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Topic:
My Sonos/James Outdoor Demo Kit
This thread has 22 replies. Displaying posts 1 through 15.
Post 1 made on Saturday May 17, 2014 at 19:16
3PedalMINI
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As many of you know I am a very big proponent of outdoor audio system's and the SLS system, along with custom designed outdoor systems.

The last year i have been noticing a decline in SLS quality and how i was treated at cedia turned me off of them and made me pursue a differnt avenue, Boy am i glad i did. James was the pioneer in this type of outdoor audio system and i regret all of these years not giving James a try. I got to hear their system at CEDIA and was blown away, not to mention there absolute attention when it came to explaining the differences from the SLS/Snap to theirs. I was someone that assumed nothing could sound any better then the SLS system and have sold quite a few of them on Demo alone.

These types of systems HAVE to be demoed otherwise you will be shown the door when you mention the price. I was never really thrilled with how my last SLS demo was put together with a pelican case and pulling everything out and having every thing strewn around, looked nasty and unprofessional IMO along with using my phone for content just was not the best set up.

Decided that with the new James demo kit I would do something much more professional and easier to setup/take down. Seeing that most of my outdoor audio systems are getting sonos as the source material what better way then to demo the system WITH sonos! but why stop with that, while demoing the outdoor speakers why not demo the ability of sonos and zoning capabilities of it by getting some PLAY 1's. It also dawned on me since the James A2.1 Amp is an 8ohm amp i can demo some in-ceiling speakers in a custom enclosure. The Play1's are JUST to demo the zoning capabilities, a custom solution will always be sold first.

Knowing what a nightmare it is trying to get clients WiFi-passwords and not wanting to run a bridge/wire to the clients router I had to come up with a solution to ensure i was not reliant on the clients network at all. So after MANY hours of research I chose a router that allows me to use the mobile hotspot from my verizon NOTE3, but I did not want to entirely rely on verizons 4g signal so I got a pay per KB usb modem from AT&T that plugs right into the router. It is setup that if the connection on my phone is slow it will "failover" to the USB modem if it senses it is faster. I had been noticing that on my clients mobile devices if i had a low Verizon 4g Signal they usually had AT&T (makes sense) with a much stronger signal so that is why I chose AT&T for the failover modem.

The router I chose has two radios (one for the wifi as wan connection and the other for the wifi network) but I did not want to rely on the internal routers wireless network to control the system entirely (since it was within the mobile rack) so I wanted an external WIFI antenna setup to allow the entire property to get the signal of the system (to control it within the home or on the other end of the clients property. I am using a Rocket M2 with antenna extenders I drilled into my custom panelcrafters piece. This also gives me a bit of redundancy incase the rocket fails for whatever reason i can attach directly to the router.

Everything is setup with Mac Address reservation to ensure that when the system boots up everything comes online. I have timed the bootup of the entire system to be entirely functional within 2minutes! If for whatever reason the client doesn't have any cellular 3g or 4g signal I have music on my phone/ipad i can "push" to the sonos system or even use the line in as a final resort. I also made sure that for whatever reason i need to get into the routers setup i can do so from both my Note or Ipad. I have shut down, tore down and set up this system over 50 times at my home and so far it has not missed a beat.

Another thing that i found when demoing the SLS system is the ground spikes did not work out to well, so i wanted to come up with a way to quickly place the speakers in the clients yard without having to pound stakes into the ground. I took some 5/4 pine, routed,sanded and stained them to look decent. The only issue that came up is im going to need a bigger pelican type case to store them in, but not all that big of deal.

