Void Acoustics is not an audio brand which is immediately associated with high-end yacht installations. But Void and its expert distributors around the globe are never ones to shy away from a challenge be it on terra firma or on the high seas, and as US Director of Operations Rob Hofkamp comments, “it is always so rewarding to experience the unique opportunities some of these projects offer us in demanding environmental locations!”
One such example is a recent installation undertaken by Pineapple Audio (formally AIS Audio Integration Services) based in Chicago, Illinois when a private individual approached the company to provide a tailored audio solution for his new boat, moored in the city’s harbour.
“It was just one of those random meetings” explains the yacht owner, reminiscing about how he met Matt Edgar, CEO and President of newly re-branded Pineapple Audio. “I had another, smaller boat, but I was investing in a new yacht, and a main driver behind this was wanting a larger sound system. I wanted people to hear us coming!” he smiles. “I met Matt at another boating event where there was a Void system being used, we hit it off straight away, and as we got chatting, I knew I wanted him and his team to work on the project with me.”
Known to Rob Hofkamp of Void Acoustics for over twelve years, Matt Edgar of Pineapple Audio was the first dealer and distributor of Void Acoustics products in the United States and in Rob’s opinion “their modus operandi matches perfectly with Void’s mission to create a better world through perfectly defined audio. As they are also an audio integration and consulting company and so they were the obvious turn key solution partner for this unique installation on the 56-foot luxury yacht.”
Matt takes up the story. “We pride our business on our installations not only improving a space, but also helping to define it, and this was pretty much what our client was looking for. He told us he wanted a club sound system, one that would be the best audio system in Chicago Harbour. Void is synonymous with club sound systems ‘par excellence’. So, installing a Void Acoustics system onto a 20-person yacht was without doubt the perfect solution for this exciting, and somewhat off-the-wall project for us!”
The event where Matt first met his client boasted an impressive sound system featuring Void Air Motions. With their signature look, and the impressive quality of the audio output, the client knew instantly that a Void system was what he was looking for.
Pineapple Audio had never taken on the role of audio consultant and integrator on a yacht before, but, having a private client division to their business, they are very comfortable working with high-net-worth individuals to meet their unique specifications with bespoke installations to perfectly match, and reflect their lifestyle and enhance their leisure time.
Matt and colleague Javier Briseno collectively took on the role of consultant, specifier and installer. “It was important that our client trusted us and that we developed a relationship where we were able to fully understand his goals. We approached this as a residential installation. In many ways it was – as it was for a private client, for his privately owned property – which simply happens to be a floating gin palace for him to party on with his friends and family!”
Once the initial brief was provided, the products were carefully specified and Matt and Javier temporarily set up the proposed system in their offices for the client to experience first-hand, and then approve.
The team opted for a combination of Air Vantage loudspeakers combined with the Cyclone Bass low frequency enclosure for the front deck of the boat, augmented with the IP55 rated Cyclone 10 loudspeakers at rear. The main deck then utilised the strikingly triangular three-way Tri Motions with a dual 18” Stasys 218 subwoofer, to give the ultimate club sound performance.
For Matt and Javier, the most challenging part of the project was quite unique. “We had to work out how to mount the speakers with custom hardware, all of which are on the outside deck of the boat and therefore exposed to the elements. Each speaker needed to have custom mounts built for them due to the unique mounting locations on the boat’s surface. The client had a professional welding team that met with us to design a 5:1 weight ratio mounting solution for each speaker to withstand the force of the waves and the ocean currents. So, whilst creating a visually and audibly interesting installation, we also had to create customised solutions for the speakers to ensure their longevity over time in a sea worthy environment.” He explains that “luckily for us, all Void fixtures are IP55 rated, because the fibreglass composite enclosure allows for many years of usage with a simple wash of the enclosure.” In conclusion he says that “we fully expect the system to withstand the outdoor ocean elements across time.”
And the outcome? It couldn’t have gone more smoothly, and the client, his friends and his family have been blown away by the quality and sound produced by the Void Acoustics system. In fact, the client’s personal expectations were exceeded as he grins, saying “there is no doubt that we have a fully-fledged club sound system on the boat. People can most certainly hear us coming!”
In conclusion Matt is thrilled with the success of the project. “We appreciated from the very beginning of our discussions that it was a hugely personal project for our client. His yacht is a place where he spends an enormous amount of time entertaining friends and family and we needed to bring his vision to life and provide the fully immersive sonic experience he was seeking. We consulted with him every step of the way to ensure he was integral to the decision-making process, ensuring he understood why we had specified the products we did. It has ended up being a completely feel-good installation and a challenge which we have thoroughly enjoyed working on. We can’t wait to get our boat shoes back on again for another similar installation!”