21 2008 - 08:53 AM

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This is the official discussion thread for our coverage of the Kipnis Studio Standard.


We are honored that Jeremy Kipnis has agreed to participate in this discussion thread, answering questions from our membership.


Please be aware that Jeremy's time is limited and his participation in this area will be dependent on his availability. Please also be aware
that his participation may also be limited to the first few months from the original post date of this thread.

Ronald J Epstein
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#2 of 24 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted April 21 2008 - 06:27 PM

So many questions circled my brain as Ron, Scooter and I travelled to Connecticut to meet Jeremy and take in his amazing project.

"What is the genesis of this, is it ego, is it a business, is he crazy, obsessed or just fantastically wealthy?" And most importantly "Does he want to adopt me?", tho truth be told I never got to ask that one.

All of our answers did come in due time but the thing I must impress on you is that despite the headlines his HT has generated, Jeremy couldnt be a nicer guy on the surface. He isnt self absorbed or just out to do this just to one up every other ordinary guy's theater. He genuinely seems to care about making an environment without compromise and he has the means to make that happen and has plans to make it pay off in the end, as the KSS is not just some crazy ego trip. He certainly has the pedigree for it, with his family history being a who's who of content creators and audiophiles. And the coolest part of it is that he seems to really get a kick out of the engineering of it all, and is comfortable talking the deepest minutia of the system and how and why he personally engineered it that way. Also, he is perfectly aware of how he is viewed around the net, and how little of his objectives transcend the big block letters that the headlines scream. Will his plans pan out? Its hard to say, I've always been more tuned to the 'bang for the buck' crowd than the 'uncompromising quality' one, but I didnt get a vibe of a snakeoil salesman, I really felt like he has a plan and the execution of it is going to take a LOT of work but he has the vast majority of it already in the 'mission accomplished' column so I wouldn't bet against him.

Thanks again for the visit Mr. Kipnis, and good luck in your endeavor!

Sam

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#3 of 24 OFFLINE   Kipnis Studios

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Posted April 22 2008 - 05:46 AM

Thank you, Sam.

You know, I never imagined when I started testing components and speakers five years ago that this project would flower into a cutting edge design solution - an ongoing experiment to continuously define the cutting edge in picture and sound presentation.

But the fact that KSS has wound up in publications, internet articles, and blogs throughout the world, and created such controversy over the purpose and validity of my design philosophy has taken me much more by surprise.

For me, it was clear from the start that picture and sound quality (as a general rule) were not being exploited nor maximized, even at the very top end of the motion picture, television, music, and video game production industries. As a large format professional photographer and cinematographer for 38 years, I have seen the quality of movie presentations deteriorate to the point where home theater systems purchased at Best Buy or even Radio Shack can offer a superior experience.

I have always wanted to have that big movie going experience at home and under the very best of circumstances. And like so many early enthusiasts, I started off with a Sears 9" & 19" Color TV (Zenith Re-badge) connected to an Antenna with a BetaMax.

But, over the last 35 years, movie theaters have gotten smaller (except for IMAX), picture and sound fidelity is generally poor around the globe (IMAX included), and is now largely eclipsed by Home Theater as an industry where image and sound fidelity are concerned.

At this cornerstone where film is being phased out and we slowly transition into video presentation as a commercial reality, I felt compelled to share my experience and design philosophy with the very best and most enthusiastic producers, directors, and media creators on the planet.

My good friend, Producer Steve Guttenberg, who I worked extensively with while at Chesky Records in the early '90s, and who is also a long time professional projectionist in NYC, was so enthusiastic about the image and sound fidelity that he experienced at his KSS demonstration that he felt compelled to write a feature article about it (and that was in April 2007) - this was eventually published in the February 2008 issue of Home Theater Magazine.

Again, and to my surprise, word spread before the article hit the presses, and several other publications requested interviews and photos. Hence, the increasing list of periodicals and their online cousins. Naturally, this is very flattering (for the most part), but its true goal in my mind is to reach people such as:

George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, Robert Rodriguez, Martin Scorsese, Barry Levinson, Paul Newman, The Cohen Brothers, James Cameron, Frank Marshall, etc.

It is my belief that these individuals can utilize The Kipnis Studio Standard as a tool, a resource, a benchmark to evaluate and appreciate both their own work and the work of countless others. The shear level of visual and sonic transparency that is possible under well designed and executed circumstances is simply amazing, verging on reality in its impact and subtlety.

