Case Grand Opening Debuts with Bethesda Systems Integration

Bethesda Systems celebrated yet another stellar integration project with the Case Design/Remodeling group.

Bethesda Systems project manager Lynn Hopffgarten and the Case team celebrated the grand opening of their newly remodeled and upgraded design showroom, located in Bethesda this past weekend on Saturday afternoon.

Case is the largest and most respected full-service home improvement company in the nation. With a strong demand from other industry professionals, Case began franchising in 1997 and today is the only franchisor of remodeling services in the US. Serving 120 territories through their network of locally owned and operated franchisees and with over 100,000 clients nationwide.

The grand opening featured a ribbon-cutting ceremony in which Bill Millholland, Case Director of Sales, and an attendee snipped the ribbon, kicking off the event. Before the ceremony, Case held a consumer seminar that highlighted various kitchen and bathroom remodeling ideas and projects.

“It was a big hit, people just kept coming!” said Millholland. “Thanks to the added technology Bethesda Systems integrated, I held a second seminar for an additional group utilizing our new Apple TV to stream the presentation wirelessly from my Macbook.”

The showroom now features three new Apple TV and PC compatible screens to display product and project application information for customer review, Control4 lighting control that allows customers to demo custom lighting scenarios, and a Sonos ZP-120 along with six additional speakers allowing background music to be played throughout the studio.

In the two adjoining conference rooms connected to the main design center are Lutron RadioRA2 lighting controls. For lighting, several Juno WarmDim fixtures were installed as well as LED replacements for both conference rooms.

In addition, Bethesda Systems also locked down an efficient wireless network in order to make streaming to design studio devices seamless, and letting sales people work with clients remotely.

Both the seminar and the grand opening brought in over 60 attendees, not including Case members and Bethesda Systems.

“There was a great turnout. The event went great. Their new design center now reflects everything the Case team is capable of doing—whether it is A/V and energy efficient lighting, or new kitchen remodeling,” said Hopffgarten. “They’ve really got it all now, and the Bethesda Systems team is happy to be a part of that.”

Bethesda Systems Continues to Bring the Best

In mid-March, Bethesda Systems welcomed the world-renowned Meridian Audio line into its high-end audio collection.

DSP5200 black

In Our Showroom We’ve got a multitude of Meridian products throughout our showroom. Here are some notable ones we love. The Listening Room In our Listening Room, we invite you to come play with the Meridian Control 15. Imagine all your music—whether you purchased it on a CD in ’97 at f.y.e., or yesterday through your iTunes account—all on one, easy to use screen. Sure, it’s like an iPad, but bigger, and—dare I say it—better. So what does that mean? You can see all of your music. At the touch of a finger, you can view and listen to all your music. The Control 15 stores up to 500GBs of music. Oh, and it also provides an option to get rid of those old CDs by uploading your 90s tunes with its built-in disc drive. The software behind this dedicated music masterpiece also gathers information based on your music collection through connecting to the internet. It will compile anything from record reviews to album artwork. It can also stream music from Rhapsody and other internet radio stations, and with the Sooloos app, you can play music by using your iPhone or iPad for controlling it. The Home Theater In our theater, you’ll find a pair of DSP5200s. With the look and feel of Meridian Audio’s flagship 800 series, these speakers are more compact, but loaded with everything that makes Meridian unique. These feature Meridian’s appetizing apodising filter. Why apodising? Well, with digital audio, distortion and harshness of sound often occur. This filter is Meridian’s own; it avoids “pre-ringing”, thus only producing better and cleaner sound of any recording. And what makes these so special? Well, size isn’t everything. As noted before, these compact floor-standing loudspeakers have it all. Inside Meridian speakers is a complete, matched audio system with efficient DSP crossovers, multiple DACs and driver-specific amplifiers. This only means high quality, less power use, and unmatchable performance. DSP5200 black Control 15 More on Meridian “Meridian even has its own Lennon and McCartney at the helm, with Bob Stuart and Allen Boothroyd responsible for a staggering CV that spans 35 years,” said Stuff Magazine of Meridian Audio’s legacy. Bob Stuart and Allen Boothroyd founded Meridian-Audio in 1977. Meridian specializes in high-quality audio products, and has set the standard for audio products across the world. Meridian Audio has received praise in over 165 awards from around the world. Meridian has also been awarded three coveted British Design Council Awards for Outstanding British Products, which Stuart and Boothroyd received for their exceptional designs. Meridian Audio is responsible for industry changing developments and technological advancements in the home and theater entertainment realm, as well as the incorporation of exclusive sound to car manufacturers Jaguar, Land Rover, and McLaren Automotive. Bethesda Systems’ commitment to sound, performance, and best-in-class experience will help you bring your favorite concert home with Meridian Audio. For more information, feel free to call us at 301-656-2548, or send us an email at sales@fpasupporttest.org.

