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After realising that much of the commentary about the Sony 760ES / 885ES on various forums was coming from non-owners I thought it might be interesting to have a thread from an owners perspective- although it has only been a couple of weeks so far! I had a JVC X9900 for a while - a thoroughly top class projector which although performed flawlessly and produced superb images , it whetted my appetite for the next level of performance. We are upgrading the theatre room in terms of new screen, upgraded sound, cabinetry , painting etc and we stretched the budget to fit in the Sony 760ES. Mounting the projector was relatively straight forward as it turned out. Sony have a number of mounting points on the base but the only fixing pattern that works is a triangular pattern. I used the Peerless PRG-UNV mount I was able to use the existing pole which is attached to 2 steel lintels fixed to the roof trusses. PJ is just 4.5M from the screen, but this is more than sufficient for the 140" Cinemascope zoom that I have ordered from Oz Theatre Screens. Sony seem to be able to go bigger from the same distance ( based on my experiments) than JVC did despite similar throw ratio specs. It's no big deal really, but it meant that I didnt have to mount the PJ further back. One problem encountered was that the Peerless PRG mount was not designed to be fixed to a square pole. So I took a threaded adapter from a Peerless rear wall mount ( which I was going to use with JVC) and attached it securely to the pole - it worked like a charm! From the moment i first fired up the 760ES I knew it was something special. Resolution, even on 1080p, was noticeably better than JVC . For 2018 models, Sony has installed a newly developed lens and it is very good indeed. We know that they saved the very best for the 5000 but at this price point, the lens , its edge to edge resolution, full 4k panels all contribute to a naturally sharp image. I had heard about Sony's motion handling but experiencing it is a treat. Fast action and scene pans are smooth and natural and again a cut above what I was used to. Contrast is excellent - yes you heard me correctly! It does not do black levels as well as JVC E-shift but its contrast is so good overall, it leaves nothing wanting. I should add that I was not a fan of auto iris feature of JVC and other Sony's. The video processing electronics of the 760ES are more advanced than the lesser Sony models and this is clearly assisting things like contrast. Laser light source- this has to be the future i think. The image is ultra stable , superb colours and such even illumination. It seems brighter than the specs would indicate and I have only been using low laser setting even for HDR on the existing screen (I will need to up the ante on the bigger screen). The HDR experience is further enhanced by Sony's BT2020 setting. Reports are quick to point out that it covers 90% of the full colour gamut ( which would be hard to pick for many people I think ) but it was done this way to achieve a zero light penalty. Some BT2020 filters can cause a 40% light loss which makes HDR on an average PJ all that much harder to achieve. So for 4K HDR I dont seem to need to use the Oppo's tone mapping and I get excellent results using Sony's own controls. Next step is to fit new screen and have a professional ISF calibration . In the meantime I took a couple of snaps with my iPhone. I figure I will get the DSLR out after calibration. It might be difficult to see differences in resolution with theses photos and the first photo was a scene from a 1080p movie - Valerian. Next was 4k - and was sharper on screen - I don't think the iPhone captured it though.
Since our house was first built 17 years ago, the theatre has had a 110” screen. At the time of the build we also had it decked out with cabinetry – it was the done thing. Back then, some were still installing 4:3 screens and a 110” 16x9 screen was close to the limit of what many projectors could achieve . While the screen size seemed perfect for 16x9 content, movies in Cinemascope ( most of them) were reduced by the letterbox bars that are inevitable in this type of setup. My aim with the screen upgrade was to keep the 16x9 images at what they previously were and gain some dramatic improvement with movies. I settled on a 140” Oz Theatre screen . The screen was just part of major upgrade which included painting all the walls and ceiling , upgraded electronics and the most amazing centre speaker. Centre Speaker is Dynaudio Evidence with RRP of $39K which I managed to buy secondhand. It is designed as floor standing centre speaker - I tried it with conventional stands but the factory designed approach gives the best results. Sound wise this thing is nothing short of incredible . Its resolution, soundstage, imaging and bass completely lifts the whole system. It blends in seamlessly with the rest of the system . The fronts are Aurum Cantus Grand Supremes . They also project a large soundstage and have excellent imaging . It is amazing what flock coating acoustic treatments can do to the WAF. Moving to a Dolby Atmos /DTS-X system meant 4 new ceiling speakers. I settled on Polk Audio 70-RT from USA ( cheaper than buying locally) To drive the ceiling speakers I thought I would try a low cost option direct from China from a company called Wentins. I saw these at the Ghanzhou AV show a few years ago and they sounded great so I thought it couldn't hurt trying one out. I bought a relatively cheap 5 channel @ 200 Watts per channel. These guys make a huge range and will custom make high power amps to your specs. I had been using the original NAD Master series M25 for the system previously but after trying out the Wentins, it was clear it was doing things nicer than the mighty M25. It had all the speed of the M25 but with a richer timbre and superior dynamics and bass. This got me thinking, if one of their cheapest amps sounded this good, how good would one of their better ones be? I decided to relegate the M25 to ceiling speaker duties, use the Wentins multichannel amp for surrounds and rear surrounds , and ordered hifi monoblocks direct from the factory. These amps are fully balanced and produce 225 WPC into 8 ohms and 450 into 4 ohms. ( all speakers are 4 ohms in this system). They were still well priced but being hifi amplifiers, they did not have a 12v trigger which I have since added. The L&W brand is part of the Wentins group. These allowed me to run balanced XLR cables to each amp and I'm more than happy with the result.