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Please don’t hesitate to get in touch for a quote for either approach.
We offer an array of custom speaker options, ranging from Sound and Installation Design to Cabinet Finishes and Printed Branding and Graphic Design.
While all of our lines are themselves easy to install, some installations can be particularly unique and tricky. Mixed use interiors like restaurants, bars, and houses of worship, where sound delays and multiple advanced design solutions are required, can be difficult to address without an adequate dose preparation, education and experience. For these, we offer additional design services.
We have found that our customers, both in commercial and residential markets, are increasingly looking for speakers with custom appearances and finishes. We are happy to offer arrays of options, from applying logos and related brand or design schemes to accommodate specific interiors to offering a variety of finishes suited to making speakers better matches their surrounding decor. Our custom printing can emulate any logo or design while our custom exteriors can match various wood grains, metallic finishes, and many textures in between. A number of custom appearance options are available for every one of our speakers and we are amenable to almost any request.
How much area coverage should I estimate for each AC/LS speaker in an installation?
First you have to determine with the client whether they’re looking for background or foreground sound. Background is low level and unobtrusive. Foreground is louder for more entertainment but can interfere with conversations in the areas immediately adjacent to the speakers. What is the goal with the system? Will anyone actually listen to music with it. Is it being used with an outdoor TV for movies, etc.? Spend some time and effort to understand the goals and desires of the client.
For background coverage you can estimate each Terra AC/LS series 5.25-inch driver satellite speaker to cover an area of 150 sq. feet (a 10 x 15 area, for example). For foreground use we would suggest limiting each 5.25-inch speaker to about 100 sq. feet (10 x 10). The AC 6.5-inch driver models are capable of covering approximately a 15-20% larger areas.
Of course, these are just general suggestions as the sound will cover more area than listed above, but start to fall off as you move away. As always we shy away from omni-directional speakers because their output falls off more rapidly in any given direction and there’s a much greater risk of disturbing the neighbors. Remember, more speakers, closely spaced, aimed inwards, towards the coverage area will always give the best results with the smoothest coverage and least bleed over towards the neighbors. And you won’t have to turn the system up too loud to get excellent sound quality.
If there’s an outdoor theater involved you’ll want to be careful to place speakers to the left, right and center of the screen. If possible, try to keep them at or close to ear height and no more than 3-4 feet away from the edge of the screen. Since you’re dealing with “the great outdoors” we would suggest you use the largest AC series model that the client will agree to and definitely include a nearby AC.SUB or two.
The AC.SUB can deliver good bass performance to an area approximately 30 x 40 for background and 20 x 30 for foreground listening. Just like an indoor subwoofer, if you install the AC.SUB directly adjacent to a building wall (or two, if a corner is available) you’ll increase its apparent output significantly. And outdoors there’s no worries about standing waves unless your seated between two or more closely spaced buildings.
What type of wire do you recommend for your speakers?
For outdoor installations you should use burial grade wire and we strongly suggest that you use conduit for all runs. We suggest a minimum of 16 gauge for runs up to 50 feet, 14 gauge for runs up to 125 feet and 12 gauge for runs over 125 feet. For 70 volt outdoor installs we typically suggest a minimum of 18 gauge but larger wire (smaller gauge number) can’t hurt. Indoors with the CA series you should always use wire rated for in-wall use (Class 2). If the wire is being run vertically, between floors or within a suspended ceiling always use plenum rated wire. It’s actually not a bad idea to always use plenum rated wire within walls anyway.
Riser and plenum wire classifications:
CL2R, CL3R – Class 2 and 3 power limited riser cables for use in vertical riser shafts. Subject to UL 1666 Riser Flame Test.
CL2P, CL3P – Class 2 and 3 power limited plenum cables for use in ducts and air plenums. Subject to UL 910 Steiner Tunnel Test.
Do you offer design assistance for Terra and CAMM?
Yes, we can help with design assistance for both. For further information please contact us at 207.705.1005 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stereo or Mono for outdoor sound?
In the majority of distributed audio installations no one is ever equidistant between a left and right speaker — “the sweet spot.” They primarily hear sound coming from the speaker they’re closest to, missing much of the sound from the other channel. As they move about the area this imbalance worsens. Distributing music in mono means everyone hears everything no matter where they’re positioned and what they hear doesn’t change as they move about.
If your source devices don’t provide a mono output there are dedicated units that are designed for this purpose. We sell one from a company named RDL that sounds great, is affordable and provides consumer audio to pro sound level matching and its own volume control.
When is a 70 volt system best?
Any time you are considering a larger system with multiple speaker locations you should consider the potential offered by a 70 volt system. In particular, if the system requires long speaker runs 70 volt can be an ideal solution. We would suggest that if you have a system that includes 5 or more loudspeakers that you consider 70 volt along with mono operation.
Do you offer system design and speaker coverage information?
Our engineers are here to help with all aspects of system design. Simply give us a call at 207.725.1005 during business hours EST or e-mail us at email@example.com.