Sometimes a project comes along that we get really excited about. This project which has been a number of years in the making, is for an elegant living room incorporating some of the very best of Hi-Fi and a Home Cinema. Some years ago we installed the Projector lift and Electric Screen, as part of the refurbishments to the building, and we had to wait for the builders to overcome a number of challenges before we could get back into the room. The customer then approached us to create the best stereo playback we knew how to, and after some discussions and trials we ended up with the Technics SL1000 turntable with Ortofon MC Anna cartridge, Naim ND555 streaming player, Naim Statement Pre & Power Amp combination, Naim Super Lumina Speaker cables and Focal Maestro Utopia speakers.
The room was designed to have two aspects: the first facing the fireplace was to focus on the best of Stereo playback (see photo on the right). The second aspect is at right angles, and faces the front windows and main cinema screen when it’s deployed. In this way the best of both worlds can be experienced with a lit fire. The Ceiling design incorporates the Projector lift in one of the square panels, which conceals it perfectly, and the cinema speakers are concealed in the panelling and behind the wall covering. The room also incorporates a significant amount of acoustic treatment behind the silk wall covering, helping to calm down the effects of the panelling and hard wood floor. We are particularly pleased with the result, which helps the Naim Statement system shine at its best.
The Bulk of the HiFi and Cinema equipment is mounted on HiFi Racks Podium Reference frames hidden within a custom cabinet at the back of the room (see photo left and below), with the Naim Statement system sitting to the side. When the Hi-Fi is this spectacular I think it really needs to be on show no matter how nice the cabinet!
The centre section of the spectacular cabinet features a lifting lid to gain access to the turntable, and the 3 front panels are doors to gain access to the equipment.
This room connects to the home network, which extends to 3 buildings and 26 zones of audio most of which are based around Linn Sekrit DSM streaming players. Linn was chosen for the bulk of the multiroom system for the scale of the system, and flexibility of deployment.
Underlying all of the HiFi is a robust enterprise grade network using a Draytek router, Cisco managed switches with Ruckus managed WiFi. This means there is good WiFi coverage across the site and seamless transition from one area to the next. Some interesting challenges were encountered due to damage on cables during the building process, however all of these were overcome to produce a very substantial whole house system.
The room has three of its corners cut off, effectively making the room 7 sided. This, coupled with the absorption panels behind the wall covering improves the acoustics, to produce a room that still has character, but does not add or subtract substantially from the music.
Despite a Subwoofer making an appearance in the photos, we ended up removing the cinema system subwoofer, and using the Naim Statement system for the Sub channel! This probably makes it the worlds most expensive subwoofer, however it improves the aesthetics of the room removing another box, and the bass drivers of the Focal Maestro Utopia speakers are more than up to the task.