[URL=[Link: s6.photobucket.com]][IMG][/IMG][/URL]

[URL=[Link: s6.photobucket.com]][IMG][/IMG][/URL]

3u Rack drawer for the play 1's with MA's foam cut. Still need to cut an area out for the short extension cord and cords for the Plays

[URL=[Link: s6.photobucket.com]][IMG][/IMG][/URL]

[URL=[Link: s6.photobucket.com]][IMG][/IMG][/URL]

[URL=[Link: s6.photobucket.com]][IMG][/IMG][/URL]

[URL=[Link: s6.photobucket.com]][IMG][/IMG][/URL]

[URL=[Link: s6.photobucket.com]][IMG][/IMG][/URL]

This tiny 8" sub Kicks butt, it sounds better the SLS's 10"


[URL=[Link: s6.photobucket.com]][IMG][/IMG][/URL]

This is the rear panel:

From left to right:
Neutrik PowerCON,3x SpeakON connectors, 2 Network ports (wan/lan for updates and possible future expantion), Sonos Line IN and the USB extender for the modem into the router

[URL=[Link: s6.photobucket.com]][IMG][/IMG][/URL]

[URL=[Link: s6.photobucket.com]][IMG][/IMG][/URL]

[URL=[Link: s6.photobucket.com]][IMG][/IMG][/URL]

custom speakON connection box

[URL=[Link: s6.photobucket.com]][IMG][/IMG][/URL]

I will say that this system absolutely rocks, I was really hesitant about going the 8ohm route from James for the demo since i will only be selling the 70v system with the 10" sub. James said over and over again that this speciffic combination was designed for demos, they even mentioned that the 70v with DSP sounds even better...

All in all im extremely happy with how this turned out, the case is a skb rolling rack case so i can wheel this right into the clients back yard and start setting up. Ive timed my self i can be up in running in about 7 minutes flat. This set up took me HOURS to design, research and come up with the best way and i feel that I have. I have 4 demos lined up in the next couple weeks, 2 with ultra high end landscape designers. My last setup was an embarrassment I felt, I can honestly feel proud rolling this into my clients backyard :) If this setup proves it can work reliably I hope to expand on this by doing a Total Control Demo

I debated about posting this, especially since I have local competitors on here but in the end i decided that we are all in the same boat and were here to help each other!! If this can help push some of you over to doing backyard demo's then its helped the CI community and helped someone make a buck and get clients to enjoy being out in there backyard.

Sorry for the long post, and the poor grammar ;-)
The Bitterness of Poor Quality is Remembered Long after the Sweetness of Price is Forgotten! - Benjamin Franklin
Post 2 made on Saturday May 17, 2014 at 19:42
longshot16
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Bum
The Unicorn Whisperer
Post 3 made on Saturday May 17, 2014 at 20:08
dolfan
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Great write up. Can you pm me more info...I have used Niles and Snap and been happy but you got me intrigued.
Post 4 made on Saturday May 17, 2014 at 20:16
mwstorch
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343
Excellent info and great work on the demo kit. This is exactly the type of info I love to read about on RC - we need more stories of real world work experiences (and, in my opinion, fewer off topic posts).

Great job - I hope you land a ton of sales. Thanks for sharing!
Post 5 made on Saturday May 17, 2014 at 21:16
Dave in Balto
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2,765
Looks fantastic B. Hopefully it makes you money. Can't wait to hear it. Need to get you to bring it down here for this one project I'm working on:)
Hey, careful man, there's a beverage here!

The Dude
Post 6 made on Saturday May 17, 2014 at 21:27
Zohan
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Turned out great bro
Post 7 made on Saturday May 17, 2014 at 21:53
kwkshift
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That's a nice demo rig!
Post 8 made on Saturday May 17, 2014 at 23:11
pilgram
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THAT is taking it to the next level!

GREAT job!

I like your style.
Every day is a good day.......some are just better than others!
Post 9 made on Sunday May 18, 2014 at 00:09
sofa_king_CI
Super Member
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Is this system from James a different series are have they gone away from the custom Copper, Bronze, etc metal finish options? Which, when I was looking were much more expensive
do wino hue?
Post 10 made on Sunday May 18, 2014 at 09:02
longshot16
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This kit retails for roughly $3700.

