Blessed with cathedral ceilings, this room had the open, airy feel of a huge concert hall. But it would also be used as a place to catch the evening news and an occasional movie. By incorporating the right equipment, the 760-square-foot space is able to function as both; it just took a little TLC to make it all work, says custom electronics (CE) professional Todd Anthony Puma, from The Source Home Theater, New York City.
To serve both music listening and TV viewing, Puma installed two separate speaker systems. The first, which is designed in a surround-sound arrangement of six built-in Paradigm speakers and two Mordaut-Short subwoofers, are positioned around the owner’s 61-inch flat-panel Samsung TV.
Unlike a typical surround-sound setup where the speakers flank the screen, though, the speakers for this project were installed several feet away from the display to compensate for the expansive width of the room. “We wanted people seated off to the side to hear the surround-sound effects as well as those seated directly in front of the TV,” Puma explains. In addition to calculating the correct speaker positioning, Puma used software and tools to calibrate the room’s Anthem A/V processor for proper audio reproduction.
The second speaker arrangement is used expressly for music listening. Again, the spaciousness of the room dictated much of the design. Twelve Paradigm speakers were flush mounted in the ceiling, spaced so that the entire room is blanketed with audio. A lot of power is necessary to drive this many speakers so Puma added two Krell S-1500 amplifiers. “Part of the homeowner’s morning routine is to play music from Rocky; the Krells make sure the audio is just as hard-hitting as Rocky Balboa was.”
Although the room offered plenty of space for equipment, Puma and the owner chose to install the components in a nearby closet. A NuVo Grand Concerto system distributes audio from an Apple TV box, iPod, NuVo media server, cable box and Marantz CD player. A Marantz Blu-ray player, Apple TV receiver and cable box is tied directly to the TV.
A URC MX-6000 remote was programmed by Puma to cue music for the dozen ceiling speakers or activate the surround-sound system. Whichever the homeowners chooses, he can also use the remote to open or close the window shades and turn on and off the lights.
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Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.