Skywalker Sound so which speakers do they use?

Phil Hinton

Staff member
Ok Mr Lucas which is it? According to B&W its not M&K

George Lucas recording studio, Skywalker Sound features new B&W Nautilus 802's surround system

"We are extremely proud that Skywalker Sound has chosen the Nautilus 802s for their new 5.1 recording studio. The Nautilus 802s are unique in their ability to exploit fully the rigorously demanding dynamic range of the best modern recordings, and they do so with the lowest distortion or coloration ever achieved by such designs. Skywalkers choice further solidifies the position that our Nautilus Series of loudspeakers set the benchmark to which others are compared."

However over here in the M&K camp;

When pre-production for Star Wars - Episode One began, producer Rick McCallum insisted that all audio playback be through THX certified systems. Rick had first hand experience using THX systems on the "Young Indiana Jones Chronicles" TV series and on the film "Radio Land Murders". "After evaluating several 5.1 reproduction systems, we chose as our monitoring system of choice the MPS 150 (Multichannel Pro Solutions) and home THX 150 Speaker System series and powered subwoofers from Culver City, CA based Miller and Kreisel Sound Corp. The M&K MPS 150 and home line of speakers provide excellent sound quality while adhering to the THX Standard of performance, and they do so within remarkably compact enclosures."

An M&K 150 system was initially installed in our multi-media screening and conference room at Skywalker Ranch. The system performed so well that an additional system, including monitors for Left, Center and Right plus a THX Surround controller were installed on the first of many Avid editorial rooms.

We feel that high performance audio is essential in picture editing and the use of the M&K 150 system, with its excellent dialogue intelligibility, allowed us to catch production sound faults early in the process. In addition, high quality sound can affect an editor's decisions by providing an enhanced emotional context to a scene. During the production process, our editors were so taken with the quality of sound, that a full M&K 150 system, along with associated THX electronics, was shipped to Leavesden Studios in England, to be used in the cutting of the production dailies.

We now have five M&K 150 speaker systems in use at Skywalker Ranch. These are located in our two Avid Editorial suites, our Multi-Media screening room, our Production Office, and in the "Star Wars" sound design studio.

The sound design studio has provided the ultimate test for the systems, since we have to please five time Academy Award winning sound designer Ben Burtt as well. The system employed in the Sound Design studio includes a complete M&K 2510 speaker system (3 LCRs, 4 surrounds, and 2 MX-350 subwoofers), the Lucasfilm THX CC-4 Crossover, THX controller and amplification systems from Parasound, and equalization by Rane corporation. Ben is very happy with the sound of the system, and more importantly, has high confidence in the abilityof sound designed in this studio to translate correctly into the bigger mix and screening rooms.

Thanks to Miller & Kreisel's THX certified speaker systems and powered subwoofers, we can aggressively and cost-effectively attack our sound issues at every stage in the production and post-production process. More importantly, using the M&Ks doesn't mean that we have to sacrifice performance or space to do so.

So which is it then guys? Seems nothing beats a bit of lucas marketing.

Ian J

They probably use both companies and due to the amount of marketing kudos available I very much doubt whether they pay for them either.

I am thinking of launching Ian J sound and will ask all of the speaker manufacturers for some freebie speakers


Active Member
Originally posted by Ian J
I am thinking of launching Ian J sound and will ask all of the speaker manufacturers for some freebie speakers
I am launching a rival format KevB Sound that will offer a more dynamic LFE channel and be encoded at higher bit rates and therefore be far superior to IanJ sound. I am sure I'll get better free speakers than you Ian.

Decca Records use the B&W Nautilus 802's, Nautilus SCM1, Nautilus HTM1 in their mixing suite for DVD audio and SACD just incase anyone is interested.

Dubbing Mixer

Standard Member
I have had the pleasure of interviewing a couple of guys who work at Skywalker. Of course they use all the marketing advantage they can get. And, yes, I'm sure they do use both M&K and B&W. So what. They both make excellent speakers. If they were used in the same production chain this might, might, cause a problem. But the probability is, in a big facility like the Ranch, anything played on the M&Ks is unlikely to be played on the B&Ws.

The Skywalker Ranch is involved in post production of Movies, TV, Commercials, Themepark rides and probably games as well. I wouldn't take too much notice of what they endorse any more than any other facility.

Phil Hinton

Staff member
And I am thinking of launching my own sound system called THX......................................................................................................................................................Oh I think someone has already thought of that one:rolleyes:

Phil Hinton

Staff member
I have just recieved a nice e-mail fom the co-founder of Blue sky, and ex employee of lucasfilm/skywalker/m&k which answers all the points raised. To be polite I have asked for his permission to put his answer here on this thread, and if he agrees i will post it soon, it makes for interesting read.

Phil Hinton

Staff member
Ok I have had a yes regarding the e-mail so I will add it here. Also this is from
Pascal Sijen, Chief Marketing Officer, here is the information about him from the website.

Mr. Sijen was formerly Director of Technology Marketing at M&K Sound Corp. Prior to joining M&K, Mr. Sijen worked for Lucasfilm’s THX Division, where he was Technical Services Supervisor. During his employment at Lucasfilm, Mr. Sijen was involved with all aspects of theatre and studio design, testing and certification. Mr. Sijen is responsible for all marketing and business development related issues.

While at the THX Division of Lucasfilm Ltd., Mr. Sijen Was involved in the design and testing of more than 1000 movie theatres and professional studios in the US, Europe and Asia. Mr. Sijen was also part of the team that developed THX SURROUND-EX and the THX pm3 professional monitoring standard.

While at M&K, Mr. Sijen was key to launching M&K Professional's broad line of studio monitors and was also pivotal in setting up domestic and world-wide distribution.

And here is the e-mail

Dear Phil -

Hope you don't mind me e-mailing, but I happened to run across your
question and thought you wouldn't mind...

I am not a member of the message board that you posted the question on,
but having worked for THX / Lucasfilm here is what I can tell you about
the systems being used at Skywalker Sound (As a side note, I used to
work for M&K as well, before starting my own speaker company - Blue

I believe only the Scoring Stage at Skywalker Sound uses B&W speakers,
among many other systems that are available to their clients, and what
is used is heavily dependent on what the client wants to use. If you
are talking about Lucasfilm and more specifically JAK Productions (a
separate company setup for the production of the Star Wars Prequels -
stands for Jet, Amanda and Katie - George's kids), then they mostly use
M&K speakers for editing picture and sound (the final mix is done on a
big dub stage - using theatre speakers). If you are talking
specifically about Skywalker Sound, almost all of their near-field
systems are provided Blue Sky International ( and are
used for many different applications in 47 of their small rooms. Cheers.

Pascal Sijen

Chief Marketing Officer
Audio Design Labs

Blue Sky International

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