Aug 10, 2018

8 Wack Wack Condominium

My client called me and happily shared with me that he's got a brand new turntable as a birthday gift from his then 19-year old model girlfriend.  He wanted me to help build his analog Hi-Fi system.  I must confess, at first, I thought he got a beginners turntable, something flimsy, with no easily available parts.  A brand that's targeted for the very young generation (mostly pre-teens to early teens) to help them get started into spinning records.  

But when I asked the model of his new turntable, I was astonished - it was an ONKYO CP-1050 Direct Drive Turntable.  An audiophile quality turntable from ONKYO.  How can a millennial from the digital age be spot-on when choosing an analog turntable as a gift?  Maybe, I was too quick to judge, and I learned my lesson well.

ONKYO CP-1050 Direct Drive Turntable

High quality S-shaped Tonearm with cartridge included.  Detachable headshell compatible with aftermarket cartridges.

Good looks, Great build!

So I quickly designed a system revolving around the new turntable without breaking the bank.  What better way than to partner it with an integrated amplifier with the same brand from ONKYO.  

ONKYO A-9030 Integrated Amplifier with built-in moving magnet Phono stage, just plug and play.

We didn't scrimp on great sounding bookshelf speakers.  The obvious choice is the award-winning Bowers & Wilkins 685 S2 speakers.

B&W 685 S2
Double dome aluminium tweeter for natural spacious treble.
Kevlar fiber cone midbass driver.

After setting-up and some fine tuning.  I placed David Benoit's, Every Step of The Way album, and played "The Key To You".  My client's mother sang to the tune with glee.  "I'm used to the true authentic sound of vinyl records which I grew up listening to", she said.

With the revival of vinyl records nowadays, her family can now recollect their lost favorite albums in vinyl format.  And the last time I heard from my client, he now has a vinyl album of Bruno Mars and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), which he enjoys listening with his model girlfriend.

Thank you for trusting Audio Artist Manila!

Aug 7, 2018

Don Jose Heights Clubhouse

Originally built in 1983, the Don Jose Heights clubhouse in Quezon City was renovated in 2012 (after 29 years) to accommodate the lifestyle of its growing community.  By the time you read this, the booking list for special events such as weddings, birthdays, and reunions are already laid on their calendar as far as 2 years in advance.

Event organizers see it is a nice blank canvass, where they can easily decorate to their design motif.  Ample parking space, seals the deal for many people who want to use the clubhouse for special occasions.

Don Jose Clubhouse

However, after being renovated back in 2012, there was still a missing piece to accommodate the basic needs of homeowners during association meetings, elections, and yearly Christmas parties.  A proper sound system.

According to Don Jose Subdivision President Dr. Rene Ramas, when the Board of Directors have meetings on weekends, they could hardly understand each other due to the bad acoustics of the new clubhouse.  This is the result of a lot of reflective surfaces (glass walls and tile floors) which bounces the sound around the place creating unwanted echoes which interfere with sound intelligibility.

I was witness to the bad acoustics of the clubhouse, when we were doing a survey, I could hardly understand a word my sound technician was saying, who was just standing on a 10-foot ladder over my head.

When Dr. Rene Ramas invited Audio Artist Manila, he wanted to make sure that the installation of a new sound system will meet the following criteria: 
  • A sound system for speech with good sound intelligibility
  • A sound system that can provide an even sound no matter where you are seated
  • A sound system that is sweet sounding for background music during parties
  • A sound system with both wireless and wired microphones
Audio Artist Manila listens and values the needs of its clients.  Let me take you on a visual tour:

The Bose FreeSpace DS100SE arrived on the set.  While competitors scrimp on a number of speakers just to win bids at a low price, we at Audio Artist Manila believe in satisfying our customers
by providing an even sound no matter where you are seated.

We use Panasonic EMT pipes to hide our wires.  UL certification makes it an industry building standard for safety.  Quality installation requires quality materials.

White colored Bose DS100SE speakers were chosen for a seamless blend in aesthetics.  

With proper placement and angle of the speakers.  We were able to achieve high sound intelligibility throughout the whole space.

Custom built patch panel for wired microphones using genuine Neutrik XLR chassis connector.

Genuine Neutrik XLR cable connectors were used for top notch quality.  Made in Liechtenstein.

At the heart of the audio system is a Bose FreeSpace DXA2120 Digital Mixer/Amplifier and a TOA multi-media player. 

Sound system settings can be locked so no changes are accidentally made once the system has been configured.

Sound Test using a USB flash drive loaded with high resolution MP3 audio files (320kbps).  Enjoying Boz Scaggs "Heart of mine" with my favorite drummer John "JR" Robinson on drums.  The sound is great that I usually find myself air-drumming to the beat.

You can choose whatever music source you like:  USB flash drive, CD, SD MMC card or FM radio.

Four (4) balanced inputs are enough to accommodate a few microphones, and a multi-media player.

Genuine Shure SVX/PG58 wireless microphone.  According to Dr. Ramas, "effortless, long range, natural voice".

Shure SM58 wired microphone is the industry standard among musicians.  A favorite among music artists such as Sheryl Crow and Iggy Pop.

Shure products have the hologram feature that indicates 100% authenticity.  Audio Artist Manila supplies only genuine audio products, beware of counterfeit products that will degrade sound quality.

