Meet the Pros: Encore Audio/Video

Portland, Ore.-based installer's attention to detail can be seen, and heard, in its new home theater.

Encore Audio Video is based in Portland, Ore.

One of the best ways to get a representative idea about the skills and precision of a custom electronics firm is seeing its showroom. Some have vignette nooks that may mimic a living room, kitchen, bedroom, etc., with all of the home automation, lighting and A/V entertainment options you would be considering for your own space. Chances are, the CE pro used its own resources and technicians to outfit the showroom, taking care to mount a flat-panel display or wire an equipment rack in the same manner they would for a customer … whom they are trying to impress in the first place.

Perhaps no area requires more painstaking planning and installation detail than a dedicated home theater room. Portland, Ore.-based Encore Audio/Video knows that a finely crafted theater can be your home’s showpiece, and so the company made sure its recently completed demo theater room reflects everything about its business.

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“Encore specializes in creating aesthetically pleasing solutions that don’t skimp on performance,” says general manager Will Pisula. “Whether it’s a mirrored TV, invisible speakers or a custom-made soundbar that’s color-matched to the wall it hangs on, we provide elegant solutions that add to our client’s décor, not detract from it. We work in quite a few ‘loft style’ condominiums, so this attention to detail is a must, given that the solutions we provide are often visible from several vantage points within the home.”

The attention to detail can be seen throughout Encore’s showroom theater, from the product installation to the acoustic treatment. For the gear, Encore installed a Digital Projection M-Vision Cine LED projector and 120-inch Stewart Filmscreen Firehawk screen to deliver big video performance in the 15-by-12.5-foot room, which it engulfed in big surround-sound audio from JBL Synthesis.

Within the 7.2-channel system—which incorporates JBL’s own processing and amplification—the front stage and two 15-inch S2S subwoofers are hidden behind removable acoustically transparent panels while the S4Ai side and rear surrounds are in-wall speakers made flush to the wall surface. The front speakers are recessed into a niche and surrounded by acoustic isolation material and acoustic foam.

The A/V being one element, Encore also focused on the room’s acoustic properties with the kind of behind-the-scenes work that a good pro will carefully design and implement. For example, the walls and ceiling “float” and have been acoustically isolated from the original walls and ceiling to prevent sound leakage. Special soundproof drywall was used, along with acoustic isolation material put between the walls and under the carpet. To aid the audio performance inside the room, the walls and ceiling were covered by 34 acoustic tiles that help with the sound’s diffusion and absorption.

On top of that, the room has been calibrated with JBL’s ARCOS room correction and optimization system. By the time Encore’s showroom visitors sit through a theater demo, the impact of all the intertwined planning and labor pretty much speaks for itself—in the prowess of home theater, as well as the team that assembled it.

During its more than 30 years, Encore has gone from a specialty Sony retailer to a full-service audio/video, home automation, networking and surveillance provider. The firm not only has its own installation staff, but also its own custom design center. Besides DP, Stewart and JBL, Encore’s key brands include: Control4 home automation; Samsung video; Dali and Revel loudspeakers; Integra, Arcam and Naim Audio electronics; and Panamax power protection.

“Encore understands that today’s consumer wants it all: great performance, visually pleasing designs, systems that are easy to operate, and a high level of value. We address all these by having one of the most complete client evaluation and systems design processes in the industry,” says Pisula. “We truly understand what our client’s needs are, and we take great care in crafting the perfect solution for them. Prospective clients can expect a fun, exciting process where we’ll make their technology dreams come true. And we do it all in a non-technical way that allows them to participate at a very high level without the need for them to be a technology expert.”

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