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A very modern approach to audio

David Davies 3 August 2011
A very modern approach to audio

A particular challenge for many custom installers is how to marry smart home technology with period architecture. The challenge is two-fold. Firstly, aesthetic: how best to blend the modern-looking equipment with traditional interior design; and secondly, how to integrate cabling and other elements, which tends to be difficult in the more structurally complex period property. However, a recent project in Ireland demonstrates the exceptional results that can be achieved by a dedicated, knowledgeable team through the installation of a whole home audio system from NuVo Technologies.

Partnership and forward-planning are essential for success with this type of project. Cork-based custom installer Benelec worked together with distributor Habitech to develop and supply a solution that could meet the design and lifestyle needs of the owners.

An important consideration in this respect was the need for it to work ‘across the generations’. With both grandparents and children living in the house, the technology needed to be fun, entertaining and modern – as well as easy to use. The finished result combines NuVo whole home audio technology with features that are said to deliver significant lifestyle benefits to the owners.

The project involved extensive construction work as well as a complete rewiring of the electrical system. The electrical work presented an opportunity to incorporate the necessary cabling for a full audio-visual installation. Benelec worked together with the client, architect, electrical engineer and contractors to provide a complete system that integrated NuVo’s Grand Concerto whole home audio technology with lighting control, a home cinema system, TV/video distribution and a home IP network.

NuVo’s Grand Concerto allows the owners to enjoy high quality digital sound from six sources across eight separate audio zones throughout of the property. The system pumps 80 watts of power per zone, while a user-friendly interface with streamlined navigation makes for simple browsing by playlist, track, artist, album, genre or station.

Andrew Dooley from Benelec reflected: “NuVo’s Grand Concerto was the perfect solution for this project. Not only does the system offer the audiophile performance you’d expect from a manufacturer at the top of its game, but it’s pitched at a price point that makes it affordable to a much wider market. Combine that with its intelligent, intuitive navigation – a key factor on this project – and you have a winning package which appeals to a broad range of tastes and budgets.”

The system also features a NuVo Music Port (MPS4), a source device which offers streaming capability and aggregates digital content. This unit auto-synchronises audio content from selected PCs in the home and brings them into one comprehensive and seamless library.

With its internal 320GB hard drive, the Music Port (MPS4) can store tens of thousands of tracks, with users able to browse and access the music library from any of the Grand Concerto Control Pads. The MPS4 also enables the streaming of internet radio. Additionally, anything from a visitor’s iTunes library can be accessed and played anywhere in the property thanks to the integration of the NuVoDock for iPod.

The installation also includes NuVo WA30 in-wall audio systems in three bedrooms. Each of these systems features a pair of wall-mounted speakers and a 30W amplifier, along with two switchable audio inputs (either a mini-jack through the face plate or hard-wired from the back) recessed into a standard single gang box.

The completed installation has been well-received by all members of the family, who are said to have enjoyed exploring the possibilities opened up by full integration.

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