The Sonos Playbar

In March, Bethesda Systems featured a Sonos powered home theater experience highlighting the Sonos PLAYBAR—the one Sonos piece that really pulls it all together.

The PLAYBAR is Sonos’ stab at television audio, and it works. The soundbar can either be mounted, or sit above or beneath your television. The PLAYBAR can upgrade your television experience by offering excellent sound and delivering a whole new experience to your entertainment.

Why Sonos?

So you want a soundbar, but you want to know why you should choose the PLAYBAR?

It’s easy, and it’s good.

Sonos PLAYBAR

Sonos is all about sound, and all about connectivity. The technology inside the PLAYBAR allows it to recalibrate based on its positioning.

So, say you want to lay it flat, instead of mounting it… not an issue. The nine amplified speakers are mounted at a 45-degree angle, meaning it will produce an equal level of high quality sound while it’s laying flat—you won’t notice the difference, and that makes all the difference. The directionality of the speaker remains the same, so you’ll still get the same experience as a wall-mounted soundbar.

In addition, the PLAYBAR on its own is already a 3.0 home theater system, so it can easily be enhanced into a 3.1 or 5.1 home theater.

How, you wonder?

Well, all you need is more Sonos. To create a 3.1 home theater, pair the PLAYBAR with the Sonos SUB.  To create a 5.1 home theater, just add a SUB and a stereo pair of PLAY:3s.

What Makes a Home Theater?

It’s actually really simple. Home theaters are distinguished based on sound and speaker distribution.

What a 3.1 home theater system really means is: you have three speakers and one subwoofer paired with your television. In a 3.1 home theater system, there is one speaker on the left, one on the right, and one in the front.

The PLAYBAR eliminates the need of three different speakers, leaving you to only require the SUB.

Playbar 3d rendering

So, with a 5.1 home theater system, there are five speakers and one subwoofer. Typically, the speakers are for front right, front left, back right, back left, and one in front and center, all paired with one sub. Since the PLAYBAR itself is already a 3.0 system, all you need is to add a pair of PLAY:3 speakers, and one SUB.

The New Age of Home Theater?

Well, maybe. But if you’re interested in learning more about why a Sonos PLAYBAR is a good, easy fit for you, Bethesda Systems, a Sonos Gold Dealer, has all your answers. Want more Sonos from Bethesda Systems? Check it out here.

Bethesda Systems Donates State of the Art Media System

On February 16, members of the Bethesda Green community enjoyed a TEDx Manhattan viewing event, “Changing the Way We Eat.”

Hosted at Bethesda Green on Cordell Avenue of Downtown Bethesda, attendees were able to view the live webcast of the event in Manhattan in-house at Bethesda Green’s newly upgraded conference room, a donation from Bethesda Systems.

Bethesda Systems, an on-going sponsor of Bethesda Green, donated a state-of-the-art conference room media system, digital signage system for the lobby, and a multimedia display for the learning center to the Bethesda Green office.

Bethesda Green is a local non-profit organization based in Bethesda, Md. With the support of major corporations, local business, and individuals throughout the community, Bethesda Green is able to communicate and promote Bethesda as a model for greener economic growth and more sustainable practices.

Jonathan Stovall, co-founder of Bethesda Systems, knows that supporting the smaller businesses and entrepreneurs will promote more sustainable living and business practices. He feels that organizations like Bethesda Green make it much easier for startups to thrive in their respective communities.

“The new system has given us a lot of possibilities,” said Dave Feldman, Executive Director of Bethesda Green. “Each area has its own distinct value.”

Before, Feldman said, the organization only had a desktop LCD projector along with two speakers, which were independent from the projector system.

Bethesda Systems integrated a projector and projection screen for their conference room. For their lobby, Bethesda Systems added a 55-inch LCD to Bethesda Green’s new Learning Center. The Learning Center will be a place for Bethesda Green to engage the community with videos on recent projects and innovations from all throughout the area.

The LCD also has the ability to mirror videos being shown in the conference room to the lobby—an ideal application when the conference room gets too full, said Nate Black, systems designer.

In addition to this, Bethesda Systems incorporated a 42-inch display for digital signage, which will be able to greet visitors. The screen is able to display any image or video that Bethesda Green programs into the player.

“We’re able to present photos on a daily basis, and play films in the lobby with a touch of a button,” Feldman said.

The solution for controlling the newly added technology to Bethesda Green lies within a Savant iPad control system, which allows for one-touch control over the entire system, Black said.

Within the Savant-powered conference room, Bethesda Green has a cable box, Blu-ray player, Mac Mini (equipped with a wireless keyboard and mouse), and Apple TV. The upgraded conference room is also HDMI or VGA cable ready, if presenters use their own laptops for presentations in the room.

“The conference room lacked integration,” Feldman said. “Now, it’s a lot nicer. It’s cleaner—better.”

