Expo September

posted on Tuesday, 4th October 2011 by David Slater

home cinema  Design  CI TV  Lighting 

Show September

Custom Install (or CI to us) is a funny old business. My clients don't understand it, my bank manager and accountant don't understand it, and to be brutally honest I sometimes don't understand it! But I love the diversity that it brings in business opportunities.
One thing I have always done in business is to take chances, think of something and go for it, so one big factor is travelling to shows, networking and looking for ideas to bring to the table - CI doesn't have to be confined to just selling items with plugs on.
If you are struggling to make margins on equipment, look at getting involved with furniture, lighting, wall coverings and room construction. Now not all companies are geared up for this so partnering with companies who are, is the way forward.
I love working the floors of the many and varied shows. This month saw me at Tent London, 100% design, Italian Design week, Decorex and Essential Live. DSE, my main company, still gets involved in room design and fit out, so I was on the prowl for some new furniture ideas and a stand at 100% Design caught my eye; it was a display of cutting edge furniture from a company called Decipher, run by a guy called Michael Thomas.

He has a coffee table called Elter which is constructed out of Corian (a material invented by DuPont) and is just utterly breath-taking. Now, these pieces are not cheap, but they ooze quality and design, and more importantly they're unique.  Michael comments "Seamless and shape-shifting, the Elter range of tables re-invent themselves from every angle. Inspired by discarded stone in a Lakeland quarry and crafted in Corian, their timeless, ethereal quality, makes them statement pieces. The play of light on their interlocking planes gives them a sculptural quality. From every angle the perspective changes: moving forward into space or suddenly shrinking back, an effect created by the luminosity of the mineral and polymer resin used in their construction. The void in the centre of each table focuses and disperses light, giving them an air of intimacy and secrecy and inviting the eye to explore. While the apparent simplicity of their construction gives them an evolved look that reflects the tranquillity of nature".
What really impressed me about the short visit to Michael's stand was the inspiration he has, a business guy who has dedicated his time to make a difference, take an idea and create the end product. If you are looking for something to amaze your clients, it's worth a look at Decipher's line up of products.
So looking at the highlights of SHOW SEPTEMBER, Maison Objet, Paris was a great show for me. The design of furniture and magnitude of glorious lighting on display was overwhelming, and provided me with a brain full of ideas to bring to INSIDE CI to help the industry. A world apart, this show had a little of something for everyone. Sometimes you have to look hard for the best hidden gems but once you find them its well worth it. QIS design was one such gems; I love the piano standard light: run your finger up it and the lights would react by turning on or off, simple but very effective.   
Essential Install Live may have been held in the rather less glamorous location of Manchester, but was a very busy show with a massive amount of networking going on behind the scenes. The highlight of this show had to be the Gecko demonstration, of one of the best 7.1 systems I have heard in a none acoustically treated room; it was spine chillingly good. The clip I was shown was from the House of Flying Daggers, the delivery to every speaker was pin sharp with great clarity. Rob Sinden of Gecko, the distributor for Steinway Lyngdorf was on hand to give an overview of this truly landmark system.
"The Steinway Lyngdorf Model S surround system provides higher quality sound than any other surround system - regardless of price thanks to its unique design," he says. "It requires no acoustic room treatment for the best results and provides more consistent sound quality than any other surround system whilst using ultra compact on or in wall loudspeakers."

"Basically it's a complete rethink of how to produce sound accurately in a room. You'll hear more detail and dynamics from movie soundtracks on this system than a £1,000,000 mix of the best amps and speakers in the most highly treated room available. The system is truly that remarkable."

"We set the system up at four different venues in the last 10 days from a huge warehouse to a snug space at Leeds Castle. In each case the system had to be quickly set up before the demonstration and no acoustic treatment was used. The system performed flawlessly in each of these rooms with jazz and classical music being the content that listeners found most remarkable."

"I've installed and auditioned hundreds of home cinemas over the years and never heard one that could provide true high fidelity music reproduction. Being able to produce audiophile sound in stereo and surround sound is extremely unusual, however being able to do it consistently, in any room, with the briefest of set ups is simply unheard of."
"The fidelity and consistency of this so system is so remarkable that we are now changing our business model around it. We are now offering home trials to consumers through participating dealers so they can experience this performance in the comfort of their own home. Regardless of the value of the system they already own, we know that the Steinway systems will outperform any existing system or alternative that they may be considering."
The world's first fully digital home cinema systems are available from £40,000 from Steinway Lyngdorf.
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David Slater

David Slater started his writing career with SVI writing a popular column, he has also guested on publications like Home Cinema Choice and
Living North

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