Opining On Audio
Wexler: It’s always been the same: People want to watch TV. In our store, though, it’s set up so customer-friendly that getting them to sit down for an audio demo is no problem. We have both integrated audio/video displays and also a plasma wall with audio systems displayed below. We are trying not to “grant permission” to invest in a flat panel without having the audio! If all you put is TVs all over the place, then all you’re doing is telling people it’s OK to do that. We even have a Runco gallery set up with an AMX panel on the wall with a picture of the gallery, and you just touch the unit you want to operate and what you want to hear and see on it, but it’s also set up with surround components on it, so that everything’s always playing music. The picture, obviously, isn’t really the most important part in capturing the excitement and emotion; it’s the sound.
As far as distributed audio goes, everybody building a home, almost every whole-house system we’re doing, involves some kind of networking, wiring, preparation for Internet activity. People sort of get it, and are a little confused about what they exactly want, but they know what they want to accomplish, and don’t know how to get there, or what it is they need to do to make it happen. I would bet that 90 percent of the people do Internet research before they come in, and they trust us to help them make the right decision. But their questions are certainly more on-point and relevant than they have been in the past.
Fabiano: None. Audio is a ‘given.’ There’s almost no discussion. The discussion is of what type of audio you’re going to sell. Adding speakers in a house is like adding your electrical system in a house. There is even interest in two-channel audio, especially with our company, to which has been brought the heritage of Ambrosia Audio Video. I have a client who put in a high-end speaker line in his gym with a very nice two-channel setup, just so he can listen to music while exercising. Managers and CEOs in their offices like to have two-channel enjoyment, stretch back in their chairs and listen to music. I also have a two-channel room in my house.