Whole-House Audio Woes: Part II

Plan of action suggested for the editor of Electronic House.

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Paradigm Millenia speakers

It’s been a few weeks since Peter Cook of Automation Design & Entertainment, Portage, Mich., visited my house to discuss the possibility of adding a whole-house music system. iTunes has reconnected me to music from my high-school days, introduced me to new artists … basically turned me into a hardcore music listener. My request of Peter: wire up a whole-house music system that would let me walk into any room, hit a button and hear my favorites.

As I mentioned in my previous article, Peter claimed, after a thorough 30-minute inspection—my house to be a perfect candidate for a wireless whole-house audio system. Brick, plaster and a funky layout, he said, would make fishing wire difficult; even more disappointing: tucking speakers into the plaster walls and ceiling could severely mar the finish. So much so that Peter said we’d most likely have to repaint the entire surface. Not gonna happen.

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So… here’s where we stand: For the moment, we are going to focus on setting up a surround-sound system both for my rec room and family room TVs, putting my whole-house audio dreams on hold. The speakers for the surround-sound setups will be free-standing, and Peter has recommended either the Paradigm Millenia or SE series. He’s asked me to pick the ones I like (see photos of each below). Although the style of the Millenia speakers is more contemporary than that of my rec room and living room, if I can’t hide my speakers in the walls and ceilings, I’m certainly going to want to show them off. The Millenias look high-tech, modern and able to make a visual statement. Here’s my dilemma: You’d think being an editor of an electronics magazine that I’d have fantastic flat-panel TVs in my house. Nope. Those sweet looking speakers are going to make my big old rear-projection set look even worse than it does now. Like so many improvement projects, this one will grow legs and take off running. We’ll have no choice, really, than to buy two new flat-panel TVs. Of course, those TVs will be high-def; we’d be nuts not to swap our DVD players for Blu-ray models. I’m sure other expenses will come out of the woodwork after that: a new sleek shelving unit for the gear, a better remote control, etc.

I’ll keep you posted.
Read Part 1 of my home audio adventures here.

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Paradigm SE Series

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