IsoAcoustics V120 Mount used at Coast Mastering

cma audio isoacoustics romanowski

With the introduction of the V120 Mount, IsoAcoustics has made its patented isolation technology available for ceiling- and wall-mounted speakers. One of the first people to try the new system is mastering and mix engineer Michael Romanowski, who was just awarded his fifth Grammy in the category „Best Engineered Album, Classical“.

With five Grammy awards under his belt and names like Alicia Keys, Bonnie Raitt, Kane Brown, Mr. Big or Hans Zimmer in his list of references, Michael Romanowski is one of the most accomplished mastering engineers of our time. Working from his Coast Mastering Studio in Berkeley, California, Romanowski has specialized in mastering immersive audio productions, cutting out a niche in the market that few even think about. “We master music to be as translatable as possible across all the different platforms, physical media, streaming, LPs,” Romanowski explains. “There are so many different ways people are listening to immersive sound, from sound bars to headphones, that mastering is absolutely essential because there are so many places for things to go wrong.”

Being the last line of defence against acoustic errors, Michael Romanowski needs his listening environment to be absolutely perfect. “Every decision I make is because of what I'm hearing. If I can't hear it correctly, then every decision I make is potentially wrong.” This requirement also applies to the ceiling speakers in immersive environment, devices that are notoriously difficult to set up properly. For Romanowski, precision in those speakers is paramount. “To me, the height speakers are really used more for cues about spatiality. Those little details that give us those cues live in the small bits, in the fine resolution and the detail.” Consequently, any coloration caused by the playback system must be avoided.

Optimizing the height speakers in immersive setups is exactly what the new IsoAcoustics V120 Mounts are capable of. The patented decoupling technology developed by IsoAcoustics founder Dave Morrison has revolutionized listening environments around the world and continues to amaze audio professionals and audiophiles alike. The V120 makes this technology available for speaker setups that require mounting to walls and ceilings or even truss constructions. The troublesome transmission of acoustic energy from a speaker to its mounting surface and back into the speaker, or even into other speakers of the same system, can thus be mitigated, leading to a clearer, more transparent and precise sound image. The scope of adapters and options covers pretty much any application – there is no excuse for smeared reproduction anymore!

For Michael Romanowski, the starting point is an already impressive listening environment. “The acoustician Bob Hodas tunes my room. He is fantastic, so I know what the sound of the room is.” The speaker set is not to be scoffed at, either: the hybrid 9.1.6 system consists of Focal Stella and Focal Diablo Evo speakers driven by Bricasti amps for the ear level, a Meyer Sound Amie subwoofer and six Neumann 310s on the ceiling, mounted to tracks so they can be moved to adjust for different immersive audio formats. And they are all isolated with IsoAcoustics technology: “The V120s isolate the speakers from the track on the ceiling, just like the IsoAcoustics GAIAs do for the speakers on the floor. The speaker is vibrating by itself and doing what it’s supposed to be doing rather than transmitting that energy to another source.” The isolation technology from Canada has so thoroughly convinced Romanowski that he is using them beyond his studio setup, too: “I actually have some IsoAcoustics on a guitar amp, and even my home speakers in my living room stand on IsoAcoustics.”

So impressed is Michael Romanowski with the benefits of IsoAcoustics decoupling solutions that he strongly suggests people go and listen to their effects themselves. “If anybody gets a chance to go to a demo at a hifi show, take it. I don’t know anybody who walks away unsure if they hear a difference. They are always surprised how much impact the decoupling actually has.”