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Case Study: Big House, Small Closets

LEA Professional amplifiers helps keep the rack footprint small in a fully integrated smart home sound system.

When the owner of a large, 15,000-square-foot smart home in Newport Beach, CA, wanted to upgrade and integrate an all-home sound system, they turned to local AV integrator, Wired Media Solutions. WMS specializes in providing seamless, high-end home automation solutions, as well as commercial solutions, and has recently been integrating network-ready audio amplifiers from LEA Professional into system designs.

Ryan Wilkinson, president/CEO, Wired Media Solutions, explains that while the home is spacious, the integration team was challenged to fit the equipment into the existing small closet. Wilkinson needed to save as much room as possible to cover the home properly from this space while still delivering the channel count, power, and network connectivity required to distribute and control the audio throughout the house.

LEA Professional Case Study – Rack

“We had a big constraint of space and input power, but we still needed a high channel count,” says Wilkinson. “The LEA amplifiers fit perfectly because they are all multi-channel, single-rack-unit amps that don’t draw much power, they have built-in Ethernet connectivity and DSP, and they deliver plenty of output power to handle the entire house.”

The team installed a set of 11 Connect Series amplifiers from LEA Professional, including ten 168D 8-channel amplifiers with 160 watts per channel to cover the indoor rooms, and a 164D 4-channel amp for an outdoor patio area — for a total of 84 audio channels.

“Every room and space in the house has speakers — bathrooms, bedrooms, common areas, outdoor areas, kitchen, everywhere — and it’s a mix of different types and brands of speakers,” explains Wilkinson. “Maintaining the ability to power zones individually gave us the ability to finely tune the volume and DSP presets across the various types of speakers and areas.”

The Connect Series from LEA Professional is a commercial-grade audio amplifier family suited for small- to medium-scale installations. Featuring three ways to connect, users can engage the built-in Wi-Fi access point, connect to the venue’s Wi-Fi, or use the FAST Ethernet to connect to any local area network via Cat5 or Cat6 cable.

The Connect Series also features cloud connectivity that allows users to harness the power of the cloud for remote control, monitoring, configuration, and more from any personal device. The Connect Series also features HiZ and LoZ channel selectable analog inputs, Dante inputs, and external I/O control for remote on/off and fault monitoring.

“The LEA amps’ built-in DSP was a big help in this project, and we’re starting to use it more in other smart home installations,” says Wilkinson. “It saves space in the rack, greatly streamlines the entire installation, and makes system setup and adjustments easy.”

Physically, DSP-powered equipment can do more with less, and therefore frees up critical rack space and reduces system weight. All the input routing, room tuning, speaker tuning, and limiting are built into the amplifier, which reduces the need for additional hardware. Not only does this free up rack space, but it also simplifies system setup and reduces the possibility of issues arising within the system.

By using a digital input router, technicians can route any input to any output. And with the integration of an audio network, as with Dante, it’s all just an Ethernet cable away. LEA amplifier built-in DSP features include advanced DSP Architecture, an Input Matrix, Crossovers, Parametric EQ, Output Delay, Output Protection, User-Adjustable Limiting, and Load Monitoring.

“The system is all Dante networked and Crestron controlled, and we designed a custom touch-panel interface, so it’s all very easy to manage,” says Wilkinson. “Everything’s time-delayed and leveled correctly; all the limiters and speaker protections are in place, and it sounds great. And if needed, we can remote into the LEA amps for status reports or to make adjustments — we couldn’t be happier.”

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