Bringing Surround Sound to Rittenhouse Square
After moving from their traditional home in the suburbs, our clients had a different kind of vision for their Rittenhouse Square condo: to have a space that was modern, sophisticated, and wired with the best audio and visual technology available, complete with surround sound and TVs in every room. So we did what we always do for our clients: we made it happen.
Teaming up with Michelle Wenitsky Interior Design, we built a home audio system that blended into the clients' aesthetic, and delivered the audio performance they wanted.
Bringing the clients' vision to life.
To kick off the project, I met with Michelle and our clients to get a deeper understanding of the aesthetic and design concepts.
"The first challenge was to create a cool and neutral palette with the existing cherry floors and kitchen cabinets that would feel fresh and up to date," Michelle said. "The second big challenge was the extensive amount of electrical and audio visual wiring that had to be done with completely finished drywall ceilings, varying ceiling heights and the available space above as well as other built in obstacles"
We met often and talked with our clients to ensure we delivered exactly what they wanted. Michelle made sure every detail in the condo added character and richness, from the crown moldings to the textured wallcoverings, while I handled the audio and visual gear.
Surround sound & TVs in every room — even the luxurious bathroom.
Many meetings, phone calls, and walk-throughs later, I was able to provide recommendations for the best speakers and TVs for each area, and where everything would go. We added audio and video equipment throughout the apartment — even in the foyer and hallways. There isn't a space in the apartment where you can't listen to high fidelity music.
There are two main surround sound systems located in the family room and master bedroom.
For the larger system in the family room, we used a Sony XBR-75Z9D 75” 4K UDH HDR TV. Since the room had a lot of large windows and natural light, we wanted the best TV in that size that could handle it. This Sony LED television can get really bright without sacrificing picture quality, so even on the sunniest days their movies and shows will be crisp and vibrant. For the master bedroom, we went with the LG C7 65” inch OLED 4K TV.
When it came to audio gear, our clients wanted something that fit in with the aesthetic of the room, but sounded like big, powerful floorstanding speakers. We also had to consider the shallow ceiling. Traditional in-ceiling speakers were too deep to fit, so we used Totem Tribe III on-wall high fidelity speakers and Sonance low profile in-ceiling speakers. Then we added Totem Tribe Double 8 in-wall subwoofers, which are compact, yet still put out enough bass to fill the larger rooms. To bring their movies and shows to life, we added Sony's STR-ZA3100ES 7.2 channel 4K AV surround sound receiver.
In the kitchen and guest room, there are LG C7P 55” OLED 4K TVs recessed into the wall. Both rooms have a Definitive Technology W Studio Micro Ultra-Slim 3.1 channel wireless sound bar, which we chose for its great sound and ultra thin design. A smaller round speaker was used in the kitchen to match the recessed lights.
One system to control it all.
Savant is used to control all of the audio/video, HVAC, and some of the lighting. Turn the lights on and off, adjust the volume on the TV, play the Beatles’ number one hits — our clients can do it all from their mobile phone or tablet.
To set up the equipment rack without interfering with the interior design, we modified a coat closet and made a very tall Middle Atlantic equipment rack fit inside. Now all of the components are tucked away, completely out of sight.
Happy clients, happy life.
When all was said and done, our clients and the designer, Michelle, were completely thrilled. Here's what Michelle had to say about it: "Overall, this is one of my absolute favorite projects. The clients are really nice people, and we had a lot of fun planning and researching along the way." And of course, we loved it too. Together we built a really high performance system that looked and sounded great. Huge thank you to Orion General Contractors, Inc who also helped bring our visions to life.
Next up? Bringing surround sound and TVs into every room in the apartment next door, which our clients also purchased. The wall is already broken and the space has been pre-wired — so keep an eye out for an update!
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!