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Over the years Len Wallis Audio has earned a reputation for installing some of the largest and most complex home automation systems in town.

What many people do not realise is that we also install the simplest of jobs – those jobs where you don’t want to see any more of the technology than necessary, which are intuitive to use, which provide both high quality sound and images at realistic prices and most importantly, which work! When most people think of the AudioVisual industry, they conjure up a vision of stacks of electronics, a rats-nest of unsightly wires and a technology which needs a masters degree in electronics to operate.

Assuming the system is designed and installed properly this is not the case. Current remote-control technologies allow equipment to be hidden away in cabinets, cables can be routed through walls and multi-room speakers work wirelessly. With on-line streaming services the number of necessary components has been reduced and the entire system can be operated from a smart device.

At the same time, we cannot stress enough the importance of involving a specialist when it comes to researching your system.

It is important that this ‘specialist’ has access to and an understanding of a wide range of products. There are manufacturing companies that specialise in niche areas of the market (think B&W and speakers or Musical Fidelity and amplifiers) but do not make other components. Other companies make a full range of components but are renowned for one technology in particular (Yamaha and A/V receivers for instance). The finest systems are those that are assembled by using the best manufacturer for the individual components used. It is not expected that you know who those companies are, but it is essential that you are dealing with someone who does, and that you trust them (ideally, we hope that company is us).

We are in the fortunate position of dealing with dozens of companies.

This gives us access to the product that will suit your specific and unique requirements, rather than having to best fit your needs from a limited range that we have access to. Like most things in life there will still be some compromises to be made. For example in the image above the speakers are exposed. These days it is possible to build speakers into the walls, but this is one of the compromises. The obvious advantage of having the speakers built-in is visual – the downside is performance. If anyone ever tries to convince you that an in-wall speaker will give the same performance as an equivalent free-standing speaker walk away. There are some very good in-wall speakers, but a box speaker is always better. In this case your choice will be between aesthetics and performance. There are also other areas of compromise which will need to be made along the way.

At Len Wallis Audio our preference will always be performance, both for sound and/or vision. At the same time we are realists. Our role is to maximise performance while working with you, or your architects and designers, to ensure that the system also suits the environment, both physically and aesthetically, where it is installed. We have been designing and installing systems for forty years, we know how to get the best out of any system, but we are also aware that every client has their own priorities. It is up to us to balance these requirements, while explaining the positive and the negative impact of all choices made.

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