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Friday, 7 January 2011

High end apartment at St. Katherine Dock,Tower Bridge, London

Finished !!

It's been just under 12 months from start to finish on this amazing apartment! From concrete shell to fully fitted and operational, with amazing attention to detail.
I was more than pleased with results and equipment performance. It shows that, if carefully selected, such a system does not have to cost a fortune, but will perform equally impressive as a system costing twice as much or more!
All audio CDs were stored on Imerge S3000 4 zone music server in UNCOMPRESSED format, going through Weiss Digital to Analogue converter (through digital output) in to the rest of high end chain. Imerge's 4 analogue outputs are feeding music to dining room, bedrooms, dressing room and master bathroom.
Rest of the apartment is enjoying music through Kef's flagship Ci200.3QS ceiling speakers, paired with Chord silver plated speaker cable, sounding anything but background ceiling speakers!

In the main living room, Pioneer KURO 60" HD Plasma complements equally impressive and effective 5.1 system (3 x Kef Ci9000ACE / 2 x Ci130DS and amazing B&W PW1 piano black subwoofer). Powered by Denon receiver, Denon Blue Ray DVD player and SKY HD Box.

Guests rooms are equipped with another Pioneer screen this time, 37" LCD Full HD and separate HD TV receiver. Guests can also listen to their iPods or iPhones in their rooms, through Denon iPod docking station connected to Opus WCU600 touch panels, as well as browsing through enormous library stored on Imerge S3000 server or just simply listen crystal clear FM radio.

On the control side - owners are delighted with Philips TSU9600 being such an easy remote to learn and operate! Controlling everything, from motorized blinds and lighting to home cinema and music.

And finally, big thanks to all builders, architects and interior designers who worked on this project.

Like what you see? Get in touch with Interior designers / architects -  click here!

Elegant and invisible Home Cinema with 60" Pioneer KURO plasma


High End Gear

Just a sneaky peek at the cupboard housing a range of high end audiofile equipment powering a colossal pair of freestanding Audience speakers with sub woofer size of washing machine !!!  Speaker were stained to blend with interior finishes, and subwoofer was cleverly hidden within a half open cupboard.

Audience subwoofer, hidden in the cupboard with front and side covered with acoustic cloth.

 Lighting & motorized blinds
Neatly placed next to AV rack is a bank of Luton Grafik Eye dimming controllers and master fuse box.

Motorized shades and plasma mechanism in action !

Wall touch panels

All bedrooms, as well as dining room have Opus WCU600 touch screens. They are good looking and do a great job controlling various sources of audio - FM Radio, music stored on Imerge server, CD player, iPod/iPhone, and can even display video feed from DVD or SKY box. (screen is too small to watch a movie, but for morning news, it does a job, and looks great!)
There is a simple but ingenious way to control and navigate Imerge server or Apple TV interfaces by swiping the screen as you do on iPhone.
Pictured here, Imerge's album cover browser page.


Now you see it - Now you don't see it !

Massive panel mechanism is finally fitted! Pioneer KURO 60" HD Plasma is hidden behind custom made AV wall, and appears on a push of a button!

Plasma mechanism in action !

One for all !

When it comes to controlling AV gear effortlessly, nothing beats mighty 
Philips TSU 9600 with RFX 9600 serial interface.
We just can not believe that Philips decided to stop making them ?????!!!
They can do just about anything... from controlling any piece of AV gear to lighting, blinds, screens, name it!
There are dozens of clever apps that lets you read RSS feeds, weather forecast, etc....
Sad to see them (slowly) disappear!

All of these remotes are replaced by TSU9600.

Great interface with TV channel icons, all grouped by category. Bottom picture - RSS feeds page.


L/C/R speakers - mighty Kef

For LCR speakers, we used 3 x KEF Ci9000 ACE.
They are not cheap, but for my money - worth every penny. What a beauties!!
Shame we had to re-spray their brushed silver finish with black paint, but they were very visible through black acoustic cloth.

For surround speakers, I fitted a pair of KEF Ci 130DS dipole speakers.

Mighty B&W PV-1 Sub woofer in piano black

AV Rack & home cinema / multi room equipment

Middle Atlantic AV rack has arrived...
It will house Denon recevier and Denon Blue Ray DVD player
Imerge S3000 4 zone music server
Opus MCU500 multiroom master control unit, Opus VSU video switching unit
Sky HD box and Virgin HD box;
Denon iPod docking station;
power conditioner, etc.

All cabling is fixed to retractable cable tray, so that rack can be pulled out for servicing and maintenance.

Bottom half of rack houses (from the top): Philips RFX-9600, Imerge S3000 4 zone server, Denon DV-2500BT Blue Ray DVD player, Opus VSU300 video switcher, Opus MCU500 multi room master controller, Denon AVR-4310 receiver, SKY +HD, Virgin HD box, power conditioner.

Upper part of AV cupboard will house a number of Opus DZM100 digital zone modules (amplifiers) for all bedrooms, bathrooms and dining zones; QNAP NAS drives and various modems & switchers
Plasma Mechanism
Massive, custom built plasma mechanism is mounted inside MDF casing, which will be surrounded with storage elements for vast CD and vinyl collection. Due to excessive combined weight of mechanism and 60" Pioneer KURO plasma, chemical bonding and 10" steel rods were used to fix it to the wall.

Mechanism performs couple of operations. First, it pulls the doors slightly in, then it opens them and finally, advances plasma screen forward, to bring it flush with surface
It is a real show stopper, people go "woooow"! .......Every time!!!

Things are taking shape!

Fast forward four weeks, and there is a lot to see!

Column in the kitchen which will house small TV on swivel arm and Opus WCU600 touch panel

Speaker holes are cut, fitted with supporting brackets and filled with Rockwool. There are 12 ceiling speakers throughout the apartment.

Rack cupboard  Rack 
cupboard is finally fitted, as well as cupboard which will house a number of Lutron Grafik Eye dimmers

The beginning !
I have been thinking of doing this for a long time! Many times, people don't realize how much stuff is hidden behind walls and ceilings!  All cables are routed to central AV rack. Cables used: Chord silver plated speaker cables & HDMI cables, Opus BTC100, numerous CAT5 cables and so on...

There is so much going on under the ceiling...


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