There’s a misconception out there about high-performance that, to achieve high-quality sound, you have to be willing to sacrifice visual appeal. While some like to showcase their equipment, others believe that audio systems should be heard, without being the focal point of the room.
If you’re a part of the latter, good news: quality sound and beautiful design aren’t mutually exclusive. Here are two examples of homes where high-performance audio and great interior design harmoniously co-exist.
Giving Performance Audio the Spotlight
One of our long-time customers has continually gravitated toward Wilson speakers for their sound quality, upgrading to newer versions as they become available.
“It was really after focusing on 2-channel stereo that I could hear and actually feel the improvement to my listening experience,” he says, “Definitive, Transparent, Wilson, and Linn have all provided upgrade paths that have allowed me to grow with the hobby. And since moving to stereo, every change I’ve made has demonstrably improved my listening enjoyment.”
This year he upgraded to the Wilson Alexia Series-2 loudspeakers in titanium brown with extra metal flake. Much of the Series 2 has been refined since its previous version, with the goal of creating a compact loudspeaker that could still rival the musical capabilities of its larger siblings. The nominal impedance was raised, which made it more amplifier-friendly. The midrange enclosure’s internal volume was also increased by 26.4 percent and the woofer enclosure by 10.8 percent for a greater sense of power and dynamics, improved resolution, and bass authority, resolution and extension that was previously not possible from a speaker this compact.
To get the most use out of his new speakers, he decided to place them in his great room, where he spends the majority of his downtime.
Traditionally, people don’t want acoustic treatments in their central living space because they can be obtrusive. In this home, the whole ceiling and a portion of the back wall is acoustically treated in a way that blends into the homes décor while taming the problems caused by a cavernous room full of hard, reflective surfaces.
“Throughout my 15 years with Definitive, aesthetics has always been of importance. I want to be able to enjoy my music where I live!” he shares, “And with various upgrades, I’ve been able to multipurpose my main room without having equipment be the dominant feature.”
A Music System That Uses Small Speakers to Deliver Big Sound
Another long-time Definitive customer sought out a music system that would blend seamlessly into her family room. Located in Snoqualmie, her townhome offers picturesque views of Mount Si, which made it all the more important to find speakers that would add to the atmosphere without taking away from the view.
She chose the Wilson Audio Duette Series-2 loudspeakers, which sit perfectly atop her walnut cabinets, surrounded by beautiful ceramic vases, while the supporting equipment is discreetly nestled below within the cabinets.
A 55-inch LG OLED television was also installed, which features an ultra-thin cinema screen. Now she can enjoy reference-quality music and great sounding movies, all from the heart of her home.
Behind the Scenes of an Installation
There’s a lot of planning and people behind every Definitive installation. The team collectively working on your behalf includes sales consultants, engineering and design experts, installers and support staff. From consultation to installation, it’s essential to have these experts on your side, as even seemingly small details can create significant problems if not executed properly.
Take speaker placement, for example.
At Definitive, we find out where you’d like your speakers placed. Sometimes, clients prioritize sound and speakers are placed in the optimum spot. Other times there are room, furniture or visual design considerations to account for. Either way, our staff has years of expertise to find the zone of neutrality, which entails using your voice to find the spot where the sound interacts with the room the least.
The set-up and installation process can take anywhere from three to four hours for the Wilson Audio Duette Series 2 loudspeakers to five to six hours for the Wilson Alexia Series-2 loudspeakers.
In the Snoqualmie homeowner’s case, it was particularly important to work with a team of high-performance audio experts, as the location of her speakers created challenges for the base. The Linn Klimax DSM player we used in both great rooms, however, is known for resolving base problems.
“In the first case, it made the system sound better, cleaner,” Gary Bruestle from Definitive, said. “In the second case, it went from sounding pretty good to pretty fantastic! They were both pretty excited about their results.”
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