Starke Sound Draws Attention to Sound with 7.1 Demo

Starke Sound demonstrated its relatively small, floor-standing IC-H2 Elite loudspeakers ($4398/pair) together with the new IC-H2C Elite center ($2199 each) and a pair of the company's Sub35 woofers ($1880/each) in a 7.1 channel system.

Starke said it used a 7.1-channel setup so listeners could better focus on sound quality without the complication of added channels, such as Dolby Atmos. The rest of the system consisted of Starke's own A7 Mark II amp ($7900 each), an Acurus MUSE 16-channel Immersive preamp-processor, ($5499), an Oppo UHD Blu-ray player, and a Sony OLED display.

I was fortunate to be able to play excerpts from two of the UHD Blu-rays I had brought with me (this option is extremely rare at the show, where demos are typically pre-pre-programmed, often using Kaleidescape movie servers). The result was superb.

The only downsides here were the bass issues endemic to CEDIA's thin-walled sound rooms, and a maximum available sound level about 3 dB lower than I would have preferred on my material (the new Ultra HD Blu-ray releases of the first Thor and the original, animated Disney Aladdin).