Just watched Windtalkers...on a Million $$ system! (long)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Michael Marklund, Oct 20, 2002.

  1. Michael Marklund

    Michael Marklund Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2002
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    0
    First things first: I am not a professional reviewer and I also did not write down every component model #. This was a casual ivitation from one of my clients to watch a movie at his house. (We had previously discussed being HT buffs.) Secondly: I have a lot of clients with a lot of money. I have seen $400k watches, $1.4 million for a car, and $27 million for a diamond. Many of my customers have big bucks and almost all of them have at least one hobby they indulge their wallets in. The guy who let me watch his system owns a telecommunications company. Not only can he afford this kind of gear, he understands it down to every single iota. He is not just someone with big $$ that hired some consultant and said: "build em a big home theater." All of this stuff was picked by him and the room was built to his specs. As a final note-see the info on the custom cable later in this post. Please bear with my amateur review.[​IMG]
    When we left the kitchen and went down the hall, my friend told me that when he has people over, he usually tells them that this is his video system. (We enter the first room.) Two B&W Nautilus stand out in front-the bigger ones with the mid atop the woofer cabinet and the tweeter looks like a sideways teardrop on top of the mid housing. Five other B&Ws are built into the walls. A 20"ish Velodyne sub w/ granite base sits off in the corner. There's a Runco projector w/ about a 7-8' screen and rack of Japanese components. Not bad. Beats my system cold. He tells me there's about $65k in that system. We leave the room and enter "The Theater". My friend explains that this room is for the real movie/HT buffs.
    It's somewhere around 35'x25' w/ 12'+ ceilings. 1000sq/ft he tells me. First impression is that it's not done yet. He explains that it in fact is not done yet. No wall treatments, no shelving built in, oddly the system is 5.1 not 7.1. More on that later. Four or five leather sofas are next to and behind each other, forming two rows of seats.
    Immediately the eye goes up. Suspended from an inverted pedastal from the ceiling are TWO of the biggest projectors I've ever seen. He begins to explain that they're Vidikron Vision Ones each with it's own quadrupler and they have been "enhanced" by Madrigal. They run in tandem, simultaneously. Prior to his set up, no had run two at once for the same movie. He worked w/ Transparent Audio to design a cable that would split the signal off the Snell & Wilcox Interpolater and send the signal to both Vidikrons at once. (That cable cost him $22k and he and his engineers did the design work!) (BTW, the enhanced Visions run $90k apiece w/ the quads.)
    Ok, nuts and bolts. I will try to list as much as I saw/can remember. Here goes: mains and rears-Wilson X1 Grand Slams (silver finish), rear back and center-Wilson Watt/Puppy, sub-Wilson (don't know model, but it's 7' tall!!), speaker cable (all over the floor, this stuff is everwhere)-Transparent Audio Reference XL balanced, Amps-(get this) next each speaker (connected w/ TA ref XL interconn is a Mark Levinson 33 monoblock. I think there were 7 of these laying around and perhps it was a 336 for the sub?? Two audio racks about 5' tall. One for HT, one for 2ch. HT: Proceed Modular DVD Transport, Proceed stand alone Decoder, Proceed Surround Processor (all 3 silver boxes the same size, don't know models.) Transparent Audio Power Controller, JVC super vhs, Snell & Wilcox Interpolater, AMX Phast Landmark mainframe for home automation/remote. The 2ch-Mark Levinson 37 reference cd unit, Mark Levinson 30something preamp, and one other Mark Levinson component that I can't remember (brain overload.) The screen: 150" Stewart Grayhawk (sp?).
    Started w/ the first 20 min of Fast and Furious, the intro of Lost in Space, all of Windtalkers, and finsihed w/ pod race seen from PM. (note for Star Wars fans- this guy is connected high enough up that if I had wanted, I could have watched all 3 of the first Star Wars movies...on DVD!--yes, I even held them in my hand. No they weren't bootlegged and had original studio packaging) P.S.- he has about 2400 dvds.
    I will not get into whether his system is $985,000 better than mine. Nor will I get into the debate over the merits of spending a million dollars on an HT system. All I can tell you is that nothing I have ever seen/heard comes close to this system. Even if I tried and stared right at one of the main speakers during the movie, I could not hear the sound coming from the speaker. The soundstage was so amazing, it was almost impossible to localize any speaker (especially the rears.) The sound was perfect. If you have ever fired a M1 Garand rifle, you will know the sound of the little tin metal clip hitting the ground after it ejects. Having shot this gun enough times, I jerked my head towards the screen to see wheat rifle was being used in Windtalkers b/c I had just heard the exact recreation of that clip ejecting. Speaker sound so precise I could tell the type of rifle in a movie by the sound of the clip hitting the ground. Unbelievable! I'd swear the sub could move the sofa I was on. It went beyond blowing my pantleg around. I knew the pod race seen had a ton of the lowest bass around, I had no clue what that meant until now. Wow.
    Video was without equal. No errors period. No chroma bug, no moire, no jaggies, no combing...just picture and color so real it blew me away. I tried hard to find some identifiable error or flaw in the picture. Something that would prove to me I was watching digital and not film. Couldn't find it. Simply, it looked exactly like film. ( without the dust other anomalies.)
    Sorry for the long post. Just had to share a great evening w/ all of you. He has extended an offer to me to come back, and I will. (duh.) Hope I got as many of the model #'s, etc correct. So much to try and memorize and yet still actually enjoy the system. If any q's, post and I'll try to answer when I can.
    Thanks,
    MM
    Oh yeah, it's 5.1 not 7.1 for now b/c the two surround back WATT/Puppys are not hooked up yet, FYI.
    Admins-ok to move this to the After Hours Lounge if it's inappropriate to this area.
     
