Special Home Theater Installation
Some of the most interesting projects we undertake have the most inauspicious beginnings. This particular project, one of the more challenging ones we’ve worked on recently, started from the need to replace a little power strip. A couple of years ago, one of our new clients from the Southeast, about 500 miles outside Atlanta, had another company install a high-end Linn home theater system for him. One day one of the power strips in his system failed and his efforts to replace it became a classic illustration of why organized, professional installation is so important with one of these systems.
As you can see from the “before” pictures, these expensive components had been somewhat carelessly stacked on top of one another, making it impossible to get to the dead power strip without tearing out the entire system. In addition, the wiring was not well organized, so it was extremely difficult to get everything plugged back in and running once the power strip was fixed.
Our assignment was to upgrade the system’s performance and usability. We chose new Linn components to provide enhanced sound quality. We also began investigating ways to organize the wiring so that it would be easy to upgrade the system as newer generations of equipment came out, and to make it easy to perform any necessary maintenance on the system. We decided that in order to do this right, we would need to make custom equipment racks that could organize and protect the equipment. (Read more below the image gallery.)
Measure Twice, CAD Once
We started by carefully measuring the dimensions of the cabinet, the components and all of the necessary wiring. (Since this customer was located 500 miles away, we wanted to make sure we got everything right the first time when we returned!) We then set about designing from scratch a custom aluminum equipment rack system that would slide on brackets, making it much easier to get to the system for upgrades and/or maintenance.
After designing the racks with a CAD program, we hand-constructed and assembled the frames from raw aluminum cut to our lofty specifications, which we then carefully sanded for a properly smooth, uniform texture. You can see one of the finished basic elements in the photo to the right.
Once we built the skeleton of the frames, we went the extra step of painting the frames in a textured black matte that precisely matched the textured black matte finish on the Linn components so everything matched perfectly. We also insulated the aluminum with a one-sixteenth inch layer of soft material to prevent the components from getting scratched.
We then set about squeezing these custom frames into the customer’s beautiful cabinets. And we do mean squeeze – there was exactly one-sixteenth of an inch of clearance on each side of the cabinets for the custom shelves. But our careful attention to detail paid off, and we installed the frames with relatively little difficulty.
The custom shelving easily slides the components out and one even swivels at the end of the track, so it’s easy to get to the wiring. The shelves all fit in snugly and securely, and the wiring is completely structured and orderly, making it easy to find and attach the right cable to the right box (and of course, we used high quality power strips!). Most of the time you never see the shelves as the gorgeous cabinet doors are usually closed to hide the equipment. But our customer is very happy knowing that when the time comes to upgrade or maintain his system, it will be a snap. If you’re ready to go to the next level with your home theater, please contact us and put our experience and creativity to work for you!