The Steinway Lodge Entertainment Room

Our client and his wife recently completed a magnificent conversion of a 1930s power substation, having purchased the land and building from the power company. They created a beautiful Georgian entertainment lodge, the ground floor being a dedicated music and home cinema room and the upper floor to be a quiet retreat and homage to Jane Austen.

Watch The Steinway Lodge Installation (Part 1)

Being an avid Hi-Fi enthusiast for many years, our client had invested a lot of time and money into his hobby. He already owned a stunning Clearaudio Turntable and a pair of Bowers & Wilkins 802 speakers which he wanted to incorporate in a new surround sound system. He contacted us about supplying a Lyngdorf surround sound processor along with a combination of Miller & Kreisel speakers to be installed for his new music and movie room.

Following several exchanges of communication, a site visit was made and it became apparent that the couple had gone to extraordinary lengths to achieve the superb finish of this project – this included triple glazed sash windows, oak-engineered flooring in the main music room, period tiling in the entrance way and a beautiful wrought-iron spiral staircase to the first floor. The music room walls and ceiling were lined with textured wallpaper.

My immediate statement was “this room is deserving of an extraordinary audio system which sounds and looks beautiful” – following our visit, we arranged for the couple and their delightful dog, to enjoy a VIP demo afternoon in Headley, home to our exclusive Steinway Lyngdorf showroom and demo facility. Following an extensive 7 hours of musical and movie demos, they were completely blown away by their experience and agreed that they wanted to invest in a Steinway system for their project. What impressed them the most was simply how powerful the system compared to anything they had heard before and in particular, the speakers were beautifully designed. Although it was the discrete Model S-15 speakers they enjoyed listening to, the client really wanted to enjoy seeing a pair of beautiful floor-standing speakers and so part of the remit was to include a pair of Model O speakers as part of the system. The client’s wife fell in love with the gold-plated Iconic Remote and this was also added to the list of requirements. Most importantly, our client wanted to integrate his glorious Clearudio turntable with the new music system and enjoy his treasured vinyl collection to his heart’s content.

The client already had a motorised 16:9 screen installed along with a top-of-the-range native 4K projector from JVC. Cabling had already been done to allow a 7.2.4 immersive audio speaker configuration. However, the screen needed to be replaced with an acoustically transparent screen in order to allow the centre speaker to function correctly. We fitted an acoustically transparent 2.35:1 screen for cinematic immersion.

Following installation, the system was calibrated using the proprietary RoomPerfect digital room correction software in the P300 processor. Since then, the room continues to delight and entertain, performing above and beyond all expectations.

Kit List

  • JVC D-ILA N9 native 4K projector
  • Screen Research 128-inch perforated 2.35:1 motorised in-ceiling screen
  • Steinway & Sons P300 Processor
  • 4x Steinway & Sons A2 True Digital power amps
  • 5x Steinway & Sons Model S-15 on-wall speakers (centre and 2 pairs of surrounds)
  • 2x Steinway & Sons Model O floor-standing speakers
  • 4x Steinway & Sons IC-16 in-ceiling speakers
  • 4x Steinway & Sons LS R-212 boundary woofers
  • Steinway & Sons Iconic Remote

Cost

AV System: £145,500
Installation: £2,000

In Depth Q&A with our clients:

Please tell us about your personal journey as an audiophile.

In my mid-teens, I bought my first album “A Trick of the Tail” by Genesis and used to listen to it on my Dad’s old record player. I remember using my pocket money and cycling 12 miles to a record shop in Cambridge to procure further vinyl – it became more than a hobby, it became a passion.  Later, as an undergraduate student in London in the early 80’s, I used to blow all my grant funding on HiFi equipment and records, with several trips to Tottenham Court Road simply to “ogle” at the HiFi equipment I could never afford to buy at that time. I lived on baked beans on toast in order to finance my passion and wherever I went, be it Halls of Residence or a bedsit, my HiFi and vinyl came with me! In my early working life, I constantly upgraded my HiFi equipment, in an effort to achieve the best audio and I also built up my vinyl and CD collections. I further upgraded my HiFi equipment in 2009/10 and had built up quite an extensive CD / DVD / Blu-ray collection.

You’ve acquired some superb pieces of audio equipment over the years – can you list the Hi-Fi & AV kit  in your previous set up and what influenced those choices?

Esoteric P-05 CD/SACD Transport: I used to own a TEAC Transport and this was a natural upgrade

Esoteric D-07X DAC

Chord SPM1400E Monoblocs x 2: Personally, I love clarity in audio which the Chords give in spades!

Chord CPA5000 Preamplifier

Clearaudio Master Innovation Turntable + Universal Tonearm fitted with Da Vinci Cartridge + TT2 Tangential Tonearm fitted with Titanium Cartridge, Quadro + Innovation clamps + Clearaudio Outer Limit/locator (stabiliser):  I used to own a Roksan and before that a Garrard, but we saw the Clearaudio on a demo in Bath in 2013 and were blown away by the sound reproduction through a pair of Sonus Faber floorstanding speakers.

Clearaudio Integrated Rack

Clearaudio 24V direct Smart Power Supply

Aesthetix Rhea Signature Valve Tube Phono Stage: I trialled a solid state and a tube phono stage and found the sound reproduction via the valve phono to be more engaging for my personal taste.

Olive 06HD Music Server: Simply purchased to load a lot of old CD’s.

Denon DVD – A1UD Universal Player: This seemed to be the best HD Universal player on the market at the time and has served us very well for 10 years.

