On the day we were there, John was adding Xbox 360 Elite and PlayStation 2 game consoles to the office's home theater system. Peer into most offices - even executive ones - and you'll be lucky to find much more than a 19-inch standard-def LCD TV and a stereo minisystem, but the rig here rivals any enthusiast's home theater. "Jay-Z wanted something simple," says John, "but with some kicking playback for any hip-hop demos he might be working on."
The office originally had nothing but ceiling speakers, which were laid out so they could accommodate a surround-sound setup. "But the ceilings are too high for the sound to have enough impact," says John. So he convinced Jay-Z to go with Usher V-604 tower speakers for the left and right front channels and an Usher V-603 for the center, and then conceal them behind removable panels, covered with grille cloth, surrounding the TV. The combination of the Usher front speakers, the Usher V-601 speakers for the surrounds, and a Sunfire True Subwoofer Jr. creates a powerful home theater experience.
One of the best things about the system - and this goes for the similar setup in the conference room as well - is the way it's integrated into the décor without disappearing completely. The components are on display and easy to access without being distracting or getting in anybody's way. But the system has no problem making its presence felt whenever it's fired up. John and his team's many skills are evident - as much in what you don't see as in anything you do - in both the Irvington and Manhattan installs.
A lot of people aspire to becoming a custom installer because they like electronics and they think it would be a dream job to spend every day working with great gear. And it is. But an installer is as much a project manager and a master diplomat as he is an A/V aficionado. In other words, people skills and a knack for getting the job done right and on time are just as important as any electronics prowess. John Tamburello has shown he can handle dedicated home theaters, whole-house A/V systems, office systems, and computer networks - as well as art collectors, businessmen, movie directors, and superstar rappers - with equal aplomb. All in a day's work for your average successful custom installer.
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