“I was recently interviewed by Ruby Steel, I hope it sheds some light on the inner workings of dFAudio ~ Dave
1. Can you describe a typical client (size of house etc.)
We carry out Audio installations in 2 Bedroom Luxury apartments to 12 bedroom mansions and everything in between – a typical client would be a 3 Double Bedroom property with en-suite bathrooms & study
2. What is a typical job (what do people most commonly want installed?)
Most commonly requested system is a Home Theatre Surround Sound in the living room, Multiroom Audio to a Master bedroom, en-suite bathroom, and Kitchen and patio area
3. How often would you be installing something in a new build and how often are installing something in an existing house? Which is easier?
This is 50/50 to new build and existing, both have their own challenges and each job will be different subject to client requirements, budget etc. For a new build we prepare layout drawings and arrange the cables to be laid by the electricians at the same they lay the power and lighting cables, this way all the cables are plastered in and hidden
For an existing property we may run surface cables (behind beams etc.) into trunking or channel into walls and ceilings if there’s to be a plasterer/decorating team attending after our works
4. In the £1200 budget per room, how much is the equipment and how much is the labour/consultation cost?
Current Equipment cost for a single room £399 for an amplifier, £499 for a pair of Bose Flush mounted Ceiling speaker, £50 for 50m of 79 Strand Speaker Cable, £250 for interconnecting cables & fixings, installation and set-up
5. How do you research your preferred product choices? Do you have a particular supplier you like to use?
Attending trade shows, checking equipment reviews, meeting suppliers is a necessity, regular training on new product launches. dF Audio Ltd is a Bose Pro Partner and recommended Sonos Installer – hence they are the main products specified and trained on. However, I have over 25 years of experience within the industry, a HNC in Electronics and Electrical engineering and a large list of new product training over the years so I will specify what I believe from a Technical view point what will be the best solution for my clients
6. What are the biggest challenges in installing a home sound system/home automation system?
Meeting with client budgets to achieve a high quality solution, competing with part time Enthusiasts, product lines changing when carrying out a long term build and ensuring the systems used are as future proof as possible
7. Do people have a go at doing it themselves and then need you to fix it?!
Occasionally, some clients do try or enthusiasts have met their ability threshold, and we’ve attended calls where bits of systems have been fitted but have vital leads missing or an odd configuration has been devised , but we find that most people who spend a £1000 or more on an audio system prefer to have it professionally installed knowing they are getting the best from their system.
8. Do you ever fit speakers in bathrooms? What kind would you use and why?
Yes, we generally specify a Di-Polar Flush mounted ceiling speaker for bathrooms, this is a splash proof single speaker with a stereo output so it looks like a single ceiling speaker but has two speakers behind the grill as even in large bathrooms having two ceiling speakers is often unnecessary but the quality is reasonable for back ground music listening levels. The amplifier for the bathroom is positioned well away from the wet area maybe in a central hub location or bedroom cupboard.
9. How often do you get called back out if something goes wrong? What are the most common problems? How do you try and avoid them?
The use of Bose and Sonos equipment in a domestic environment requires very little maintenance and rarely goes wrong when professionally installed – for our commercial clients we encourage and strongly recommend a maintenance schedule as equipment may run 7 days a week 18 hours, used and abused by staff and will wear out quickly unless correctly maintained and cared for. For commercial customers we leave an operational check sheet for staff and contact details labelled on the equipment in case of difficulties
For private homes the majority of call backs are operational difficulties (user error) or an “expert” in the family has visited made some changes and nothing works as it did!
Ruby Steel BA Hons MA MSc