No one joining us here at KSS over the last year and a half has come away without being changed and compelled by the experience. It is not something that words or pictures can adequately describe, and one must experience it for themselves to truly appreciate just how much information they are actually missing even in the very best industry standard SMPTE and AMPAS screenings. IMAX, though great in some cases, is also shown to be horribly wanting, as well. These existing industry standards have only scratched at the surface of possibilities. And I have been inspired by their examples to design, create, and now supersede any previous level of picture and sound presentation possible.

With a lot of work, and great networking, I'm certain these individuals and many others that really care about the quality of their work and the value of their art form, will come to live and breathe the substantially higher level of picture and sound quality I have pioneered, as well as total sense of immersion created by The Kipnis Studio Standard.

With luck, we'll see that level of quality and integrity in movie theaters and throughout these industries again soon!

Cheers -

Jeremy


The Kipnis Studios

www.Kipnis-Studios.com

#4 of 24 OFFLINE   chuckg

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Posted April 22 2008 - 08:00 AM

Greetings, and welcome to our humble abode. I read with great interest the article on your KSS, and found myself entranced by the very notion of it. I'm so disappointed, as you must also be, at the "i-podding" of sound. The trend seems to have been to lower the quality as much as possible, in order to cram a great quantity of it onto a tiny, and tinny, little stick.

How refreshing to see a behemoth intended purely for attaining AV nirvana! My own search for an acceptable system has resulted in a moderate quality array whose cost was three orders of magnitude lower than KSS, but it fit my budget, and pleases me greatly.

I do have a couple of questions (from a tin-eared audio drudge) Why the super tweeters? I have never had a live demonstration, but I wonder if they are indeed palpable. Second, I may have this wrong, but are your speakers arranged in a perfect octagon? I wonder how that works with the "standard" array of speakers in an irregular hexagon. What audio processing re-arranges the channels to conform to the octagon?

Thanks, and please do keep up the fight for quality!
--ignore the man behind the curtain

#5 of 24 OFFLINE   Kipnis Studios

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Posted April 24 2008 - 11:08 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckg
Why the super tweeters? I have never had a live demonstration, but I wonder if they are indeed palpable.

Thanks, and please do keep up the fight for quality!

Hi Chuck,

I am using the Murata Supertweeters, 10 of them, in fact, in my Cine Beta design!

There are several reasons for this.

First, the Murata are both flat and phase accurate from 15 kHz on up to 102.5 kHz. This along with the 16 Snell Sub-1800 subwoofers result in flat, phase accurate response for all 8.8 channels of my surround topology throughout the audible and physical range of perception. I certainly maintain that some supra-sonic sounds are audible above 20 kHz, depending upon the age, specific ears, and sonic acuity of the individual. But it is far more important to be at or near 100% with respect to known and measurable in-band audible characteristics, such as frequency response, phase angle, sound prorogation, diffusion & absorption, and refraction, just to name but a few key parameters.

Second, having measurable accuracy in the above areas out to 100+ kHz provides 5 times the precision of motion at 20 kHz, delivered from a completely isolated, tunable driver for each channel array. This recreates the air motion of even the deepest bass notes with a tangible, holographic accuracy which I have only otherwise heard with certain ribbon based designs. The inclusion of the Murata has the effect of lighting up (sonically) the back and side walls of any recording in sharp relief, where prior those elements were less noticeable, as if lit by moonlight instead of sun. The effect does not brighten or harden the sound in anyway, but conversely opens up and allows the sound to breath and be vastly more tactile, during both loud and soft sounds.

In the end, explosions, gunshots, thunder, and even symphony orchestras all increase in their palpability and timbrel accuracy to a frightening degree. Several times during the viewing of a film with a good mix, it is not uncommon to experience the sensation that the ambiance is outside of the room - to the degree that one goes outside only to see that 1) it is not raining, 2) a delivery truck hasn't arrived, 3) a tree didn't hit the house, 4) a helicopter isn't landing in the driveway, etc, etc.

I highly recommend true subwoofers, and the use of very high quality supertweeters to increase overall transparency and 3-dimensionality. Posted Image

Cheers -

Jeremy


The Kipnis Studios

www.Kipnis-Studios.com

#6 of 24 OFFLINE   Kipnis Studios

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Posted April 24 2008 - 11:23 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckg
Are your speakers arranged in a perfect octagon? I wonder how that works with the "standard" array of speakers in an irregular hexagon. What audio processing re-arranges the channels to conform to the octagon?

Thanks, and please do keep up the fight for quality!