Feldman is excited to provide the Bethesda Green incubator companies with a high-end facility to use.

“We love it—it’s awesome!” said Feldman. “It’s exactly what we’re looking for. From service and integration, to support and sponsorship, we’re so grateful for what Bethesda Systems has done for us.”

2-Channel Audio Installation in Maryland

By Lynn Hopffgarten.

Of the bells –
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells –
In the clamor and the clanging of the bells!

—Edgar Alan Poe, “The Bells”

I reported last spring about the magic Sonus faber Stradivarius speakers combined with Naim’s top-of-the-line CD Player, pre-amp, and amplifier brings to a diverse music collection. Since that time, our client has moved to a new home, which has a room dedicated for audio of approximately 18 x 24 ft. with a sloped ceiling. The room is a work-in-progress, and our next update will be when the furniture and acoustic paneling is in.

Nonetheless, we made a startling and stunning improvement this past weekend with the delivery of the new REL “Gibraltar” series G-1 subwoofer (it is hiding in the back left corner).

However, we must first clarify that “subwoofer” is a colossal misnomer; the G-1 is a sub-bass system. With its highly refined crossover and volume controls, the G-1 embraces the entire room, creating and ideal acoustic space for music reproduction.

My first—and really, only—criteria when evaluating new equipment, speakers, or even potential upgrades is: “Am I listening to music, or equipment?” From the first note of Bob Dylan’s re-mastered, “Tangled Up in Blues,” we—my assistant, Irving, and our client—knew we were in for something magical: the music just came to life throughout the room.

This is the first thing this sub-bass system accomplishes: by launching a bass wave below the normal listening range, the G-1 creates a platform upon which the music literally rides, and helps complete its overall harmonic structure.

Now, I’m sure you’re asking: “Wasn’t this what you said about the Strads last spring, Lynn?”

Yup, absolutely. The 2-pi baffle of the Stradivarius definitely creates a large and deep soundstage. But even the most refined, integrated room setup can’t fill a large volume with the low-frequency energy possible in a great sub-bass device.

From Dylan, we went to the client’s favorite recording—which has become mine as well—of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, “The Pastoral.” The G-1 provided a stunning overall warmth, coherence, and three-dimensionality to the piccolos as well as strings. It was if the fast transient of these high-frequency instruments was clearer, and had greater body because the G-1 helped complete, while not damping, the overall harmonic structure.

But the most remarkable experience was perhaps with the least likely of demo tracks—AC/DC’s “Hells Bells.” The G-1 created the illusion of actually standing inside the bell-tower, as opposed to listening to iron bells from a safe distance… hard not to think of Poe no longer living in silence after The University Church was built in his Brooklyn neighborhood in 1845…

 

 

Listen to the Music

by Mike Wilson

Recently at Bethesda Systems we starting selling the Pro-Ject RM-5.1 SE — what I used to refer to as a “record player”. But it wasn’t until last month when I sat down with Lynn Hopffgarten, our resident Audio Specialist, and he set up what I now correctly called a “turntable”, did I remember how much I used to love listening to records. And quite frankly, how much I missed it.

This was the record player that used I to have. What can I say; I was “a good ol’ boy who never meant no harm.” This was my iPod! I would sit in my room and listen to albums (you know, VINYL!) like Billy Joel, The J Geils Band, and Pink Floyd just to name a few. Some of my fondest memories are of my dad trying to influence me with “his” music — the likes of Earth Wind and Fire, Steve Wonder and Average White Band. Of course nothing was funnier to a pre-teen than playing any of the above at 45rpm.

So Lynn Sat me down in front of this turntable and began playing the re-release of U2’s Actung Baby (1991) and I was speechless. Just to hear the slight pops before the music began had my attention. Before I knew it we were half way through the first side. I was actually listening to music again. Not just driving in a car, killing time on a plane or making exercise tolerable. It was an amazing feeling. As for the sound quality, WOW buy your favorite song on iTunes play it out of your ear buds then buy the Vinyl copy and listen to it on a good sound system. I guarantee you it will be like listening to something completely different. To the “I’m not an audiophile guys or gals”…Yes. You too!

I have since set up my own little system at home and have not only been enjoying this experience alone, I have included my 8 year old son and 10 year old daughter to the party and all I could think about was how my Dad used to do it with me. No better feeling in the world.

Here are 12 great sounding records from multiple genres that I would recommend:

Top Row (L to R): Nevermind, Nirvana; Legend, Bob Marley; Love, The Beatles; Achtung, Baby!, U2; Born This Way, Lady Gaga; Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd.

Bottom Row (L to R): The Stranger, Billy Joel; The Ghose of Tom Joad, Bruce Springsteen; Thriller, Michael Jackson; Let’s Get It On, Marvin Gaye; Surfacing, Sarah McLachlan; Change of Heart, David Sanborn.