Rob Sinden, owner and MD of specialist distributor Gecko Home Cinemas, offers some thoughts on selling high-performance audio systems.

To be effective at selling high-performance audio systems, you have to start with the room. Understanding the rooms appearance, size and acoustics is the minimum you need to know to correctly specify a speaker system.

Appearance

The appearance of the speakers is critical to most clients but is especially important in the luxury market. The distinct architecture and décor of clients’ homes require speakers that complement the design of the space. A great exercise for the custom installer is looking at an interior design magazine and trying and find speakers that will look great in these rooms.

The décor of most homes has changed in the last 10 years with the influence of Scandinavian design that create a more minimalist space. Traditional wooden speakers typically will not be welcome in these rooms.

Performance

Large open plan rooms with more glass and no carpets and curtains creates spaces where no speaker can give great results.  The hit and miss result that audio system deliver in these rooms mean dealers don’t have the confidence to recommend them.

The only solutions to improving sound quality in these spaces that won’t compromise décor is electronic correction. Lyngdorf and Steinway Lyngdorf systems all include RoomPerfect, the only system that will preserve the characteristics of the speakers and that give best results in normal untreated rooms.

Power

One complaint of traditional Hi-Fi systems is they simply don’t have power to fill large rooms. Very few speakers have the output to meet 105db beyond 4 meters away. If your clients are looking to reproduce the power they hear at concerts or festivals with regular Hi-Fi speakers, they will be disappointed.

Line source speakers maintain volume levels across much larger distances than traditional speakers. Steinways LS Concerts will deliver THX volume levels of the highest quality, 50m away in rooms for up to 500 listeners.

On-wall instead of in-ceiling?

In most custom installations the speakers have always been placed in ceiling. No matter how good the speaker, firing it at the floor can’t give great sound. This has left clients with nowhere they can enjoy great music and a huge market for people offering something genuinely better.

Life like music requires speakers placed close to ear height, firing down the room, not at the floor. Designed like this, the system has the potential to give life like imaging, so it sounds like the band are there in front of you.

Putting speakers on the wall means they must be small which will limit their output and bass response. Subs hold the promise of delivering the bass required but they rarely integrate with the speakers correctly leaving a boomy, ‘one note’ bass.

Bass Integration

To integrate subs with speakers requires electronics with bass management and room correction. Lyngdorf TDA amplifiers provides the installer with everything they need to quickly and consistently optimise the system to the room. The result is great sound that comes from tiny speakers with consistent quality across the whole room.

The real obstacle to great sound is often not better speakers, but optimising them to the room. In the professional sector this is always done, Lyngdorf amplifiers gives CI companies the tools to bring these standards to high-performance audio systems in the home.

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