A Vintage Home with Modern Technology
Our client took on their dream project of renovating a 100-year old home on the Philadelphia Main Line, and they called on us to add audio and video throughout the house. Their goal, however, was to keep everything hidden. It was a challenging and fun project, and the client couldn't be happier with the results.
Check out our recap of the project in the video below to learn more about how we designed the system and to view photos from the restoration.
Hidden speakers throughout the home.
For this project, we had to figure out a way to add state-of-the-art electronics into their home without making it look like a modern home with state-of-the-art electronics. In order to give our clients the discreet, yet powerful AV experience they wanted, we installed in-ceiling speakers in every room and located components in a central rack unit in the basement.
Using ceiling speakers in spaces with hard surfaces can negatively affect the sound quality, so we installed an AudioControl Architect Series amplifier that allowed us to custom-tune each space with 5 bands of speaker equalization.
Opening up the walls and ceilings of an old home always brings surprises, and this project was no exception. Throughout the build, we had to revise our plans and adapt to changing conditions – like an unexpected set of steel beams in the ceiling. Every time we turned around and thought we had things figured out, they'd open up a ceiling or wall, and we would find something that we didn't expect.
A strong Wi-Fi signal was key to controlling the hidden components, and the thick stone walls made this a challenge — you really can't get Wi-Fi through a wall like that. We installed multiple Ruckus wireless access points throughout the house, including the backyard, to make sure they had proper coverage. This was important because the client needed the ability to control their music from their phone or iPad wherever they were in the house. If they didn't have a good signal, they wouldn't be able to do things like turn the volume down or change songs.
Taking it outside.
The home has equally beautiful outdoor spaces, and the client plans to spend plenty of time outside. We brought the music out as well with a full outdoor speaker system and subwoofer tucked up inconspicuously in the landscaping. By placing speakers throughout the backyard, the client can enjoy music in every corner — without disturbing the neighbors. It's kind of like when you're at an amusement park, and you're walking down a path and you hear the music everywhere as you're walking. It's not extra loud in one spot or too soft in another.
Celebrating music everywhere.
The end result was exactly what our clients had in mind, and then some. With proper planning and working with the right people, we were able to take a beautiful, historic house and deck it out with the latest state-of-the-art electronics.
Featured products in this project
Meet the system designer: Mark Jones
Started at World Wide Stereo: 1984
Favorite Bands: Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Kings of Leon
Favorite Movies: The Godfather, Good Will Hunting, Seabiscuit
Addicted to/obsessed with: My Hobie Cat sailboat, tools, and electronics
Pets: Two small poodles that I said I would never own.
Personal: Married with three children.
Quirks: I hate crowds and loud places - unless the loudness is music!
Favorite customer story: A couple was in our showroom to purchase a new sound system. I put on Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic.” The couple stood up and started dancing and said I just played their song. Needless to say, they bought the stereo.
Home equipment: Sonos everywhere, Sony 4K TV, Sony surround receiver, and Totem speakers all around.
Parting words: I am so fortunate to have had a job I love for my entire career!