Reference Theater

“At the recent CEDIA Expo in Denver, I got to swing by and visit the folks at ListenUp Audio/Video. I was lucky enough to enjoy a couple of demos in their Keith Yates-designed reference home theater. I will never forget the experience.”

— Maureen Jenson, Home Theater magazine

Expanding the boundaries of home cinema performance

ListenUp set out to create the ultimate home entertainment experience, and the result is the world-class Reference Theater. Recently the subject of a 6-page feature article in Home Theater magazine, the Reference Theater was a collaboration with Keith Yates, widely regarded as one of the preeminent theater designers in the world. Working with ListenUp’s General Manager Dave Jackson, Yates and a team of acousticians, power engineers, interior designers and CAD drafters designed a movie and music environment that more than delivers on Keith’s promise of a “riveting home theater experience.”

Every seat is in the sweet spot

Using aerospace-grade test equipment and studio-type digital signal processors, the system was painstakingly aimed, tested and adjusted so that the sound at any seat mimics that heard in the world’s elite recording studios and dubbing stages. Pressing a virtual button on the touch-screen control panel causes the DSP in the nearby rack room to execute roughly 100 minute adjustments. Although individually these tweaks are seemingly minor, taken together they add up to a dramatically more realistic sound experience.

The best components

Outfitted with the finest equipment available today, including a customized Lutron lighting system, sound processing by Classé, Genelec powered speakers and a ReQuest digital music server, the Reference Theater was designed so that each component could be easily swapped out. Much like an automaker’s test track or computer manufacturer’s cleanroom, the theater serves as ListenUp’s own in-house testing facility. It is so accurate, clean and balanced that it enables us to make high-resolution comparisons of speakers, amplifiers, disc transports, and even cables. We use this information to evaluate which products we want to carry and to understand which components work best together.

The video presentation is truly stunning. A state-of-the-art Sony 4K Ultra HD projector equipped with an anamorphic lens is paired with a Stewart screen with automated masking capabilities, allowing viewers to enjoy 4:3, 16:9 and even ultra-widescreen 2.35:1 source material at full-resolution — and without those annoying black bars. Video content is stored on the Kaleidoscope digital video server, and the whole system is set up for easy control with the Crestron touchscreen.