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Shock and awe: A $6 million home theater

The Audiophiliac visits the ultimate home theater and comes away shaken and stirred.

Steve Guttenberg
Ex-movie theater projectionist Steve Guttenberg has also worked as a high-end audio salesman, and as a record producer. Steve currently reviews audio products for CNET and works as a freelance writer for Stereophile.
Steve Guttenberg
2 min read
This is the Kipnis Studio Standard. Robert Wright

If your typical high-end home theater with rows of plush seats, velvet wallpaper, and popcorn machines offers Cadillac levels of performance and luxury, then Jeremy Kipnis' $6 million ultimate home theater is more like a fire-breathing Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, the fastest production Ferrari ever built.

This home theater is all about aggressively advancing the state of the art of picture and sound presentation. Yes, it's comfortable and beautiful, but its prime directive is a quest for the very best. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is overlooked. Kipnis won't settle for second best.

The Audiophiliac (left) and Jeremy Kipnis in the KSS. Robert Wright

Kipnis calls his creation the Kipnis Studio Standard, and if all goes according to plan, wealthy movie industry professionals, actors, directors, and producers will be lining up to commission him to custom-design and build a KSS for them.

Well, I spent some quality time checking out the KSS system and came away from the experience totally dazzled by the ultra-high resolution (4,096 x 2,160) picture from the Sony SRX-R110 Digital Cinema Projector. The uber Sony produces four times the resolution of 1080p image.

Snell THX Music & Cinema Reference LCR-2800 Center-Channel Speakers Robert Wright

The 8.8 channel audio system is fed by a well-balanced combination of audiophile solid-state and vacuum-tube amplifiers. The KSS is astonishing in the way it delivers power, but with 11,315 very high-quality watts on tap, that's hardly surprising. The 8.8 channel system uses 16 (!!!) 18-inch subwoofers and that might be why the KSS is easily the most effortlessly powerful home theater I have ever heard. Unlike all of the other high-end home theaters, the KSS was designed to present picture and sound beyond that found in even the finest screening rooms. Kipnis spared no expense to build the very best.

My feature article in the Audio Video Interiors section of the February issue of Home Theater magazine is loaded with great pictures and information about the KSS. Oh, and there's plenty more at Kipnis-Studios.com.