The drapes were added by Interior Designer Anne Policarpio-Laqui, that doubles as acoustic panels.

The newly installed sound system blended well with the interiors that you hardly notice the speakers on the wall due to its white color.

The audio system design checked all of Dr. Rene Ramas' criteria, and we didn't forget to make sure that it was easy to use, reliable, with a robust installation method that will last and be witness to many joyous occasions at Don Jose Heights Clubhouse.

Thank you for trusting Audio Artist Manila!

Apr 22, 2016

Unit 27 Apartment Bar & Cafe: Good Food + Good Music

I have witnessed the progress of Bonifacio Global City and its food scene from 1998 to what it is today.  It has now become the perfect place for restaurants, new malls, retail stores, hotels, and company offices.  One very special restaurant that opened in 2015 is Unit 27 Apartment Bar & Café.  It is special to me not only because of its good food, but because I designed and installed the sound system to complete the homey ambiance through good music to its customers.

"Welcome to your second home" is the vibe that greets you when you step inside this Instagram worthy place according to millennials.  The first floor serves as their all day brunch café that will really satisfy your cravings.  The second floor houses a vinyl listening station along with a bar type table with bar stools where you can also casually dine or have fun listening to good music with friends or just browse through your laptops while eating.

For those who want to party, head on to the third floor.  Upon reaching the top stair case, you will be greeted by the specially curated electronic dance music.  A VIP room is also available for exclusive events or parties.

My wife Tina is very much at home on the red bench

I can still remember back in early 2014, when I was crossing the street in Eastwood City, I heard someone call my name.  When I looked back, it was my good friend Francis Flores.  He was excited enough to show me in his iPad a rendered design of a bar that very much resembles his mid-modern century bachelor pad whose sound system I also designed and installed.

He told me that his bachelor pad is the prototype for the real bar that will be built in Bonifacio Global City.  He wants me to head the design and installation of the audio system for Unit 27 Apartment Bar & Café.

Francis knows what he wants, so he specifically told me that he wanted the following:

1.  A sound system that is warm sounding for the brunch café.
2.  A sound system that is heard on most zones and subspaces.
3.  A compact sound system that will blend with the interior's aesthetics.
4.  A sound system tuning that will not interfere with the customers conversations.
5.  A sound system that has minimal ear fatigue.
6.  A bar and VIP room sound system that can handle high SPL (sound pressure level) for electronic dance music as background music.
7.  A sound system that can integrate music from the bar (third floor) to the café (first floor) during all night house parties.
8.  A sound system that is compatible to an Apple iPad/iPhone or any multi-media player as music source.

My first site inspection with the Game Changers Inc.  On photo above (from left to right):  Michelle Punongbayan, Mickey Villa (Audio Artist Manila), Atty. Ping de Jesus, Ryan Flores, Michael Carandang, Thor Balanon (Space Encounters), Wilmer Lopez (Space Encounters) and Francis Flores.

Feel at home!
  Ten compact speakers and an active subwoofer were installed at the brunch café area.  No matter where you sit, good music will get you covered.

Hanging out with Tina and my In-laws for a scrumptious brunch.

Good food goes along with good music.

The poster couldn't have said it better

Vinyl listening station on the second level.  You can also order food and drinks from here. 
Internet connectivity? No problem.

Wharfedale Denton's 80th anniversary edition speakers (UK brand).  This limited edition model matches the mid-century modern design of Unit 27.  The original Denton model hit the market in the 1960's and became one of their best selling model.  The retro looking speakers now come with the latest technology that gave it excellent reviews.

Rega RP1 turntable with upgraded Rega Carbon stylus. Made in UK.


Speaker grills attached to prevent poking fingers from damaging the speaker drivers.

NAD 316BEE stereo integrated amplifier with Rega Fono Mini phono stage.

Party the night away at the third floor.  Tina chillin' on a Papa bear chair.

Twelve compact high SPL speakers were chosen to blend with the bar.  It was strategically mounted so that resident party goers can still have a good conversation.  There is nothing more annoying than having to shout each time you speak just to be heard.

A speaker mounted beside the bar's multi-faceted art installation by artist, Leeroy New. 

EMT conduit pipes were used to lay-out and conceal all the oxygen-free copper speaker wires.  An industrial look that's safe and clutter free wiring all the way.  Another speaker mounted beside the Converse art installation also by Leeroy New.

Two 15-inch active subwoofers handles the low bass at the bar and VIP area. 
"Start twerkin' like Miley".

Fabricated speaker brackets at the VIP room to make way for the ducting at the ceiling.


A Bose outdoor speaker were mounted just outside the entrance.  It mirrors the same music playing inside Unit 27.

Together with Francis Flores during our listening test.  I used a laptop with Apple lossless files (ALAC) to test the dynamic range of the system at Unit 27.  He says, he likes the way it was put together, and most of all, he likes the sound.  Francis is also an avid listener of good music.  It shows from his vinyl collection to his digital tunes on his iPhone.

If you need help in creating the proper sound ambiance on the following:
  • Retail stores
  • Malls
  • Cafés
  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Hotels
  • Resorts
  • Spas
  • Salons
  • Home
Or any other business that requires a quality sound system installation,  just send me an email at: