Anyone who previously thought home cinema systems with the demanding THX Ultra2 licence inevitably have to be large and bulky is mistaken. The loudspeaker specialist Magnat has even amazed the THX test engineers at the Skywalker Ranch with its new, compact and very flexible Cinema Ultra system – and revived the subject of THX in an impressive way.
The THX testers would never have dreamed of this.
Even for the THX testers, it was a small sensation that the Magnat developers were able to implement dispersion characteristics in the Cinema Ultra LCR 100-THX front loudspeaker that made Ultra2 licensing possible for both horizontal and vertical operation. This is unique throughout the world and an expression of the system’s enormous flexibility.
Right down to 18 hertz: The Cinema Sub 300-THX is the smallest THX Ultra2 subwoofer on the market
This achievement, too, would not have been possible without extensive research work. The Magnat engineers have developed a 32 cm long-throw bass with an ultra-rigid paper membrane which, in addition to producing 18 hertz, also outputs levels of up to 117 decibels – and with minimal distortions. The subwoofer is supported by two passive membranes, also 32 cm in size and optically identical to the long-throw woofer. The Cinema Sub 300-THX is so powerful and low in distortion that one subwoofer is sufficient for Ultra2 certification. There are at least two in almost all competing systems – with both of them normally bigger. The integrated Class D power amplifier is also a new development with a peak output of over 1000 watts. In order to cope with the extreme pressure conditions in the subwoofer enclosure, the Cinema Ultra Sub 300-THX has multiple bracing and is equipped with a 55 mm thick MDF baffle. This explains the low vibration level and the substantial weight of 32.5 kg.
The biggest dome tweeter in the world
There was no tweeter on the global market that would have met the demands of Magnat and THX in relation to extreme bandwidth and the specified dispersion characteristics. So the specialists in Cologne developed a new tweeter with a waveguide-diffusor combination optimised in elaborate measurements and computer simulations. With a diameter of 42 millimetres, this tweeter is virtually huge compared with standard 25 mm models and is currently more than likely the biggest dome tweeter in the world. It enables very low transition to the subwoofer at 1,500 hertz. And, despite its size, it reaches an upper cut-off frequency of 27,500 hertz – that’s the most modern driver technology. The Cinema Ultra 100-THX front loudspeaker is fitted with one of these world record tweeters, while the Cinema Ultra RD 200-THX dipole effect speakers have two of them! At the smallest 5.1 expansion level, the Cinema Ultra set consists of a subwoofer, 2 effect speakers and 3 front speakers. However, this can be extended at will for greater demands and larger room sizes.
Perfect three-dimensionality with Dolby Atmos & Co.
The Cinema Ultra AEH 400-Atmos has been developed in order to also be able to expand the Cinema Ultra system to the new Dolby Atmos and Co. playback processes. This concerns a coaxial driver with a 13 cm subwoofer plus a 25 mm dome tweeter which fits perfectly, both externally as well as in terms of overall depth, onto an LCR 100-THX – which is precisely were it should be according to Dolby specifications. Two of these add-on speakers are the minimum requirement for the new audio standard, while four of them turn our THX Ultra2-licensed system into a top Dolby Atmos configuration. For those home cinema fans who would prefer to fit the AEH 400-Atmos to the ceiling as a treble channel, it has an integrated second crossover with linear frequency response as an alternative to the frequency response designed for ceiling reflection as specified by Dolby. This is easy to activate via a toggle switch. So here, too, there is maximum flexibility!