Classic Stereo System Fix: Upgrading Technology

CE Pro honor in home education Home Automation

We had a customer recently stop by our showroom who needed a video and stereo system fix. They have a system that Classic Stereo installed about 20 years ago. The home has changed owners twice since then. The last homeowner didn’t use the system, so the new homeowner needs help figuring out how to get it working again.

THE STEREO SYSTEM FIX

Classic Stereo System Fix

The home has wiring to speakers in every room. However, they were controlled by a keypad in the wall that could operate the tuner or the CD player, and control the volume up and down, even let you pick your zone.

Not many people use those anymore.

Electronics Professional John Higgs offered a solution that allowed them to run their stereo system through a tablet.

“The infrastructure was there, ” Higgs said. “We just needed to update the technology.”

The homeowner was thrilled with the solution.

“They didn’t even know what they had available to them,” Higgs said. “Now they are asking about what else is possible. Can we put speakers in the sun room? Can we put speakers out by the pool?”

The answer is, “Yes we can!”

Classic Stereo can easily upgrade the speakers too.

WHAT’S NOT WORKING IN YOUR SYSTEM?

It’s a common conversation in our showroom. If you have any electronics or systems that are not performing the way you want, give us a call or stop by our showroom.  We enjoy offering solutions.

We can also let you know what has improved since your last purchase. You may not even know what you’re missing.

Classic Stereo Showroom

KALEIDESCAPE: A TRUE 4K UHD EXPERIENCE

Award-Winning-Installation-Header - TRUE 4K

For those who spend the time and money to achieve the best picture in their home, you may miss a key ingredient. If you stream movies to your 4K Ultra High Definition Television or projector, then you likely watch a very compressed video. Kaleidescape offers the benefits of streaming, but it’s actually a server that produces a true 4K UHD picture on your screen. You can see it in action at our Classic Stereo showroom.

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WHAT IS KALEIDESCAPE?

The Kaleidescape Movie Store offers more than 11,000 movies and 2,000 TV shows ranging from DVD quality to true 4K UHD. Kaleidescape also offers the best quality sound for your movies and shows as well.

Download the movies to your Kaleidescape, and much like a DVD or Blu-Ray, you own it forever.

Many movies in the Kaleidescape Movie Store also come with UltraViolet rights. This feature gives you a digital copy to watch the movie on any internet-connected device. With digital copies, you can enjoy your movies wherever and whenever you like.

Already have some movies on DVD or Blu-Ray? Simply insert a disc into your Kaleidescape system to view digital offers onscreen. If an offer is not available, Kaleidescape will catalog the movie so it will be shown as part of your collection on the onscreen user interface.

Electronics 101 Projection Screen - TRUE 4K

TRUE 4K AND LOSSLESS AUDIO – SEE AND HEAR THE DIFFERENCE

We can talk about the picture and sound quality you can get with Kaleidescape. However, you cannot truly understand it until you experience it.

That’s why our Classic Stereo showroom exists.

Visit us to learn more!

Motorized shades protect beautiful Lake Michigan home

Motorized Shades in a West Michigan smart home. Installed by Bekins and Classic Stereo

Any home that looks out over the beautiful dunes along the Lake Michigan shoreline will obviously use large windows to maximize the view. However, large amounts of sun can fade your carpet and furniture inside the home. Our Electronics Integration team recently completed a project that shows many of the ways we can improve your home. It especially displays the importance of motorized shades to protect your carpet and furniture from the sun.

This home features Lutron shades that can also be controlled by Crestron automation. The homeowners control their shades through a dedicated panel on the wall or a tablet, like an iPad.

DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE SUN DAMAGE

Our Bekins project managers say they have seen homes really affected by the sun. One project manager described a home that had a bleach-white rug. He thought that was the color they chose, until someone moved a table to reveal its original color.

Luckily this smart home along the shores of West Michigan has not suffered any ill effects from sun’s UV rays. With no trees, or really anything to protect it from the sun, our team immediately noticed the importance of motorized shades.

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DIFFERENT ROOMS – DIFFERENT MOTORIZED SHADES

With dunes between the home and Lake Michigan, this West Michigan smart home built its first three floors to support the top floor. The fourth floor houses the most square footage because it hosts the best view, looking out over the dunes and the lake.

Other spots in the home had shades mounted either above or inside the window. However, mounting inside the window blocks a small portion of the view.

