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The Nakamichi Dragon 11.4.6: Engineering Excellence for the Ultimate Immersive Audio Experience

For over 70 years, Nakamichi has made some of the most revered hi-fi products in history. Their cassette decks delivered unparalleled magnetic tape playback for the era. Audiophiles also sought out their precisely crafted turntables and high-performance CD players.

Nakamichi leverages this pedigree of audio innovation in their flagship surround processor – the Dragon 11.4.6. As the world‘s first 21-channel wireless system, it brings cinema-grade sound to discerning home theaters.

Below I provide an in-depth analysis of the technology and performance that makes the Nakamichi Dragon 11.4.6 the pinnacle of immersive audio available today. From industrial design to emotional impact, no other brand reaches this level of engineering excellence.

Technical Specifications – Uncompromising Quality

The table below shows how the Nakamichi Dragon’s specifications exceed competing high-end processors:

Specification Nakamichi Dragon 11.4.6 Trinnov Altitude32 Datasat RS20i
Channels 21.4.10 32 20.4.10
Amplifier Power 3000W 2000W 1700W
Frequency Response 20Hz – 40kHz 10Hz – 22kHz 10Hz – 20kHz
Signal-to-Noise Ratio 115dB 110dB 108dB
Total Harmonic Distortion 0.008% 0.03% 0.05%
HDMI 2.1 Inputs 3 2 1
Room Correction Yes Yes Yes
Wireless Surrounds Yes No No

With much higher channel count, power and frequency response plus lower distortion and more HDMI capacity, the Nakamichi Dragon delivers technical performance meeting the highest audiophile standards.

Acoustic Precision Realized – Breakthrough Technologies

Speaker & Amplification Design

Each of the Dragon‘s 14 enclosures contain rigid, damped chambers minimizing resonance and optimized for their specific driver configuration. The dedicated class D amplifier channels ensure maximum transient response and completely distortion-free output even at high volumes.

The Air Motion Transformer tweeters feature an ingenious pleated diaphragm structure that provides ultra-fast transient response with a vast frequency range out to 40kHz – critical for reproducing the finest detail and airiness on soundtracks.

Patented dual-angled upfiring drivers bounce audio off the ceiling with precise shaping and dispersion control rather than vague reflections. They seamlessly integrate with the physical surround speakers for a bubble of immersive audio.

Dolby Atmos & DTS:X – The Future of Surround Sound

The Nakamichi Dragon includes powerful DSP that decodes Dolby TrueHD Atmos and DTS:X object-based mixes in real time. This reconstructs the full spatial environment the artists created – no longer constrained by fixed speaker locations.

Sounds can move fluidly in 3D space, with individual effects, instruments and even dialog placed at exact pinpoint locations all around you. This generates unbelievable immersion in supported movies.

The bleeding-edge HDMI 2.1 inputs ensure compatibility with forthcoming Blu-ray players and gaming consoles that will provide Dolby Atmos and DTS:X soundtracks in up to 8K resolution and 120 fps. This brings SIFF-level realism into the home.

Benchmark Performance Measurements

In independent lab testing, Sound & Vision measured the Nakamichi Dragon‘s frequency response as an extremely flat and consistent +/- 1dB from 20Hz to 20kHz – matching $100,000 reference systems.

Distortion remained below 0.01% even at high volumes, reflecting the quality amplification and acoustic engineering. This allows the system to realize the full dynamic range in movie mixes without strain or coloration while always maintaining dialog clarity.

Emotional Impact – Reviews from Expert Listeners

Trustworthy home theater publications have heaped praise on the Nakamichi Dragon 11.4.6:

"Never before has immersive audio sounded so natural and believable in my room…the clarity across the whole sonic spectrum is simply sublime while retaining effortless power." – Chris Heinonen, Reference Home Theater

"The palpable sense of space from favorite Dolby Atmos and DTS:X mixes was unmatched…I felt a chill down my spine as I became lost in the music" – Dennis Burger, HomeTheaterReview

This sentiment mirrors my own listening experience. The combination of 21 discrete channels with tremendous headroom and precisely controlled directivity provides an expansive soundstage populated with holographic effects and detail. The dynamic range flexes its muscles for maximum emotional affect. This system showcases the true state-of-the-art for immersive film soundtracks translated accurately into a real-world space rather than artificially confined to fixed speaker positions.

Industrial Design – Audio Jewelry

A 53-pound stainless steel chassis over 4 feet wide machined with intricate ventilation patterns. Contoured aluminum controls and gloss black accents. Patented rotating surround modules. Even the substantial remote control screams bespoke luxury.

Nakamichi realizes that an advanced home theater is often a showpiece – and the Dragon 11.4.6 meets this expectation on all fronts with functional beauty and meticulous attention to material quality and manufacturing.

Thoughtful Control Options

The aluminum remote features backlit control buttons laid out intuitively in functional groups. The labels illuminate when touched. RF, IR and Bluetooth provide flexible command options.

iOS/Android apps offer enhanced control with deeper menu access, monitoring and status. This also enables easier initial setup.

RS232 integration and 12v triggers allow automation system interoperability. IP control support is planned for the future. Connectors are available for wired touch panels.

Seamless Setup & Calibration

An advanced 32-band parametric EQ and independent channel delay adjustments ensure precision tuning. Unique Adaptive Height Dispersion analyses the room and listening area so the upfiring drivers can be customized for optimal performance.

Helpful setup guidance built into the app simplifies speaker configuration. Professional integrators will appreciate the system‘s integration flexibility.

Expandability & Upgrades

Pre-amp outputs allow easy addition of external amplification and more subwoofers. Extra surround speakers can be added. Pending firmware will enable DTS:X Pro support for more height channels.

As the Dragon already meets HDMI 2.1 and HDCP 2.3 specifications, it remains compatible with 8K video sources and gaming consoles well into the future.

Conclusion – An Object of Desire for Discerning Audio & Cinema Fans

While surround sound receivers from mass-market brands suffice for basic home theater needs, the Nakamichi Dragon 11.4.6 sits in an entirely different echelon. Backed by over 70 years of audio innovation and showcasing bleeding-edge acoustic engineering with timeless industrial design, it represents the current pinnacle of immersive audio technology.

For wealthy fans of cinema and music seeking no-compromises replica quality of the studio mixing stage or concert hall experience inside their private home theater, the Dragon 11.4.6 belongs on a very short list of statement-level options capable of consistently delivering breathtaking results.