Dedication to the Art of Music

Adam Matthew and John

Adam Matthew and John

I often think about how fortunate we are to have such wonderful people in our lives. Customers who truly understand what we do and will invest their time and hard earned money to create something that is nothing short of an awe inspiring.

John and Kathryn started buying home entertainment products from us about three years ago. They were in the  process of an extensive remodel of a beautiful home on Hood Canal which in another life was once a Bed & Breakfast. Because of their love of movies, we first helped them buy and install a JVC, Focal and Integra home theater system.  As their remodel progressed,  we integrated some very nice music components including Focal Chorus speakers and a Sooloos music server to provide quality  background music for their living room, library and outdoor sitting areas.

From time to time John stops into our showroom to audition music systems in our main listening room.  Needless to say  he became intrigued with what was possible in stereo reproduction and decided to upgrade the home theater to approach a level of performance  he now desired for stereo listening. He quickly fell in love with our Focal Stella Utopia Speakers and decided he had to have them.

Stella Utopia - Crated

1200 lbs of Stella Utopia speakers still in their crates

Our only problem was is that they were a bit too big physically to fit the theater room. To fix this awful problem…. what does this man do? He decides to add  a dedicated music room to this already extensive remodel project. I checked my notes, we first sat down at his kitchen table to start designing this room 443 days ago. Because of the lengthly county permitting process and other unforeseen delays, we are finally here unpacking and setting up this amazing system.

Matthew Unpacking Turntable

Matthew unpacking the Master Innovation Turntable

Here is a list of the  products carefully selected to create this system:

Stay tuned for an update along with more photos as we need to finish setting up everything and allow it to break in and do some fine tuning with acoustic treatment.

UPDATE 9-9-13

Some new photos:

Matthew apparently enjoying this installation.

Matthew apparently enjoying this installation.

Stella and Adam

Stella and Adam

Breathtaking Media Room

Breathtaking Media Room

These last two days we have been busy upgrading the media room of one of our favorite customers. As you can see from the photos, this is truly an inspirational system.

Atlas Mono Block Amps

Two weeks ago,  Matt and I were there installing two new pair of custom made Aesthetix Atlas mono block amplifiers which replaced a vintage pair of Krell KAS mono blocks. Jim White from Aesthetix personally designed and crafted these amplifiers using all Nordost internal wiring and specific crossovers to match the Focal Grand Utopia loudspeakers.

Clearaudio Statement Turntable

For the benefit of our fellow “Hi Fi Nuts,”  the rest of the components in this system include Clearaudio’s Limited Edition Statement Turntable fitted with with the flagship Goldfinger Statement Cartridge. The phono preamp is an  Aesthetix IO Eclipse Reference Signature.

Sooloos Music Server

For our digital music playback we use the Meridian / Sooloos music server loaded with over 8000 full resolution compact discs. The Krell 707 does a beautiful job as the main stereo preamp and audio processor. For movie and concert presentations we installed a pair of matching sidewall mounted Focal Electra 1000 be surround speakers which are being  driven by a vintage pair of Krell  KAS 2 mono block amplifiers. To add even more visceral bass impact, we incorporated JL Audio’s Gotham subwoofer. All the cabling and interconnects are from our friends at Nordost and the electrical outlets and line conditioning are from PS Audio.

Now for the reason we were there this week…
Our client has always wanted an exceptional video presentation. Something good enough to keep up with the sound in this room. Until recently there really hasn’t been a combination of products that we felt would fit this level of expectation. And the size, not to mention the noise of a commercial system was out of the question. So for a place holder  we have been using a beautiful older Pioneer Elite 60 inch plasma screen.  It is still in great shape and now makes  for a  killer garage TV.

Garage TV

Enter stage left Sony. Sony adapted some exciting technology from their commercial theater projectors and has brought to market a projection system that can actually produce an amazing image, over 4 times the resolution of Blu-ray Disc: the Sony VW1000ES. And now with the advancements in projection screen technology by Screen Innovations, we are able to drop a trap door style, motorized  92 inch black diamond screen in between our Grand Utopia speakers. Even in broad daylight with the rooms lights on, this picture will absolutely take your breath away. My camera didn’t capture near the stunning experience we all saw in his room today. However we can show you a demonstration of this in our showroom if you would like to see it.

