I received a call from a friend the other day asking my advice on a home audio system for his new house. He had received a multi-room audio proposal from his local store and they felt he needed audio in every room of his house. The system was both extensive and expensive, but importantly there was far too much emphasis on quantity and convenience over quality.
Call me old fashioned, but I'm just not buying into all this convenience. When I'm in the bedroom, my prime focus is usually rest; and when I'm in the kitchen, thoughts of food take presedence. To me, this is the hoary old chestnut of less adding up to so much more. Rejecting everywhere convenience in favour of focusing on a few select prime areas of use and making them all they can be is definitely the way to go in my opinion.
Most people sell up and move household. There are therefore a few additional aspects to consider when thinking of an investment in audio. If you install an in-wall multi-room system, chances are it will remain a part of the house and contents. Every time you move you'll be forced to reinvest in your audio system.
A home automation system is of little additional value or appeal to most home buyers. The same applies to telephone jacks and power points. Very few discerning buyers will take these aspects into the mix when they are looking to purchase. Any sensible buyer will be fully focussed on the big picture issues, such as location, aspect, number of rooms etc.
People want to relax after a hard day at work and many will go for a comfortable chair in the lounge and watch TV, read the daily papers and listen to music and talk. The lounge should therefore be one of the centres of focus for recreation.
Most have a TV, and to my mind any audio system based in the same room as a TV should be able to seamlesly integrate and enhance the experience. Naturally it must also work perfectly as a stand-alone audio system when required.
Large flat screen TVs are comparatively inexpensive. Significant enhancement can be achieved with an external amplifier and a high quality pair of loudspeakers carefully positioned either side of the screen. A system of this description is capable of delivering high quality hi fi as well as significant sonic improvements when viewing TV.
Room size, acoustics and ambience are all important aspects worthy of serious consideration.
Firstly lets talk about room size. If your lounge is very large, your audio system can often sound distinctly underwhelming. The experience is like playing a transistor radio in a 40,000 seat stadium... it may just not be up to it. If you have a really large lounge, you'll need to consider an amplifier and loudspeakers which are comfortably capable of filling the room. In the case of our products, I would recommend the éloquence 250i integrated amplifier.
Too small a room on the other hand brings it's own set of problems. Typically the correct positioning of components can become very difficult to get right on account of the lack of space and the need to maintain good flow within the room. This is usually the single biggest headache that most users face. The goals of achieving a good sound and an attractive room layout often work against each other and often bring about severe compromise. In this instance, there is often not much you can do to overcome the situation. For smaller rooms the éloquence 150i integrated amplifier is a great partner.
Creative and lateral thinking such as making a seating island can sometimes enable you to achieve the best outcome. Getting the correct lighting levels, room temperature and furnishings are also very important in creating the correct ambience in your room.
As for other rooms within your house, such as the bedroom and the kitchen, I recommend a good quality table radio as an option worth considering. As an alternate you could simply opt for multiple complete systems. Whatever you finally decide on, please give careful consideration to the above thoughts.
The éloquence range has proved itself to be "king of the hill" for us. Never in my time have we had more sales and more satisfied customers as we have experienced with the éloquence range of components. Please feel free to read the various product manuals and reviews for both the 150i and 250i integrated amplifiers and the CDt compact disc transport.
Did you know that you can record Vinyl to Digital using the éloquence 150i or 250i with it's onboard DAC module? Perfect for taking those precious vinyl only releases on the road.
Want to take a spin around the éloquence 250i... check out the 360° view in the gallery.
When you purchase a Perreaux, you are purchasing quality and as such you should receive a lifetime of enjoyment. And when you think about it, it's all about buying once and buying well.