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Media Room Transformation: From Kids’ Playroom to Movie Buff and Audiophile Heaven

Electronics Design Group uses gear from Leon Speakers, Control4, Sony and Clearaudio to create an entertainment space worthy of the Gold 2017 Home of the Year award for best multipurpose media 

Lisa Montgomery · CE-PRO MAGAZINE

Having a special place in the house for the kids to play is a dream of any parent. But when the kids grow up and move out, what once was a room of constant activity goes silent and unused. Rather than let that happen, the owners of this 2017 Home of the Year award-winning entertainment space contacted the home systems integrators at Electronics Design Group (EDG) to transform the roughly 21-by-15-foot outdated playroom into a modern media getaway where they could partake in two of their passions: watching movies and listening to music.

Typically, homeowners will either create a room dedicated to one or the other activity — rarely both. But in this case, the owner wanted the area to do double duty, performing as a top-notch two-channel listening room for his extensive collection of vinyl and as a high-caliber home theater.

“Function would prevail over form in this room,” says EDG Chief Creative Officer  Bob Gullo “This room is designed to enjoy films in 4K UHD,  Dolby Atmos Surround and exciting Hi-Fi listening when they want to spin vinyl, CD’s or Hi-Res streaming audio. 

The furniture layout was purposely configured to make both activities as comfortable as possible. A pair Iconic circa 1956 design, Eames Lounge Chairs and Ottomans swivel toward the Clearaudio Concept turntable and neatly displayed record collection, then back toward the 70-inch Sony 4K TV for movies. An L-shape couch provides seating for both areas, as well. <—————special surprise at the end of this post-:-) 

EDG customized the labeling of buttons on a Control4 remote to simplify the setup of the A/V equipment and the room environment. A button labeled “Netflix”,  “Vudu” or DirecTV for example, activates the surround-sound receiver and TV and dims the room lights automatically. 

No matter what the homeowners choose to do or where they sit, EDG made sure that the audio would sound faithful to what the filmmaker or musician intended by adding various acoustical treatments to the room.

One of the most interesting and innovative applications of acoustical products are Nelson Bubble Lamps. Hung from the ceiling, these lamps provide light and their soft absorptive material helps reduce audio reverberation and improve intelligibility of movie dialogue and music lyrics. They also complement the room’s mid-century modern vibe.

"The homeowner wanted to be able to see and touch this technology so we made sure to create an attractive way to showcase it." — Bob Gullo, EDG

The less noticeable parts of the acoustical design include isolation platforms for each subwoofer, freestanding speaker, turntable, tube amp, and CD player; bass traps in the corners, and wooden wall-mounted diffusers to help spread the audio evenly across the room.

EDG tucked away all equipment except for the show-worthy turntable, tube amp, and LPs.

“These components are just as much a part of the room design as the light fixtures and furniture,” Gullo says. “The homeowner wanted to be able to see and touch this technology so we made sure to create an attractive way to showcase it.”

As for the gear that feeds content to the Sony TV, EDG tucked the DirecTV box, Blu-ray player, and Apple TV into an equipment rack in a nearby laundry room.

The end result is a room that exudes high-tech cool and satisfies the owners’ goal of keeping this former kids’ haven a great place to hang out — now delivering double the entertainment for the parents.

Now for that surprise:

Frank Sinatra, Media Room 1965

The ‘Chairman of the Board’ knew how to swing. Eames lounger, Ringo is dog by his side, and a killer Hi-Fi System.  Francis Albert listened to studio master tapes on his three channel  reel to reel, with left and right speakers carrying orchestral tracks and the center dedicated to his golden voice. A Macintosh preamp and Fisher tuner fed amplifiers which in turn drove Altec 604’s speakers. Never heard of Altec 604? 

The 604 achieved its greatest fame as a recording studio monitor. Its compact size, wide bandwidth, high output and point source topology made it an ideal choice for the needs of the new tape recording technology introduced in the late 40’s and early 50′ at the time, the 604 was unequalled in this application, given the significant increase in accuracy it presented over the competition. As a result, it became ubiquitous in North American recording studios for the next two decades. 

Eames Chair, Vinyl and Hi-Res Audio For two

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