Demo Room Pulls Double-Duty
Sound Components conducts two-channel and multi-channel demos in same small room, using the same speakers, by spinning clients around in swivel chairs.
Sound Components in Coral Gables, Fla., has figured out a way to use its small, sparse demo room for both multi-channel and high-end two-channel demos without cluttering up the room with bulky floorstanding speakers.
Six months ago, the company retrofitted its 15.8- x 21.6-foot demo room with in-wall planar magnetic speakers from Wisdom Audio. When the client faces one direction, he/she experiences a 7.1 surround sound audio and video demo using three Wisdom L-150is as LCRs, four P-20is as side and rear speakers and an STS subwoofer.
Clients can also experience a 2.1 demo using the L150is and STS sub, or the customer can simply spin around in his/her swivel chair to face in the opposite direction to get a killer two-channel demo using the P-20is/SCS sub in the rear of the room.
The setup allows Sound Components do conduct multiple types of demos in a small space, without going to the expense of creating separate rooms with lots of expensive equipment and seating. The room is acoustically prepared using CinemaTech ARS.
“If we had known the response we were going to get, we would’ve done it years ago,” says Mark Goldman, president. “People are blown away.”
Solution Allows for a Bigger Screen
The elimination of the bulky floorstanding speakers freed up Sound Components to install a 13-foot wide screen, nearly corner to corner in the 16-foot wide room. As a result, Goldman says his projector sales have gotten a boost. But beyond that, there was another surprising development: it turns out that many of the company’s audiophile clients were not bound to floorstanding speakers at all. In fact, most of them hated them.
“Clients will quickly throw their existing systems under the bus when given an alternative. Previously, we were afraid to even suggest in-wall speakers over floorstanding units because no one had ever complained about having giant floorstanding speakers. The reason [no one had complained] is that they didn’t think they had an option,” says Goldman. “What clients really want is the biggest screen possible, no clutter in the room and two-channel performance.”
What about Performance?
The change has not come at the compromise of performance either, he says. “The performance surpasses anything we’ve done before… anything,” he says, noting that the company, which is a member of HTSA, was a Wilson Audio dealer for many years. Customers are first treated to a two-channel demo, then spun around for a multichannel audio demo, followed by concert DVDs and then movies.
But how does that sound putting speakers in the corners of the room right up against side walls? According to Jon Herron, vice president of sales at Wisdom, the company’s acoustic center of the company’s Sage Series speakers is only about 3 inches from the side wall. So the reflected sound is effectively in-phase with the direct sound at everything except the very highest frequencies.
“This means that you do not suffer from the comb filtering effects that usually haunt speakers near side walls. Think of the side wall like a mirror: the ‘double image’ you see is confusing. But if something really skinny is right up against the mirror, it begins to look like a slightly wider version of itself,” he says, adding that the net result is a wide, deep and incredibly focused sound stage. “This is for anyone who loves music, not just card-carrying audiophiles.”
Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990. He joined EH Publishing in 2000, and before that served as publisher and editor of Security Sales, a leading magazine for the security industry. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He is currently a member of the CEDIA Education Action Team for Electronic Systems Business. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at [email protected]
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