Enjoying an audiophile-grade room has been a lifelong dream for Dallas resident Brett Landes. He estimates that he’s wanted a great sound system since he was about two years old, though perhaps an incident from his college years is more indicative of his quest for audio perfection. “I worked all summer digging ditches for my dad,” Landes says. “I think I made $3,000. I went down to the store and spent $1,000 on a sound system, but when my mom saw it, she went crazy, saying that the money was for college. So I went back to the store and put it on layaway and then picked it up when I went back for school. I had the best system at college. So this room now represents years of pent-up demand.”
The room consists of super-high-end Wilson Audio loudspeakers, FM Acoustics amplifiers, a Meridian surround processor and DVD player, a Halco preamplifier, dCS SACD transport and digital-to-audio converter, ReQuest Multimedia hard-drive servers, Transparent Audio cable, and a Faroudja D-ILA (direct-drive image light amplifier) video projector and processor—and those are just the highlights of this room that cost more than a million dollars to build and equip.
“I told Don [Krasen of Dallas-based electronics installation company Krystal Clear Audio-Video] when we started the process not to skimp on anything, I always think there’s room for improvement.”
This room, with its adjacent bar area and two-story wine cellar, is actually in the back of the offices for Brett’s several investment businesses. He knew when he bought the lot and rebuilt the historic-area structure that it would include the audiophile room of his dreams. “I love music, and this combines everything I’ve wanted,” Brett says. “I can use this to hang out with my friends and enjoy the wine cellar. I have also used it to entertain clients, which is fun. Everyone has their favorite music and bands, and we have an extensive selection of DVDs. We’ll pop in the Eagles DVD, and it’s like you’re there.”
“It’s nothing like I’ve experienced, and I’ve been in the business 25 years,” says audio/video installer Krasen. “Brett asked for the best, and I know what the components are capable of and what synergies they had with each other.” The FM Acoustics amps are used in some recording studios and commercial applications and work well with the Wilson speakers.
In addition to the tall Wilson Alexandria speakers in the front and the Wilson Maxx speakers in the back, Krasen used a Wilson Watch center channel and five Wilson Watchdog subwoofers. “One sub is in front under the center channel, because Wilson doesn’t have a full-range center channel,” says Krasen. The sub provides the low sounds for that speaker.
Bass traps built into the corners with MDF board and filled with insulation absorb excess bass and help hide three of the subwoofers. Another is visible in the back.
The sound doesn’t go outside the area. “The room is designed like a recording studio,” says Krasen, with room-within-a-room construction and a decoupled floor so it is not joined directly to the walls and susceptible to traveling vibrations. “You can have the finest system in the room, and if you want to hear the system and not the room, you have to take any detrimental effects in the room out of the equation,” Krasen notes.
There are times I come down here and listen to music by myself. But my biggest joy is sitting with friends for hours watching a DVD and having some good wine,” Brett says.
Though he’s already thinking about how he can improve his system.
Krystal Clear Audio-Video
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