Audiophile Adds German Turntable to Whole-House Music System

Uniquely installed AV system preserves condo's minimalist style

By the looks of this minimalist Miami Beach condo, you’d never guess that its owner has a penchant for high-end audiophile music. Neither is it evident that the master bedroom is his favorite place to watch TV. And surely, this 7,000-square-foot residence isn’t automated. But looks can be deceiving, and this condo pulls it off flawlessly, thanks to the innovative integration of a sophisticated audio and video distribution system, clever installation of flat-panel TVs and the design and installation of a home automation system that can be monitored and managed from the homeowner’s iPad.

A self-professed audiophile, the homeowner’s top request of the custom electronics (CE) professionals at Audiofaze, Hollywood, Fla., was that a two-channel listening room be designed for enjoyment of his high-end German-made acoustic turntable. Like most Miami Beach condos, steel, concrete and huge panes of glass would challenge the CE pros to create a superior listening environment. To absorb sound waves that would naturally bounce harshly off the hard surfaces of what would eventually function as a home office, Audiofaze mounted acoustical panels from RPG Diffusor Systems to the surface of a custom-engineered and designed tray ceiling. The panels were covered in a white suede material for decorative interest.

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Another critical step was nailing down the furniture placement. Before the home office’s two stereo speakers and other equipment could be installed, “we had to know the precise position of the desk,” says Audiofaze’s Dylan Aronsohn. The location of the desk would determine where the two floorstanding KEF Reference 205 speakers would be placed and the layout of the cabling that would connect a Perreaux Eloquence 250i integrated amplifier to the speakers. This high-end amplifier was used for its modular photo inputs stage card for MM (Moving Magnet) and MC (Moving Coil) type cartridges, as it would allow the owner to listen to not only his TW ACUSTIC turntable, but also digital components, including tunes from his computer and Apple Airport Express. Plus, with the help of programming partner Residential Systems Design (RSD), Audiofaze was able to develop a module that would allow the homeowner to control the volume and switch audio sources from a portable Crestron touchpanel or an app on his iPad. A Crestron Sonnex audio switcher was included in the audio setup to so that both analog and digital music could play through the KEF in-ceiling speakers that Audiofaze planted throughout the residence.

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Precise engineering around the furniture layout also played into the design of the master bedroom. Here, the owner requested comfortable TV viewing from the bed, and also that the TV remain hidden when not in use. Using the planned location of the bed (which is at the center of the room, facing a huge expanse of floor-to-ceiling windows) as a point of reference, Audiofaze determined the best location for a 46-inch Samsung TV and followed up by carving a niche into the ceiling. Installed within a custom-engineered and -designed aluminum housing, the TV would lay flat and flush against the ceiling when resting in the niche, then on command from a handheld remote flip down and slide out of the housing into the prime viewing position.

Taking a different hide-and-seek approach in the family room, Audiofaze tucked a 46-inch Samsung TV into a custom-built piece of millwork and covered the opening with a huge piece of artwork. The frame is attached to a motorized track which slides the painting away from the portal to reveal the TV. Again, a command from a portable touchpanel or iPad engages the motor. To minimize the amount of button pressing required to watch TV, Audiofaze programmed the Crestron MC3 processor to synchronously lower and activate the TV. However, because the motorized lift generates some noise when it moves the TV, Audiofaze and RSD made sure to also include commands for autonomous control of the lift and the TV. This allows the owners to turn off the TV without having the lift also move the TV to its resting, in-ceiling position. “We didn’t want the noise of the lift to wake a person who is sleeping,” Aronsohn explains.

Although the implementation of each hidden TV is unique, both are able to share the same suite of video sources—five DirecTV receivers, an Apple TV and a video conferencing system—which occupy a rack in the laundry room with the Crestron processors and audio gear. These components attach to a Crestron 8×8 Digital Media Switcher, which enables the content to travel digitally over HDMI cabling to a Digital Media Room Controller tucked behind each TV.

To complete the project, every light, five zones of heating and cooling and motorized Crestron window shades were integrated for easy management and control via the Crestron automation system.

More pictures of this luxury automated condo here.

Associated Equipment:
1 CEN-UPS1250 CRESTRON 1250 WATT UPS
1 CNAMPX-16X60 CRESTRON 16 CHANNEL AMPLIFIER
1 DM-MD8x8 CRESTRON 8×8 DIGITAL MEDIA SWITCHER
2 DMCO-55 CRESTRON DIGITAL MEDIA OUTPUT CARDS
1 TPS-6X CRESTRON 5.7″ WIRELESS TOUCHPANEL WHT
38 CLW-DIMEX-P CRESTRON CAMEO WIRELESS IN-WALL DIMMER
1 CEN-TRAK CRESTRON AM/FM/XM TUNER RACK
1 CNX-BIPAD8 CRESTRON CNX-BIPAD8 SWITCHER
1 AV2 CRESTRON 2 SERIES CONTROL SYSTEM
1 MC3 CRESTRON 3-SERIES CONTROL SYSTEM
1 TPMC-3X CRESTRON ISYS WIFI TOUCH SCREEN
5 MLX-3 CRESTRON COLOR LCD REMOTE W/INFINET EX
5 DM-RMC-100-C CRESTRON DIGITAL MEDIA ROOM CONTROLLER
5 CHV-THSTAT CRESTRON THERMOSTAT HUMID CONTROL
1 TPS-6XWALL CRESTRON IN WALL DOCK FOR TPS-6X
1 PROCISE PSPHD CRESTRON PREAMPLIFIER
1 CNXRMCLV CRESTRON ENHANCED ROOM SOLUTION BOX
2 CEN-RFGW-EX INFINET EX GATEWAY

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