The shades on the fourth floor were incorporated into the crown molding, so you can’t see them until they drop down. This option does not take away a single inch of the beautiful view.

We offer blackout shades that completely block out the sun. However, the top floor features sheer shades. This option allows you to still see the shoreline a little, but it still protects the furniture and carpet.

We also offer an option to have both sheer and blackout shades on the same window.

Lakeview living room with motorized shades up.
Lakeview living room with motorized shades up.
Lakeview living room with motorized shades down.
Lakeview living room with motorized shades down.

TEST LUTRON SHADES IN OUR SHOOWROOM

Do you know a great way to see sheer and blackout shades work together? Visit The Den in our showroom. That is one of many motorized shades you can test. Talk to our experts about Lutron as well, they offer a variety of styles to fit almost every home and decor.

what can our internationally-acclaimed electronics team do for your home?

ELECTRONIC REPAIR: CLASSIC STEREO TO THE RESCUE

Electronic Integration - Bekins Home Theater Installation Electronic Repair

Need an electronic repair? If you have a system that is not working right…who do you call? If you are reading this blog, we hope you know to call Classic Stereo!  Nothing can be more disappointing then failing technology.

Here are just a few issues that we would love to hear about:

  • I have in-ceiling speakers that stopped working.
  • How can I listen to music from my phone in the garage?
  • We have an irreplaceable DVD that we want to watch again, but our system can’t do it.
  • I want to add a turntable to my system, how do I do it?
  • My electronic shades stopped working.
  • One of my security cameras stopped working.
  • My projector stopped coming out of the ceiling.
  • My motorized screen doesn’t go back up into the ceiling.
  • Anything that is not working properly…give us a call.

ELECTRONIC REPAIR EXPERTS

We have the largest and most experienced team of electronics experts. Not only can we perform electronic repair, but they can also teach you how to use your system to its fullest capabilities.

CE Pro honor in home education Home Automation
Classic Stereo System Fix
Electronic Instegration - Bekins installing a security camera

LIFE UPGRADED: ELECTRONICS AND APPLIANCES HELP THE CAC

Life Upgraded CAC Boardroom in use

At Classic Stereo, we use the internationally-acclaimed Bekins team to install our prodcuts in the home. The Bekins motto is “Life Upgraded.” We understand that you will only care about a product’s features when those features can improve your life.

Bekins volunteers recently installed appliances and electronics in an addition for the Children’s Advocacy Center of Ottawa County. Their Development Director, Rebekah Bakker, tells us how the appliances and electronics help the employees and children at the center.

LIFE UPGRADED: HOW ELECTRONICS AND APPLIANCES HELP THE OTTAWA COUNTY CAC

With the equipment that you have installed; we have been able to hold trainings. We have been able to hold conferences with all of the team members around the table and it has really enhanced our ability to collaborate. The quality of the picture on the screen has really made this a state-of-the-art facility for our team members.

– – Rebekah Bakker, Development Director

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Electronic Instegration - Bekins installing a security camera

high praise for our electronics installers

Best Customer Service Company - Classic Stereo by Bekins

MORE ABOUT OUR VOLUNTEER EFFORTS WITH THE CAC

FEEDING HUNGRY CHILDREN: 1,114 FOOD ITEMS FOR HAND2HAND

Feeding Hungry Children Hand2Hand Collection

Spring Break provides an exciting break from classes for many school children, and maybe even a fun trip away from home. However, many children miss their school-provided breakfast and lunch. These hungry children worry about where they will get their next meal.

Hand2Hand normally provides these children with meals for the weekend. Now, they need enough food to last an entire week away from school.

Classic Stereo and Bekins employees recently collected and donated 1,114 food items for these hungry children to eat during Spring Break.

Feed Hungry Children Grand Rapids
Classic Stereo and Bekins employees in Grand Rapids collected 600 items.
Feed hungry children Coopersville
Bekins employees in Coopersville collected 324 items.
Feed Hungry Children Grand Haven
Bekins employees in Grand Haven collected 190 items.

WHAT IS HAND2HAND?

Hand2Hand is a ministry that works primarily in West Michigan to provide food to school children. Every Friday, a volunteer discreetly places a backpack in a child’s locker full of food for the weekend. The backpacks go to children who are at risk of not getting enough food at home while they are away from school.

