Installing custom audio and AV systems on superyachts
by Tom Isitt
Anyone who has ever dipped a toe into the AV market will know that there is a bewildering range of kit available, from the inexpensive off-the-shelf stuff to multi-million pound bespoke systems. While some production builders are content to fit marinised automotive systems to their boats, most superyacht owners will be looking for something a little more in keeping with their yacht.
Getting the right sound
Superyachts present a problem for the audio purist. Although most big yachts are well insulated from vibration and noise, the mix of interior finishes and furnishings means getting a crisp, clean sound is a challenge. The acoustic performance of soft furnishings is very different from the acoustic performance of glass, high-gloss veneers and wooden floors.
The obsessives might create a bespoke ‘listening room’ where furnishings and finishes are specified for their acoustic performance, and the perfect audio environment is created. But most people don’t go that far. It is, however, possible to create a truly memorable listening experience in the saloon or master suite, and many top-end suppliers have systems that compensate for the different materials in the room to produce a rich, balanced sound.
Custom manufacturing of high-end sound components can overcome problems with contrasting room finishes, and the application of custom sound can range in price from tens of thousands of pounds up to more than £1 million for serious audio aficionados.
The best of the best
According to Peter Bouman at Lantic Systems, supplier of top-end audio equipment to the superyacht market: ‘There will always be owners who want to keep their turntables and £100,000 speakers. Lantic Systems are able to accommodate such enthusiasts by allowing their specialist equipment to be integrated into the network via a high-quality sound board.’
In terms of top-end audio, there are a number of companies that you might consider. Living Voice has built an enviable reputation in the high-end audio world, and is bringing that to the superyacht market with some stunning products.
‘There is something splendid about a dedicated two-channel high-performance music system,’ explains Kevin Scott, founder of Living Voice. ‘We try to create a transcendent musical experience and will do whatever it takes to achieve that.
‘We consider audio and AV to be two distinct disciplines. It is our ambition to get people to realise there is a world out there more profound than the rather visceral experience you get from a 7.1 AV surround sound system.’