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Refit of v6 fabric to Elite screen frame

Refit of v6 fabric to Elite screen frame
« on: April 22, 2018, 11:21:48 AM »
Hi all,

First I'll apologize for not having pictures. I was working more than documenting and others have posted so many good pics that mine would be redundant.

In preparation for upgrading from my wonderful work horse JVC RS46 to a spiffy new RS520 I thought it was time to consider a new screen. I've generally given quite a bit of side-eye to spending large amounts of money on my screen. When I got the RS46, my budget and conscience would only allow me to get an Elite Screens AT 2.35:1 at 115". The size was dictated by the room but the budget by me. [If I have a complaint in the AV sales world it is that screens on the one thing that are almost impossible to find a side-by-side comparison of. That makes it quite difficult to understand where all that money is going.]

With the advent of options like the Screen Acoustics materials, it gets easier to upgrade from a cost perspective. After researching and then talking to @Mike of AVScience I decided to put a higher quality material on my existing frame. I think the comparison picture on the site might be Elite's AT beside the SAv6. Here are some things I learned and feedback based on Mike's very helpful instruction:

I purchased the 2m x 3m package of material and rails. This was to retrofit an Elite Screens aluminum frame 2.35:1 @ 115"

  • I used Loctite PL Premium construction adhesive compound from a 4oz squeeze tube, which was easier to deal with than a caulk gun.
  • Going metal to plastic, I recommend using some self tapping metal screws. I felt more confident with the ability to hold tension. Maybe glue alone would work but screws in the corners and every 12"-16" are probably a good idea.
  • I made diagonal cuts in the corners for the rails to fit non-stop, but not required.
  • Important admission on my part. Mike said use a pizza cutter and for some reason I didn't believe Mike and got a plastic screen spline tool from Home Depot. I very nearly ruined my project because of this! The screen tool was too wide and started splitting the gripping edge!!! I after I heard a pop or three I investigated and saw the split. I said to my friend helping me, "well I was told to use a pizza wheel, so I'm going to start doing what I was told." Of course it worked perfectly and of course it did not cut the fabric. It also required much less force to get a good insertion into the rail. Feel free to quote me and pass along to any other nimrod who might not be listening. A pizza cutter is exactly the correct tool and the only thing thin enough to firmly insert without splitting the rail. It WON'T cut the cloth despite what logic starts telling you. Mike was right, I wasn't believing him and I very nearly mucked the whole deal because of it. Admission complete.
  • It is good to have a friend and help put some tension on the cloth. I'm sure it is doable as a 1 person job but 2 makes it go faster and easier.
  • I have a slightly updated version of Mike's method, which worked for me, that maybe others will find useful:
  • Start at a corner and tuck (or single push in of wheel) a spot.
  • Move along the long side first, putting a tuck at 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and end while putting tension on cloth in direction going away from initial tuck. Not enough to pull cloth out but more than enough to remove slack.
  • Continue this method going down first short side, putting tension directly away from initial long side.
  • On the next long side but some diagonal tension on cloth pulling away from the first two sides that have been tucked.
  • On the last [short] side, you will want to put a good amount of tension on the fabric pulling directly away from other short side.
  • Now go back along original long side, pulling the tuck out and re-tensioning.
  • The fabric at this point will have some give in the center area, but will not feel "loose" either. If there are no wrinkles in any corners then it is safe to proceed to roll completely in using wheel. (If there are wrinkles, untuck close the wrinkle and re-tension while working in the same direction as before until it is gone. If the wrinkle was pronounced, then you may have to go around all edges.)
  • Start on same long side and work in a circle all around the frame slowly rolling in the entire edge. Once fully inserted it should be taunt with no wrinkles.
  • Lift frame a check again that it looks nice a taunt on the screen side.
  • Trim excess cloth leaving 1"-2" for grip in case you ever need to re-tension.
  • Then it is safe to re-install any cross brace(s) on the long edges of the screen.

This material is already a substantial improvement over the stock Elite Screens AT material. I noticed more detail, better color rendering, deeper blacks and overall more "pop" than the original material. This was not some psychosomatic reaction but a noticeable improvement before I even re-focused the projector! I even turn the aperture on my RS46 from -6 to -8 to match previous brightness (to my naked eye). This was an instant improvement and one I'm sorry I didn't do a long time ago. This will definitely allow me to have a better experience with the new RS520 and a highly recommended upgrade. A nice step from a cheap screen to a really expensive high end model.

One more side story to add for comparison:
When I first got my Elite Screens (and by the way, I'm not knocking them since you get great value for the $ at Elite) frame built and installed I noticed something funny. There were twinkles in the middle of the screen. Seemed like they were in a line vertically exactly in the middle. I quickly realized that the aluminum center cross brace was reflecting light. This meant the weave of the screen fabric and the perforated black light absorbing fabric was such that light could get through bounce off and get BACK through enough to show up as twinkles. I had to take the screen down and paint the brace matte black and re-install.

Now comes the new v6 fabric. Because of the grip rails I had to flip the cross brace over so it would fit into the slots and clear the rail. This meant the unpainted silver side was once again facing the viewer. I said to my friend, let's try this out as it will be a true test of the light reflection/blocking capabilities of this fabric. What do you know, not a single twinkle or sparkle out of it. This material passed that test as well!

Let me know if you have questions!


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Re: Refit of v6 fabric to Elite screen frame
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2018, 10:54:56 PM »
Yep, V6 fabric is a really good AT fabric. And the grip rail install does a fantastic job. My screen looks great up close with the lights on and fantastic with an image in the dark. :)
My Baffle Wall System: https://discuss.avscience.com/index.php?topic=124.msg902#msg902

Mike Garrett
AV Science Sales

JVC, Sony, Epson, Marantz, Denon, Yamaha, Stewart, Seymour, Screen Innovations, Screen Excellence, DNP, Da-Lite, Triad, SVS, Martin Logan & more.


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Re: Refit of v6 fabric to Elite screen frame
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2018, 12:56:00 PM »
Excellent report - thanks !
Direct (585) 671-2972 8:00am - 4:30pm Pacific 
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Re: Refit of v6 fabric to Elite screen frame
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2018, 04:46:11 PM »
Going metal to plastic, I recommend using some self tapping metal screws. I felt more confident with the ability to hold tension. Maybe glue alone would work but screws in the corners and every 12"-16" are probably a good idea.

Did you put the grip rails in the groove of the Elite Screens frame? (the groove normally used for the tension rod system). Or did you have to attach the grip rails to the flat part of the frame?

Was there any gap (in the depth direction) between inner edge of the frame and the screen material when you were done?

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