This year the working with:

  • 4897 children who need backpacks filled with food
  • 150 schools who place the backpacks in the lockers
  • 90 churches that supply the volunteers and pack the backpacks
  • 3,400 volunteers

A PARENT TOLD HAND2HAND:

“LIVING PAYCHECK TO PAYCHECK IS DIFFICULT FOR EVERYONE BUT WHEN YOU HAVE CHILDREN AND YOU ARE NOT ABLE TO GIVE THEM SOMETHING AS SIMPLE AS A SNACK IT IS DIFFICULT. HAND2HAND HELPS ME TO GIVE MY CHILDREN WELL ROUNDED MEALS.”

MORE WAYS TO HELP HUNGRY CHILDREN

Packing for Hand2Hand
Hand2Hand Logo

AUDIO EXPERTS: LESSON AT DISCOVERY ELEMENTARY

Audio Experts - Teaching loudspeakers

A handwritten letter can still be a powerful tool. Our audio experts at Classic Stereo recently received a handwritten note from a fifth grade student at Discovery Elementary School in Kentwood.

The students each pick a topic that interests them, then they find an expert in the field to answer questions and be their mentor in the subject.

We were flattered when one of the students asked us to be a mentor.

We sent our newest Electronics Professional, Craig Rybarczyk, to give a presentation to Mrs. Tidd’s entire class.

LETTER FOR THE AUDIO EXPERTS

Craig was impressed with the letter we received.

“I thought that it was absolutely awesome that a Fifth Grade student was so inquisitive as to how speakers work, and that she would seek out the professionals at Classic Stereo to see where loudspeaker technology currently is, and where its heading,” Craig said.

Here are just a few excerpts from the note we received:

Handwritten letter for the audio experts

“As experts in the fields of loudspeakers I am confident that the people of Classic Stereo will be able to assist me in my research and product development. I am responsible for knowing what innovations have had the greatest impacts on loud speakers and what current innovations are currently impacting the topic.”

Handwritten letter for the audio experts

“I am particularly interested in loudspeaker sound, something I’ve read a lot about in my research. I would like to understand the advancements in this area better and highlight them in my work.”

Handwritten letter for the audio experts

“I am very excited to become more of an expert on loudspeakers. I have been reading about the utility daily…”

MEET OUR NEWEST AUDIO EXPERT CRAIG RYBARCZYK

Craig recently met with the student one-on-one during the school day to answer specific questions. Then Craig met with Mrs. Tidd’s entire class to talk more about the science of loudspeakers.

“The class had wonderful questions, and they even knew many of the technical terms I used,” Craig said. “It is exciting to see such young kids be so interested in the technology around speaker design, and the bright future of this industry.”

Audio Experts - Teaching loudspeakers
Audio Experts - Teaching loudspeakers

VISIT ANY OF OUR AUDIO EXPERTS

You don’t need to write a letter to ask our Audio Experts any questions. Visit our showroom or give us a call.

Classic Stereo Showroom

High Praise For Our Electronics Installers

At Classic Stereo, we pride ourselves on being the best customer service company. We strive to give our customers such great service that they say “WOW!” and want to tell others about it. Volunteers from our parent company, Bekins, recently installed appliances and electronics in an addition for the Children’s Advocacy Center of Ottawa County. Their Development Director, Rebekah Bakker, talks about her experience with our Bekins installers in the video below.

MORE ABOUT OUR VOLUNTEER EFFORTS WITH THE CAC

Best Customer Service Company - Classic Stereo by Bekins

WHAT OTHER CUSTOMERS SAY ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCE WITH BEKINS AND CLASSIC STEREO

stereo repair - Classic Stereo system fix

Best Subwoofer: Listen for these five features

Gary Yacoubian - SVS - Best Subwoofer

Anybody looking for the best subwoofer would be wise to read our special guest post. It contains advice from Gary Yacoubian, the CEO of SVS. Their subwoofers are a recent addition to the Classic Stereo showroom.

Gary has served on the Executive Board of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the organization that holds International CES is Las Vegas. He is a commentator on local Washington, DC television news programs, and has been frequently quoted in The Washington Post and Washingtonian magazine on consumer electronics topics, as well as in numerous industry trade magazines. He also has a regular column in Dealerscope Magazine.

FIVE THINGS TO LISTEN FOR WHEN CHOOSING the best SUBWOOFER for you

Adding a subwoofer is one of the most noticeable upgrades you can make to the performance of an audio system or home theater. The best subwoofers add massive impact in terms of low frequency extension and output, without negatively affecting the overall accuracy and believability of the system’s sound.

