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If the $6 million home theater's too steep, how about a 1 percent solution?

The Audiophiliac revisits the $6 million home theater and comes back with a $60,000 alternative.

Robert Wright

Jeremy Kipnis' $6 million home theater caused quite a stir back in February; so much so that he's now proposing guidelines for others to build a dream home theater for a mere 1 percent of his original price. Kipnis didn't recommend much in the way of specific brands or models of equipment, just the design goals for a $60,000 ultimate home theater.

Here's a brief rundown of what you would need to get close to the performance of Kipnis Studio Standard:

All of the speakers must be identical.

The six or seven-channel layout must be completely circular, and all of the speakers but be precisely placed, relative to the center point of the circle.

Seating must be arranged to be near the center of the theater, and acoustically vetted for the room.

The room must be free of parallel surfaces and acoustically treated.

The speakers should be bi or tri amplified--with a dedicated amplifier channel for each tweeter, midrange, and woofer.

The use of multiple subwoofers, ideally one per channel, would be required to produce the smoothest possible deep bass response.

As far as video is concerned Kipnis's remarks were limited to the next two sections:

Projected on-screen light levels must be or exceed 48.5 foot-Lamberts, and not deviate on screen by more than +/- 5% across the entire surface. 2K resolution is a bare minimum.

Color space, primaries, and gamma must be able to conform to Rec. 601 (NTSC), Rec. 709. (HDTV), and DCI Theater Standards, and must be thoroughly calibrated for each source media (Blu ray, DVD, cable, etc).

I did manage to get Kipnis to supply one specific recommendation, he likes JVC's DLA-RS2 projector, which would eat up $8K of the $60K budget.

Is it possible to execute all of the above for $60K? Sounds like a real stretch to me, what do you think?

I'd like to hear from any of you who attempted to build an ultimate home theater and what was required to get the job done.