Most often, a 5.1, 6.1, or 7.1 surround system is ubiquitous in today's screening rooms and movie theaters, as is the use of three identical two or three-way loudspeakers, placed behind the perforated motion picture screen. The surround speakers are almost always a two-way design, utilize different drivers than those behind the screen, and are located out in the auditorium above the audience and toward the ceiling; sometimes in a stadium type theater the surround speakers will be diagonally arrayed on the side walls. The results are that some speakers are better sounding than others and all are at different distances away from listener, no matter where they are seated.

The Kipnis Studio Standard uniquely features a cutting-edge 8.8 surround sound system, fueled by a specially modified Theta Casablanca III and 13 very special Generation VIII D/As. The speaker arrays consist of hand matched and calibrated orchestral groups of Snell THX-Music & Cinema Reference Loudspeakers (designed by Kevin Voecks especially for George Lucas and Tomlinson Holman as their very first THX Home Loudspeaker System). These consist of the following categories and quantities: 10 - Full Range Towers, 10 - Murata Super Tweeters, 3 - Full Range Center Channels, and 16 - 18" subwoofers, laid out in a perfectly octagonal, equidistant configuration around the centrally located viewer / listener. With a frequency range of 10 - 102,500 Hertz, and the ability to play both extremely loud (125 dB/SPL) and soft sounds (near 0 dB/SPL) in perfect proportion to each other, both music, film, and television (not to mention video games) can offer a totally immersive, three-dimensional aural reproduction of the source that is as authentic and realistic as "being there". Together, the KSS loudspeaker array offers unsurpassed transparency and fidelity from any source you choose to listen to or view.

A KSS 8.8 Hexagonal Surround Sound System necessarily features 96 separate speaker drivers powered by 36 amplifiers (50 are in my design specifications for this sized room and seating requirements). By using this many hand matched amplifiers with hand picked tubes, I achieve a previously unheard level of fidelity, where each and every mix offers a noticeably different character, features its own authentic sound space which changes from scene to scene (or track to track), and which is reproducable at accurate and realistic listening levels under ultra quiet (NR. < 4 dB/SPL) acoustically controlled (< 3 ms at all audible frequencies) listening conditions. Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

Cheers -

Jeremy

www.Kipnis-Studios.com

#7 of 24 OFFLINE   Empirefan70

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Posted May 03 2008 - 07:28 AM

So why the clutter in the room then I mean I have a little clutter but that will soon be placed in professional 19” racks and fitted in separate room to reduce amplifier mains transform humming because nearly all electrical appliances produce a low level humming of sort and I’m not waffling about ground loops or mains humming though the loudspeakers ether.

Good luck in the home cinema project it looks nice, but for heavens above put it in separate room, I can’t even imagine a dubbing theatre looking like that.
The audience is listening to 56KW!

#8 of 24 OFFLINE   chuckg

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Posted May 05 2008 - 06:49 AM

I kind of like the laboratory look of all the equipment arrayed around the room. Much of that equipment is built to look sweet as well as sound sweet. And, if one is showing off, having the gear in view makes it easier! Posted Image

What I was getting at with the supertweeters: Sure, there is some audible sound above 20kHz for some people. But what source provides any usable signal in the stratosphere? Phonograph recordings contain useable signal up to at least 45 kHz, but I can't imagine any digital source being accurate above 20 kHz, even with a 96 kHz sample rate. I don't ascribe to the pure engineering theory that a waveform can be reconstructed faithfully with no more than two samples per cycle.
--ignore the man behind the curtain

#9 of 24 OFFLINE   Kipnis Studios

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Posted May 07 2008 - 04:28 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckg
I kind of like the laboratory look of all the equipment arrayed around the room. Much of that equipment is built to look sweet as well as sound sweet. And, if one is showing off, having the gear in view makes it easier! Posted Image

What I was getting at with the supertweeters: Sure, there is some audible sound above 20kHz for some people. But what source provides any usable signal in the stratosphere? Phonograph recordings contain useable signal up to at least 45 kHz, but I can't imagine any digital source being accurate above 20 kHz, even with a 96 kHz sample rate. I don't ascribe to the pure engineering theory that a waveform can be reconstructed faithfully with no more than two samples per cycle.

Clearly you are a person of considerable engineering appreciation. And Phonograph Records do indeed have the potential for supra-sonic replay. But so do SACD and DVD-A, particularly at 192 kHz sampling rate and 24-bits.

But the purpose of the super tweeters is just as much to reproduce the audible portion below 20 kHz Completely Flat. With most speakers, even with a super tweeter, the response can be down by over a decibel at 20k, and this is completely audible as a dulling of all transients, be they high, middle, or low frequency.

After testing a miriad of Super Tweeters, the Murata were the best match for the Snell THX M & C Towers, and consequently I have 10 of them installed - as this both sounds and measures flat for all 8.8 channels of my system design!