  2. Rob Rodier

    Rob Rodier Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2002
    Messages:
    538
    Likes Received:
    0
    He could use a processor upgrade.
    -rob[​IMG]
     
  3. Josh Lowe

    Josh Lowe Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2002
    Messages:
    1,063
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  4. Chas_T

    Chas_T Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2002
    Messages:
    758
    Likes Received:
    0
    See any Bose stuff in that room?? [​IMG]
    Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. It sounds awesome.
    Maybe he could invite the HTF group over for a test drive? We can bring the popcorn!!
    Did you watch anything from Lord of The Rings?? I bet that would have been awesome.
    Also, I have 2401 DVD's. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. JJR512

    JJR512 Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 1999
    Messages:
    619
    Likes Received:
    0
    Interesting, but not sure what to think/believe about the original three Star Wars movies on DVD.
     
  6. Michael Marklund

    Michael Marklund Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2002
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    0
    Justin,
    The movies are for real and completely legit. According to my friend they were a "thank you" from Mr.Lucas. My client let George use the technology to build the cable I mentioned so that he too could run the twin Vidikrons in his house. (George's Vidikrons are slightly newer and supposedly run $150k apiece.) These two systems and one other are (according to my client) the only three set-ups like this east of the Mississippi. FWIW.
    MM
    p.s.-sorry for all the "my friend/my client" stuff. Just felt it better to keep him anonymous. Hell of a nice guy though, even sprang for the pizza and beer.[​IMG]
     
  7. Larry B

    Larry B Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2001
    Messages:
    1,067
    Likes Received:
    0
    Michael:
    Thanks for sharing that with us. I got excited just reading about it!! [​IMG]
    Larry
     
  8. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2002
    Messages:
    1,741
    Likes Received:
    0
    Man am I impressed or what! He sprang for the pizza and beer!!! Impressive indeed[​IMG]
    All kidding aside, I would luv to have such a system. Holy cow, I'll have to be re-born in the Gates' household to be able to afford that. Not in this lifetime.
     
  9. Larry B

    Larry B Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2001
    Messages:
    1,067
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yogi:
     
  10. MikeAlletto

    MikeAlletto Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2000
    Messages:
    2,369
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think I'm going to cry. I want! I want! I want to be his friend too [​IMG]
     
  11. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2002
    Messages:
    1,741
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  12. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2000
    Messages:
    870
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sounds very impressive. Bodes well for people who want the original Star Wars movies on DVD.
     
  13. george king

    george king Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 29, 1999
    Messages:
    625
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yogi and LarryB,
    I share your pain also. Now can we have a big group hug[​IMG]
     
  14. aldamon

    aldamon Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2002
    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  15. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2002
    Messages:
    1,741
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  16. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 1998
    Messages:
    9,709
    Likes Received:
    173
     
  17. Scott Oliver

    Scott Oliver Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2000
    Messages:
    1,159
    Likes Received:
    0
    What were his explanations for having two theater setups. I have heard of a separate 2 channel system along with a megabucks theater, but his setup seems very redundant.

    Why would you actually choose to watch a movie in the "video setup" when you have the "Theater" down the hall?
     
  18. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2002
    Messages:
    1,741
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  19. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    After about $100K worth of gear, not including the room, I personally, cannot tell that much of a difference. Yes, it sounds great, but I'm not sure I'd ever spend that kind of cash on an HT ($1 mil) even if I had it. [​IMG] That's some pretty serious stuff. [​IMG]
    I can justify my HT, because I get out of it what I put into it.
     
  20. Michael Marklund

    Michael Marklund Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2002
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    0
    Robert,

    Perhaps you are right. As mentioned, I could not keep track or write down everything I saw. He told me the screen was 150". It looked like it. Grayhawk? Probalby not then. What I saw was the "Stewart" logo in the bottom right of the screen. It was my embellishment thinking it was a grayhawk. He did mention that the two Visions running together enhance brightness. This gets above my head as I'm not very familiar w/ fptv. I will be talking w/ him today or tomorrow and can ask about the quad/interpolater question. As for lack of hidef. It's coming, just not done yet w/ the satellite system. I will double check w/ him but if I remember right, what he told me is that the resolution of the system now is past hdtv (1080i). Please don't flame me till I get the info, my customer knows much more detail than I.

    Why two systems? The other room is for his kids to use so they don't screw up the main theater. He doesn't use the first room himself at all.

    Will try to fill in details soon,
    MM

    P.S.-The diamond thing...another customer of mine owns a jewelry store. He has the diamond for sale. It was on Discovery or Travel channel. Million dollar toys or top ten jewelry stores or something like that.
     

Share This Page