Thursday, September 24, 2020
  Retrofit & New  
  Live Happily Ever After  

When a music aficionado moved into his new 2,500-square-foot home in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City, he wanted two things: crisp, clear audio and a way to easily control the listening experience and lighting ambiance throughout his home.

“Our client is a big music fan, and he wanted his new home to be centered around his love of listening,” said Joe Mattera, principal of the integration firm Mattera Design in Manhattan. “He wasn’t tech-savvy, but he was very specific about what he wanted — a simple, straightforward control experience that wouldn’t detract from enjoying his music. That’s why we presented him with RTI. RTI solutions take all the complexity out of home automation and make it about what the client wants in their environment. Even the most complex systems can be a simple, yet gratifying, experience for end-users, which is one of RTI’s greatest advantages over other systems.”

Using RTI’s automation and control systems, the Mattera Design team delivered an experience that matched the client’s exact vision and the modern aesthetics of the space.

For the SoHo space, Mattera integrated an audio system that includes seven zones: the media/living room, hallway, foyer, kitchen, master bedroom, master bathroom, and master closet.

Sonance in-wall and in-ceiling speakers were installed throughout the house with a KEF home entertainment system comprised of R900 floor-standing speakers, Ci3160RL-THX in-wall speakers to deliver surround sound, a Ci200QSb-THX in-wall subwoofer, and a KASA500 amplifier installed into the living room. A McIntosh MX122 AV processor and MC8207 7-channel amp round out the system’s home theater setup.

An RTI AD-8x audio distribution system provides complete control over each of the seven audio zones. It combines a 16-channel audio amplifier with a matrix-switching preamplifier and provides input for up to eight audio sources in any zone.

Here, the audio sources include a Sonos media player and an audio feed from the cable box, which allow the client, a soccer fan, to listen to games throughout the house. And with the AD-8x’s integrated Cool Power amplifier delivering 25 watts per channel of sound, the system met the client’s high audio standards.

This was a very detail-oriented client, and with the efficiency and flexibility of the RTI system, we were able to deliver exactly the experience he was after and then surpass even his own expectations. In addition, while he wanted almost everything hidden to keep with the clean lines of the space, what you can see of the system fit in perfectly with the modern aesthetics. Now he can sit in the living room with a glass of wine, stream his music, and hear incredible audio. The technology is there, but it’s all focused on enabling that pure listening enjoyment with effortless control.

—Joe Mattera, Mattera Design principal

To provide the ambiance control to complement the listening experience, Mattera installed 10 Lutron Radio RA 2 dimmers, Somfy motorized shades, and a Lutron Radio RA2 main repeater to extend the system’s RF signals throughout the house. Five Lutron RadioRA 2 keypads give the client quick, simple control of the lights and shades.

To drive the control and automation, Mattera opted for RTI’s XP-8s control processor, which is specifically designed to deliver ample processing power and meet the needs of projects requiring advanced control capabilities. The XP-8s processor enables all connected electronic systems to be dynamically controlled via two-way RS-232, routable IR, Ethernet, or relay control.
Using RTI’s Integration Designer software, Mattera custom designed two iPads running the RTIPanel app as the user interfaces.

RTI’s library of two-way drivers allowed Mattera and his team to integrate any system component, and then customize the interface exactly to the user’s preference to drive whole-home automation and control. In this case, one iPad is available for whole house control of the audio and the other is dedicated to the living room media system.

Only the keypads control the shading and lights – a decision that was made to keep the iPads intuitively usable and keep the focus on the audio experience. Otherwise, the client is able to grab an iPad, select the source, and hear exactly what he’s in the mood for with a simple touch of the screen.

  • Equipment List
  • Ci200QSb-THX In-Wall Subwoofer;
  • KASA500 Amplifier
  • Ci3160RL-THX In-Wall Speakers
  • KEF Home Entertainment System: R900 Floorstanding Speakers
  • Lutron Radio RA 2 Dimmers
  • Lutron Radio RA2 Main Repeater
  • McIntosh MX122 AV Processor and MC8207 7-Channel Amp
  • RTI AD-8x Audio Distribution Processor
  • RTI Panel Licenses for iPads
  • RTI XP-8s Control Processor
  • Somfy Motorized Shades