Sound Alignment - System
Setting up a home theater speaker system can be a daunting task, especially with today's highly directional THX speakers. Proper placement and positioning is critical to ensure the best performance from your loudspeaker investment. To simplify the task, a company called Checkpoint Laser Tools located in Torrance, California provides laser-based alignment tools to simplify installations. These tools include an arsenal of cleverly designed products with exceptional build quality. Checkpoint was founded by Jim Webb, a truly innovative individual who has a very diverse background that includes everything from real estate to high performance Indy Car racing. As a result, the products are not only well engineered, but offer innovative features that help the installer get the job done right.
Our system consisted of a trio of M&K S-150THX front channels that are know to have a narrow vertical dispersion for the upper frequencies. In fact, M&K endorses the SA-S tools as does THX. The M&K SS-250 Surround rear channels are similar in design to the front channels, but also incorporate side firing drivers for a spacious surround effect. The result is a seamless sounding system with matched timbre across all channels. The rear channels are mounted on tilt/swivel wall brackets for maximum flexibility.
We started with the Frontal Layout Plot to help us map out our listening space. The diagram helps determine optimal listening angles as well as providing a guide for symmetry. This is one of three plots available from Checkpoint. The Intermediate Plot provides some rear layout orientation while the Center Plot gives the installer a full 360 degree layout around the listening position. Each layout plot is available in bound pad packages of 50 sheets from Checkpoint. Using the plot sheets in conjunction with the SA-S laser alignment tools gives the installer professional installation capabilities.
The P-770 laser tool attaches magnetically to the Base Plate (#369) installed by the user on the front of the speaker baffle. Also available are solid brass Stackers (#367) discs that vary the plate height in 1/8 (.125) inch increments. These discs are used to extend the attachment of the SA-S Base Plate away from the surface of the speaker, providing clearance from speaker frames or other surface mount protrusions. Once the P-770 is attached to the Base Plate, the laser will give the installer a visual point for accurately pointing the speaker. This was especially useful for our angled center channel, which has a front baffle angled slightly downward. The mounted P-770 on the front baffle allowed us to accurately point the speaker directly at the listener.
The Two-Way Beam Splitter projects a forward beam just like the standard output, but also projects a 90° beam. This side firing beam can be rotated a full 360° to reference any point perpendicular to the main beam making this accessory very useful for front projector and screen installations.
The Line Lens projects a line similar to the dispersion of sound projected from the front baffle of a loudspeaker. The projected line can be rotated 360° producing a cone similar to the projection of sound. Using this visual aid, the installer can see the path the audio would take through various obstructions.
SERIES ROTARY TRIPOD
HEADS UP TARGET & TARGET BASE VALVE
INCLO-MATIC LASER TOOL
Full SA-S certification is available by attending the SA-S design/use lectures at selected trade shows and scheduled events. If you're interested in training, contact Checkpoint directly for registration and certification information. The seminar is designed to train professional installers and dealers on the complete, advanced application of SA-S alignment equipment including documentation. This comprehensive system of specialty alignment tools, accessories, and procedures help qualify and enhance the professional in both products and supporting services.
is a comprehensive system designed to help the installer or enthusiast get the
most out of a home theater setup. Audio is the primary focus of this system, but
the tools lend themselves well to video projector setup and screen installations
as well. The SA-S is one of the most efficient ways to enhance your sound system
setup. While the product is geared for the professional, audiophiles will quickly
become addicted to the tools.
Parasound AVC-2500U THX-Ultra DTS/DD Preamp/Processor
|Review at a glance|
Alignment - System |
#358 Protractor Plate:
2-Way Beam Splitter Lens
Lens Adapter Base
SA-S 770 Pro Vial Switch
SA-S Base Plate
R2-D1 770/880 Rotary Base (Tabletop)
R2-D2 770/880 Rotary Base (Tripod/Tabletop)
SA-S Accessory Kit
770 SA-S ST Kit
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