Denon AVP-A1HD Processor: The natural choice to accompany the DVD-A1UD Player.

Arcam FMJ P777 Multi Surround Amp: Off the shelf purchase.

B & W 802D Diamond Speakers x 2: Beautifully designed speakers giving great sound across the frequency spectrum.

B & W HTM1 D2 Centre Speaker

B & W DB1 Subwoofer

Monitor Audio Surround Speakers x 4: Solid satellite speakers at mid-range power ratings

Isotek EV03 Titan Power Conditioner x 3: Best Power Conditioners IMHO!

Isotek EV03 Sigma Power Conditioner

PS Audio P10 Power Regenerator

Sony Projector VPL-VW80: Superb HD projector at the time, but not 4K capable of course

Atlas Cables Mavros XLR / RCA Interconnects + speaker cables: Jury is out on benefits of quality cable systems. I truly believe they make a difference and Atlas I found to be of exceptional quality, but at a “sensible” price.

What were you looking for specifically for your new music room and what further enhancements were you hoping to achieve?

Although I was happy with the 2 – channel audio equipment I had invested in over the years, it was important going forward to take the opportunity to upgrade the current cinema kit from HD to 4K by replacing the Sony Projector and the AV equipment. With regards to the audio, my initial thoughts were to integrate my current kit with a high – end AV Processor, suitable amplification and surround speaker set-up. As so much planning, time and money had been spent on the decor of the new room, the impact of any new equipment on the aesthetic was also an important consideration.

What did you find particularly interesting about Lyngdorf Audio electronics compared to other companies such as Trinnov and Datasat? (Did you experience any demos to compare?)

I was seriously considering the Trinnov Altitude 16 Processor as it had some excellent reviews and I knew I wanted to go “high end”! I contacted the distributors, but received no reply and hence no demos? Zebra Home Cinema were very quick to respond with the introduction of the Lyngdorf systems. In all my years of listening to music and watching films (and reading all the associated magazines), I was not at all familiar with the “enigmatic” Lyngdorf systems. However, Atif at Zebra was very enthusiastic and supportive at all times in my decision process. The subsequent demo at Thatcham sealed my decision making.

Please describe your experience during the Steinway Lyngdorf demo. How did this compare to other demo experiences and how did this influence your decision to invest in this system for your requirements?

Firstly, we were made to feel exceptionally welcome and we were exceptionally impressed by the bespoke listening/viewing rooms at Thatcham. To experience the capabilities of the Steinway Lyngdorf systems was a game changer. From a personal viewpoint, the total lack of harmonic distortion at any volume level was the first thing I noticed and was truly something to behold, with every nuance being highly detailed. Clearly, the addition of RoomPerfect made for a solid listening experience with precise and positive placement of sound and bass management, resulting in a truly fully immersive audio experience. Add to that the aesthetics of the S-15 speaker system and both my wife and I left the demo as true converts to the Steinway Lyngdorf philosophy on audio reproduction!

How important were the aesthetics in choosing your system for The Lodge?

Having spent so much time and money on designing and building the interior/exterior Georgian – style lodge, we needed a speaker system that would deliver in a fabulous way, but also without being too dominant in size and industrial design. The Model O’s and the S-15 satellite speakers fit that remit beautifully, whilst maintaining a “wow” factor within the room.

Following the installation and RoomPerfect calibration, would you be able to describe how this has enhanced your listening experience for music as well as movies? 

Bass management was improved substantially, as well as soundstage extension and separation. Music was more focussed and movies sounded grander and highly immersive.

One of your passions is playing vinyl records on your glorious Clearaudio turntable – does the Steinway System enhance this experience in any way?

It is true that apart from my digital collection, I do like to play and listen to my vinyl collection. I have invested in a good playback system with the Clearaudio equipment and so Vinyl remains an important physical media for me personally. Without getting into the Vinyl vs Digital debate, I enjoy the advantages that both formats yield. I believe a lot of modern vinyl and “remastered” vinyl is either digitally copied from original analogue master tapes or mastered simply in the digital domain. These vinyl recordings sound wonderful through the Steinway Lyngdorf set up, complete with the odd crackle and pop which goes with vinyl – the system picks up everything. My older Vinyl (dating back to the 70’s and 80’s) sounds more detailed and richer than I had previously experienced. In many cases through the Steinway Lyngdorf system, it is like listening to my vinyl for the first time again.

And finally… would you share some of your favourite music tracks/albums and movie titles.

MUSIC

Cloudburst Flight – Tangerine Dream

White Rock (album) – Rick Wakeman

Dummy (album) – Portishead

Songs from the Wood (album) – Jethro Tull

Tango in the Night (album) – Fleetwood Mac

Hemispheres (album) – Rush

Script for a Jesters Tear (album) – Marillion

Vienna (album) – Ultravox

Tour De France (album) – Kraftwerk

Things to Come (album) – Seventh Wave

Selling England by the Pound (album) – Genesis

Hall of the Mountain Grille (album) – Hawkwind

I Robot (album) – Alan Parsons Project

Scheherazade – Rimsky Korsokov

Piano Concerto No.1 – Tchaikovsky

Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis – Ralph Vaughan Williams

FILM

Leon

American Werewolf in London

Alien

Crimson Tide

The Elephant Man

Bladerunner

Atomic Blonde

John Wick Trilogy

Air Force One

Scarface

Independence Day

Midnight Express

The Empire Strikes back

Schindlers List

And the list goes on…………!