A great subwoofer is also brand agnostic. If doing its job correctly, you can blend a subwoofer with any brand of speakers and it will faithfully fill in the low end without calling undue attention to itself or taking over the soundstage. When it comes to subwoofers, there’s a line of thinking that says louder and lower is always better. The reality is, there are five things you should listen for when choosing the best subwoofer for your audio system.

1. Deep low frequency extension – This seems obvious, but many subwoofers don’t have the ability to reproduce the deepest bass, and they attempt to make up for it by exaggerating the mid-bass performance to address the deficit, resulting in a bloated and inaccurate sound. A great subwoofer is capable of delivering all the low frequencies in the content being played, sometimes at frequencies so low they can only be felt, not heard!

2. Produce low frequencies at the highest sound pressure levels (SPLs) – A great subwoofer plays effortlessly loud and distortion free, no matter how demanding the source material. Lesser subwoofers use amplifier limiting to cap output, resulting in the bass “disappearing” when the listener turns up the volume past conversational levels. A subwoofer should always match the level of your speakers with headroom to spare so you can experience the full impact of all your content.

3. Accuracy in frequencies produced, and NOT produced – A great subwoofer adds no sonic signature and is completely faithful to the source content delivering the bass notes or low frequencies exactly as the artist or director intended. Lesser subwoofers deliver boomy “one note” bass that is never convincing and can actually be distracting by muddying up the soundstage. Bass notes should be pitch perfect and at just the right level to create an immersive experience.

4. Have speed and control in transients to stop and start with precision – A great subwoofer has speed in musical or cinematic transients so as to keep pace with the content. Lesser subwoofers can’t keep up with challenging content or full range speakers, making the overall system sound smeared and undetailed. A subwoofer with crisp speed in transients can realistically portray the snap of a kickdrum, the pluck of bass guitar strong or the power of an explosion with authority and precision.

5. Blend seamlessly with full range speakers – Subwoofers are awesome, but no one wants to hear bass alone or over-emphasized. In order to function properly a subwoofer must be a seamless part of the overall sound of the system, never drawing attention to the bass alone. It should feel like one cohesive soundstage with accurate imaging of voices and action and pinpoint blending at any volume, throughout the frequency spectrum.

EXPERIENCE THESE SVS SUBWOOFERS AT CLASSIC STEREO

SVS SB 16 Ultra subwoofer
SVS SB 16 Ultra subwoofer
SVS 4000 SB 4000 Photo
SVS SB 4000 Subwoofer
SVS SB 2000 subwoofer
SVS SB 2000 subwoofer
SVS SB 1000 Subwoofer
SVS SB 1000 Subwoofer

From strumming bass guitar riffs and drum beats to the most complex and demanding movie sound effects, a great subwoofer reveals deep layers of sound a speaker is simply not equipped to handle. And while some subwoofers merely add bass, a truly great subwoofer elevates the listening experience in a unique and visceral way.

– Gary Yacoubian, SVS President
Classic Stereo Showroom Grand Rapids

At Classic Stereo, we have the best selection of subwoofers in Michigan, including multiple models by SVS, considered by CNET and many other experts to be the gold standard for subwoofers. If you have questions about which is the best subwoofer for your home theater or music system, or anything else, contact us here.

HDR TV explained in Classic Stereo Electronics 101

Outdoor TV Blog showroom photo HDR TV

Television technology adds a lot of letters and new words into our every day language. You may hear HDR TV and Wide Color Gamut tossed around these days. What do they mean? Classic Stereo Electronics Professional Mike Smith explains in this week’s Electronics 101.

HDR TV and Wide Color Gamut

High Dynamic Range Television (HDR TV) basically describes a TV that can produce a wider range of darkness and brightness.

It usually goes hand in hand with a Wide Color Gamut. The gamut of colors can really enhance the quality of the picture.

Imagine a picture that has only one or two shades of green. Now imagine that same picture with a hundred different shades of green. The more shades of color a picture has, the more real it will look.

Classic Stereo Showroom Grand Rapids

SEE IT IN OUR SHOWROOM

The variations of brightness and color certainly make more sense when you can see it. We encourage you to visit our showroom and see the difference yourself. Let our experts show you all of the newest TV technology.