Cheers -

Jeremy


www.Kipnis-Studios.com

#10 of 24 OFFLINE   chuckg

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Posted May 07 2008 - 07:48 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kipnis Studios
...at 192 kHz sampling rate and 24-bits....

But the purpose of the super tweeters is just as much to reproduce the audible portion below 20 kHz Completely Flat. With most speakers, even with a super tweeter, the response can be down by over a decibel at 20k, and this is completely audible as a dulling of all transients, be they high, middle, or low frequency.


Ahhh, that makes sense! Thanks...I had overlooked both the extra-high sample rate and the fall-off at the upper end of even some excellent tweeters.
--ignore the man behind the curtain

#11 of 24 OFFLINE   Kipnis Studios

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Posted May 07 2008 - 11:20 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Empirefan70
So why the clutter in the room then I mean I have a little clutter but that will soon be placed in professional 19” racks and fitted in separate room to reduce amplifier mains transform humming because nearly all electrical appliances produce a low level humming of sort and I’m not waffling about ground loops or mains humming though the loudspeakers ether.

Good luck in the home cinema project it looks nice, but for heavens above put it in separate room, I can’t even imagine a dubbing theatre looking like that.

As I pointed out earlier (and in the video interview with Scooter), this is both showroom, laboratory, screening and mixing room, among other purposes. So I don't expect 99.9 % of our client's to want this particular design.

The goal is to take their seating requirements & interior design considerations and create a multi-functional venue where the picture and sound quality are unequaled in transparency!

So, let's say that the Prince of Dubai wants the very finest Movie Theater on board his new $550+ Million Dollar 600 foot yacht. And he wants it to be like the inside of Carnegie Hall with several Balconys, a stage, and that terrific architecture and acoustics. It's my job to design the room and integrate the technology to suite that venue, making every seat the very best and most immersive possible. Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

Well beyond what anyone else is willing or able to design and build, where price is not the object - Fidelity Is!

Cheers -

Jeremy


www.Kipnis-Studios.com

#12 of 24 OFFLINE   Scooter

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Posted May 07 2008 - 11:54 AM

Something to remember, this place is also a lab! Tweaking...experimenting...changing....evolving. That many elements are out in the open allows for re-configuration and well as testing an instant brainstorm of something.

Work in progress and all that. Always changing..challenging and improving.

#13 of 24 OFFLINE   elden

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Posted May 08 2008 - 11:56 PM

Nice thread! I really like your provided information. It's really helpful for me.

Thanks a lot!

#14 of 24 OFFLINE   Kipnis Studios

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Posted June 06 2008 - 03:03 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by elden
Nice thread! I really like your provided information. It's really helpful for me.

Thanks a lot!

That is why I scaled this mountain - to find out what had been done over the last 150+ years with respect to the capturing and accurate recreation of images and sounds.

These are the heart of movies, television, video games, you name it!

It's really important to look at each and every detail in context and consider how it can be improved.

This has led me, inexorably, to produce The Kipnis Studio Standard! Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

Cheers -

Jeremy

www.Kipnis-Studios.com

#15 of 24 OFFLINE   Kipnis Studios

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Posted June 13 2008 - 02:09 PM

We will be concluding formal demonstrations at the end of August 2008.

Anyone interested in experiencing the very finest in picture and sound fidelity, please do not hesitate to contact me. :-)

#16 of 24 OFFLINE   Scooter

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Posted June 28 2008 - 06:59 AM

For anyone who would like to view the interviews that were featured here in a higher rez format can go to YouTube:

YouTube - KipnisStudios's Channel

#17 of 24 OFFLINE   Kipnis Studios

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Posted July 26 2008 - 04:21 PM

I have just completed a Sony SRX-R220 4k projector review, featured on HomeTheaterReview.com:

This is my latest quick review (QR) of the Sony SRX-R220.



My experience with this projector has been hit and miss (out in the field), but under controlled conditions, it at least lives up to much of what 70 mm film can dispatch - and there is no frame stuttering, dirt, scratches, or reel changes!

Comments?

#18 of 24 OFFLINE   Peter Overduin

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Posted July 26 2008 - 04:30 PM

Hi Jeremy...just a quick note that the link does not work...Thanks!
Peter

My Collection

#19 of 24 OFFLINE   Kipnis Studios

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Posted July 26 2008 - 04:39 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Overduin
Hi Jeremy...just a quick note that the link does not work...Thanks!

Try it now! Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

SRX-R220 Review

#20 of 24 OFFLINE   jamminsport16

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Posted August 31 2008 - 07:53 AM

good advice!


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