I got to hear a $250k JBL Synthesis Demo at CEDIA 2011. They sat us down in a relatively small sound room isolated from the show floor. There were a few rows of seats but only 2 spots open in the front which we took. I was a bit concerned sitting so close to a horn loaded system. We must have been no more than 8 feet away from the screen. We demoed the gunfight scene of Open Range starring Kevin Costner, Robert Duvall and others.... The surround envelop was quite stunning. Every little whisper and subtle sound effect was heard all around you. The gun shots produced lifelike dynamics unlike anything I've ever heard. My poor wife had to plug her ears the whole time. I used the SPL meter app for my iPhone and was surprised to find it was hitting a mere 90dB. Granted its not fast enough to measure peaks which were likely 10-15dB higher. We then listened to a Stevie Wonder concert to finish off the demo. As dynamic and lifelike the system sounded, I did have a few issues pertaining to vocal accuracy and bass depth. The vocals sounded very honky and a bit colored. It was obvious to me I was listening to a horn loaded speaker. The bass had great slam but very little depth and they were using massive JBL pro subs. Their subs featured a very high efficiency paper cone (see image below) and based on its appearance, I'd guess it was tuned somewhere in the 30-35Hz region. I was honestly expecting to be elevated to a new level based on all the research and hype surrounding JBL Synthesis as well as the well versed engineers behind setting it up and calibrating. The system employed their new ARCOS room correction & optimization system. Outside the demo room they were showcasing a massive JBL Sythesis tower pictured below. For those wanting a system that can play at ear bleeding levels and give you that live amplified performance sound, I could think of NO better solution regardless of price. Those desiring more finesses, may want to look towards other options. My wife much preferred a demo we heard at the next booth which ironically only measured 2-3dB lower but she never once plugged her ears. One thing is for sure, next time I sit in on a JBL demo, I'm taking a back seat and my wife will be waiting outside.