Sofa the copper and other finishes are still available. The Copper is at least $100 more for each speakers.

This kit has the 2.1 amp that powers for sats and a sub. It would do just fine in more every backyard. I demo'd the same one for a cleint and we actually both agreed to scale back from doing two 12" subs and 8-12 sats because this little kit sounds so freaking good. It does not play super super loud but it is more than enough for anyone with neighbors.

I am going to attach mine to my swamp amp this week to see how much more is possible.
The Unicorn Whisperer
Post 11 made on Sunday May 18, 2014 at 10:33
Zohan
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On May 18, 2014 at 09:02, longshot16 said...
This kit retails for roughly $3700.

What is included?

Are they the 4" satellites with sub and amp?
How many speakers?
What amp?
OP | Post 12 made on Sunday May 18, 2014 at 11:01
3PedalMINI
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Thanks Guys!!

On May 18, 2014 at 10:33, Zohan said...
What is included?

Are they the 4" satellites with sub and amp?
How many speakers?
What amp?

4 of the AT47 speakers
1 8" outdoor subwoofer
1 James A2.1 Amplifier


On May 18, 2014 at 00:09, sofa_king_CI said...
Is this system from James a different series are have they gone away from the custom Copper, Bronze, etc metal finish options? Which, when I was looking were much more expensive

This is James's new system. I think you are referring to the small circle speakers? I agree i thought those looked much nicer, but those are old technology now according to James and have been moved over to Napa Sound Labs system. These AT47 are a true 2way speaker, which is why i think they sound so damn good. The speaker alone goes down to 80hz which is impressive for such a small guy. James claimed that the square type speaker blended into the landscaping better. I installed two verde green speakers in my moms garden and they definitely do blend in more than circles. Ill take some pictures later of what they look like installed in a garden setting.

the standard colors are

Black-Verde Green-Bronze-Whiteish

They have a whole color palet availible which is really cool for adition cost along with copper plating
The Bitterness of Poor Quality is Remembered Long after the Sweetness of Price is Forgotten! - Benjamin Franklin
Post 13 made on Sunday May 18, 2014 at 11:48
Zohan
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So, would it be accurate to say this system is comparable to a similar system of jbl control 28t's with crown cdi amp, in sound quality?
Differences would be the jbl would play louder but the james would be a smaller form factor?
Post 14 made on Sunday May 18, 2014 at 11:48
JustinG
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Man I really need to step my game up, looking good man.
OP | Post 15 made on Sunday May 18, 2014 at 12:14
3PedalMINI
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On May 18, 2014 at 11:48, Zohan said...
So, would it be accurate to say this system is comparable to a similar system of jbl control 28t's with crown cdi amp, in sound quality?
Differences would be the jbl would play louder but the james would be a smaller form factor?

Ehhhhhhh......These are slightly smoother, i really would say you can not compare the two. to say this system sounds fantastic is an understatement, even at higher volumes, but you can tell there is a limit to them (with all types of LS systems)

The control 28's paired with a sub will definitely beat them but your not comparing apples to apples. There are very few people that enjoy cranking the outdoor system, and that really isnt a point of any outdoor audio system as most people that are going to go for this type of system have an incredible back yard and will have more "sophisticated" parties.

These or any other LS system will never replace a well designed box speaker, subwoofers and 1000's of watts of power, but they can come damn close ;-)

Still to this day nothing has and probably will sound as good as the system i designed for a rather young guy around his pool. 12 control 28's off a cdi4000, and 4 sb210's fed off of 4 XTI 2 series amps. To say that system ROCKS is an understatement. He loved his rap and other questionable music at insane volumes (I heard he has some pretty insane parties) the control 28's are mounted on 4x4's and the subwoofers are mounted to 6x6 post's dug 3ft into the ground and concreted in. The landscape architect did an amazing job of hiding them within the landscape.
The Bitterness of Poor Quality is Remembered Long after the Sweetness of Price is Forgotten! - Benjamin Franklin
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