Breathtaking Media Room

Thanks Matthew, Adam and Grant for a beautiful (as always) installation. A special thanks to Mr. Chris  Brunhaver from Sony for his assistance and expertise in video calibration. And mostly a huge thanks to our very good friend and client, Scott. We all love what we do. And we sincerely appreciate you for allowing us to do it.

Lots of fun to say the least.

Incredible Listening Room with Vicoustics

Listening Room - Vicoustics

Yesterday Matthew and Adam did a beautiful job of installing Vicoustics acoustic treatment in one of our favorite customer’s listening room. This client is an accomplished musician and definitely has an ear for what his recordings should sound like. So over the past couple years he has allowed us to help him build his audio system to the level of performance that most people have never experienced.

Musician's Room

For vinyl playback he chose the Clearaudio Innovation turntable with the Goldfinger Statement moving coil phono cartridge. This feeds the music downstream to the wonderful Aesthetix Janus Signature Preamplifier. From there, using all Nordost Heimdall-2 balanced interconnects, the signal flows out to a matching pair of Aesthetix Atlas Mono Blocks and, because our customer is a bass player and doesn’t want to miss a beat, a wonderful JL Audio Gotham subwoofer. The speaker cabling is Nordost Vahalla and the main speakers are the beautiful Focal Scalla Utopia speakers. For digital playback he chose the Aesthetix Romulus CD player and Digital to Analog Converter and our very popular Sooloos Music Library server.

Listening Room - Gotham

One would think this state of the art combination would knock your socks  off. Normally a system like this does. It sounded great, however this room’s overly lively acoustics got in the way  of the focus and tonal balance of the presentation. So we invited the talented folks from Vicoustics to help us fix this this problem. Kiera from Vicoustics came out and measured all aspects of placement issues and sent theses specifications to their acoustics engineers located in Lisbon,Portugal. From there they ran several sophisticated computer based evaluations and gave us recommendations along with a menu of products for us to choose from.

Vicoustics Ceiling

The big smile on my customers face last night said it all. We sat with a nice bottle of wine and thoroughly enjoyed listening to this incredible system.  I know, I know…. it’s a tough job but someone has to do it.

Enjoying Listening

Here’s the message I received from our customer later after he’d had more time to experience his new system:

“Am I hallucinating or am I getting tons more bass out of the scalas? So I am going to say something really stupid and you can quote me… but I really feel that I am listening to my stereo system for the first time versus istening to the room.”

Bainbridge Island waterfront home installation

This week we are putting the finishing touches on a new Bainbridge Island waterfront home. The vision of the home owners and designers demanded an aesthetically minimalistic approach to all the audio/video components throughout the house. Fortunately for us we have the perfect products to accomplish this task.

Bainbridge Interior 1

In the main entertainment room, also serving as the living living room, the  transitional-style, custom cabinet houses the flat screen TV. While not in use it is concealed behind cabinet doors and when being viewed, an articulating bracket allows it to be easily pulled out of the cabinet and rotated to adjust for various seating locations.

We concealed the 3 main Focal front firing bookshelf style speakers and subwoofer, also located inside the cabinetry. The main speakers are slightly tilted inside the cabinet allowing for a natural presentation through the grilled cabinet doors. The matching Focal in-wall surround speakers  are located on the opposite wall and the grilles were painted to match.  All of the source and amplification components are located in a flush mounted cabinet inside the home owner’s office.  Matthew did a beautiful job of programming  the  URC TRC-1280 remote control allowing the simplest method to select TV, music or movies.

Deck Speakers

One of my favorite parts of this installation are the deck speakers. For this application we installed a pair of our Truaudio GG8 Ghost speakers. The deck speakers are controlled with the URC TPK 2000  in-wall touchscreen.

In-Wall Touchscreen

The home owners and I enjoyed a nice glass of wine, conversation and Tony Bennett while watching kayakers drift by. So beautiful.

Bainbridge Exterior

We would like to thank Don and Pamela and our good friend and Master Builder Mr. Jim Hobbs for allowing us to participate in this truly beautiful dream home.