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Case Study: Barn with a View

This upstate barn-turned-office/yoga studio/sauna provides high-quality hidden sound with James Loudspeakers.

Beautiful views of the Hudson River enjoyed from the yoga studio. All photos by John Frattasi.

Gilmore’s Sound Advice is a premium custom integrator based in New York, NY. Principal Ed Gilmore was summoned to a beautiful upstate property on the banks of the Hudson River, where a client was planning a barn conversion, creating a home office and a yoga studio with scenic views of the water. The property, a working farm where llamas are bred and raised, is a two-hour-plus drive north from Manhattan, and this finance executive had a minimalist but elegant vision for his space. One of the key stipulations was that he wanted superlative music playback that was unseen to the eye. Interruption of the open space due to bulky, unsightly loudspeakers was unthinkable. His expectations were for an engaging listening experience to enjoy TIDAL and other streaming content along with an array of favorite podcasts.

The open space designed for work and peaceful reflection.

System Design

There are three primary zones of entertainment within the renovated barn; the yoga room, the office, and a sitting area. There is music available in the steam room as well. In order to achieve the output levels, detail, and balance that the client desired, the team from Gilmore deployed James Loudspeaker 63SA-7HO Small Aperture architectural speakers (two pair in the office, two pair in the yoga studio, and a single pair in the sitting room) and a 101SA-6 Small Aperture architectural subwoofer in each zone. The 63SA-7HO is a true full range, 3-way design with a 0.75-inch (19mm) aluminum dome tweeter, 2-inch (50mm) aluminum midrange driver, and a 6.5-inch (165mm) aluminum woofer, all concentrically mounted within an aircraft-grade aluminum enclosure. Inherently durable and designed for multi-zone audio installations, the 63SA-7HO is especially suited for premium installations where critical listening is paramount and aesthetics are equally as vital. The point source mid/high module provides excellent off-axis response and the overload-protected hidden woofer generates bass down to 38 Hz for a truly full-range music experience — and all from a 3-inch round or square Microperf grille.

Barely visible—James Loudspeaker Small Aperture grilles.

Because this client desired audiophile-quality driving bass response in this environment, the Gilmore team integrated a single 101SA-6 subwoofer behind the wallboard in each zone. The 101SA-6 features an all-aluminum bandpass enclosure housing a 10-inch woofer mated to a compact 4-inch grille. Each subwoofer is driven by a James Loudspeaker M1000 amplifier nestled in a rack within the concealed, dedicated, and air-cooled equipment space next to the yoga studio. The rack also contains the networking hardware, streaming music servers, and multi-channel amplifiers for the entire system.

James Loudspeaker Small Aperture 63SA-7HO 3-way speakers reside inside the walls.

Tricks of the Trade

One of the challenges that the technicians faced when integrating the audio system was to get sound from the speakers into the space through the beautiful fruitwood composite (Cherry and Pear) that was used throughout the interior. Though James Loudspeaker provides grille-matching customization services like this, the woodworker onsite was able to carefully perforate the boards in just the right places to accommodate the sound system. The result was sonic nirvana from a barely visible opening.

The 98-inch Planar TV highlights the office with James Loudspeaker Small Aperture speakers above nestled in the ceiling.

Treading on Soggy Ground

Gilmore recalled that his team had to load the equipment rack and the 98-inch Planar TV (utilizing T1V collaboration software for the office) into the barn before the driveway was poured. “We carried that gear through a meadow and across soggy turf, until a farm worker rescued us with his pickup truck, in order to reach the barn,” he remembers. “It wasn’t a typical load-in scenario for crates over 300 pounds.”

The T1V collaboration software supports BYOD (bring your own device) to support the many devices, programs, and platforms of today’s meeting and learning environments. The high-tech multi-touch, multi-user screen enables the client to collaborate with teams all over the world. The Planar screen is not currently connected to the entertainment system per the client’s request; however, the Gilmore team addressed such a possibility in their prewire. “We are prepared for that should he request connectivity down the road,” says Gilmore.

“James Loudspeaker has been such a vital partner to Gilmore’s Sound Advice, providing unique and often custom solutions that deliver amazing sound where other solutions simply won’t do,” Gilmore states. “Initially, this client was skeptical about our ability to deliver great sound invisibly, and we have exceeded his expectations to the point where he wants us to upgrade the entertainment system in his city apartment. We were able to integrate truly high-performance audio into a quiet, serene space and really please the customer as a result.”

For more information on Gilmore’s Sound Advice, visit For more information on James Loudspeakers, visit