|Posted on March 29, 2010 at 10:39 AM|
I'm currently reviewing a new product from Russound called Collage (scheduled ot run in the September issue of S+V). I've been following Collage for a couple of years, and think it is a really cool idea. Basically, Collage is what they call a no-new-wires audio system. Instead of running speaker and control wire throughout your home, it utilizes the electrical wiring already within the home to distribute both control, metadata (that information like artist and album name) and audio signals to different controllers. The controllers have built-in amplifiers which connect directly to speakers. So, it is a great way to easily retrofit a music system into an existing home without a ton of new wiring or cutting up drywall, etc.
So, I've been living with Collage for a few months because of the way the review cycle fell with S+V and I've been mostly enjoying it. (There have been a couple of quirks I'm still trying to work out with Russound, mainly the thing will just occasionally refuse to play music, which can be a real ball-punch for an audio system). We set one of the keypads in our dining room with some bookshelf speakers attached and we listen to music every night while eating. (I've been trying to teach Lauryn different instruments; that's John Popper on harmonica, that's Harry Connick Jr playing the piano; she'll even tell you that Marin Marais plays the cello. She's so great!)
Anyhow, last night we had this killer thunder and lightning storm and a couple of blasts seemed like they were happening right over head. So after this one KA-BOOM! had quieted down, I lay there in the quiet which is our home at 3 in the morning and heard....something. So I'm laying there trying to figure out if I'm dreaming, hearing something outside, or what. And then Dana says, "Do you hear music?" I'm thinking, yes, I DO hear music, but that response is going to just ensure that I have to get up and locate the source. Then a moment later. "Babe! Music!" So I get out of bed and make my way to the dining room, where, sure enough, music is playing. Somehow the storm woke up that Collage controller and it started playing Diana Krall. Bizaree to be sure, but all things considered, I guess there are worse things that could have come on at 3 AM.