Theater Xtreme’s “Majestic” Theater Is Anything But Ordinary, At An Extraordinary Price Point
by Richard Ravarino
When you think of “The Majestic” the first thing to pop into your mind may be the “Capra-corn-esque” 2001 movie of the same name, about a amnesiac that gives a WWII era father, a chance to get his son back (for which Carrey shares an uncanny resemblance) and in the process, they save the town from its post WWII malaise and melancholy.
Draper’s Theater Xtreme would like to re-write that narrative, especially where malaise and melancholy are concerned. What their “Majestic” offers is a audio-video experience that breaks the heart (in its simplistic elegance), without breaking the budget.
For under $10,000 – You get a 106” Dragonfly screen displaying high definition beauty from an Epson 3010 projector (which at only $1,599 is the lowest price 3-D ready projector in the industry). The audio is jacked through a Denon AVR3313 Receiver, powering the 7.1 Klipsch Reference system with bi-pole surrounds (7.2 is available, just not necessary in a room this size (17’ x 12’)) and a URC remote control. The Denon DMP-BDT210 Bluray player powers the gorgeous colors seen on the projector with brilliant, clear resolution.
Noting that this is still just a 60hz projector it looks fantastic. Sure, the refresh rates aren’t as fluid as they might be on a higher price projector, but the overall experience is not underwhelming. It is, in fact, quite satisfying. The shortcomings in the video are more than made up by the richness and grandeur of the audio.
I watched scenes from both Iron Man II and Avatar on this system in 2-D. In the scene from Avatar, I practically ducked on a “fly-by” of one of the dragon creatures, simply from the realistic sound being reproduced from the mids and natural sounding lows of the Klipsch’s image, as the air of the creature’s wings rushed towards me in a “whoosh”, even before I was “over-flown” by the behemoth. The only thing missing was the blast of air across my face and I swear I felt it. Keep in mind, this was in the projector’s 2-D mode. Theater Xtreme had the original 2-D only copy of “Avatar”, but it still looked brilliant.
Iron Man II didn’t view as well. Due to the speed of Tony Stark’s “Superman” in metallic shorts, it revealed the shortcomings of a 60 hz refresh rate. I know this movie well, and after multiple viewings on the Epson 6010 and the JVC DLA-X30, I felt a little cheated as at times movement was a tad jerky. The smoothness of Iron Man’s F-22 style flight dynamics were gone and rather than being lost in the picture, I was jerked back to reality with these “shortcomings”. In the end, movies that move at the speed of helicopters worked well, jets and speedy super-heroes, not so much.
Finally, in 3-D mode I grabbed “Despicible Me”, which did a good job of showing off the 3rd dimension and as vibrantly lit as the picture is filmed, it looked great. However, I only scanned through two scenes, the second of which was in a laboratory, dimly lit, with the exception of a medical bed light. With the glasses on, there was a deep loss in contrast. Considering it was just animation, I didn’t think too much of it, but found myself thinking, “What if I’d been viewing a live action movie with more shades of grey?” I don’t believe it would have handled it well. 3-D comes at a costly price to the contrast rate and overall brightness on this projector.
Long story short, I’m nit-picking. . . But that is sort of my job here, when reviewing these systems. If you don’t have the budget for a higher end system, the Epson 3010 is a great looking projector, but if the budget can be stretched, I would run (not walk) for the 6010. There is so much more projector there for just another $1,800.00 (and it will save you buying a mount, which comes with that projector, as well as two pairs of 3-D glasses, plus your first replacement bulb is included). You pick up an amazing 480hz, plus FIVE TIMES the contrast ratio and 15% more light.
The Epson 3010 is a great value for a 2-D presentation, whether that be from your cable/satellite provider or from your BluRay. It is a solid projector. However, for the additional $300.00 over Epson’s 8350, really all you are gaining is the 3-D mode, which IMHO lacks luster.
If you were to break this system down into components and look at where your dollars were going, you would find this room a bit unbalanced. Only roughly 25% of your budget is made up of video, with the lion’s share being devoted to your audio.
Once again, for someone on a $10,000 theater budget. . . Forget my hyper-critical rantings, this room has got it going on! However, if you can squeeze an extra $2,000.00 into that budget, you will thank me in the long run. The Epson 6010 would bring balance to this room and compare with systems I’ve seen for twice the price point.
Finally, not to sell them short, let’s talk about the Klipsch Reference.
Klipsch’s harshest critics are known for calling the line “too bright” or “too metallic” or “lacking midrange”. Normally, I might agree with some of these criticisms as I have made them myself at times, depending on the speaker.
In this case, they were rich, full and vibrant! Klipsch Reference lives up to its name. I especially enjoyed how easy it was to hear dialogue from all three movies when it was low and intimate. Sounds not much above a whisper, were startlingly clear. At the same time, when things were blowing up (as I mentioned earlier) you want to duck – they create a very vivid audible reality. These are a great set of speakers and I highly recommend them for use in any theater, where an in-room set up will work.
Even if you were just looking to listen to music on them, they fit the bill. The highs are crisp and natural sounding. Whatever Klipsch has done to smooth out the highs from their horns is fantastic. That said, they are still true to what makes a Klipsch, a Klipsch. I have never heard such warmth in the midrange. So where normally, I think a Klipsch system sounds great with strings, coming from either an orchestra or acoustic guitar. The Klipsch Reference bring a warmth to the human voice that I have never heard before from a Klipsch. . . They are more on par with a KEF, or even a mid level Martin Logan. Just closing your eyes and losing yourself in the music is a pleasure.