When Princess Yachts International considered the AV systems for their 1st of the 40m tri deck line yacht they wanted to provide an audio visual specification that stood above all their competitors offerings. Dawsons were engaged in on going conversations with Princess senior management for suitable projects and it was only natural that we tendered for this project.
Each cabin should be equipped with a 2.1 or 5.1 surround sound system and control system utilising an Apple iPod touch or iPad. Blu Ray 3D in the main Saloon, Upper Saloon and Owners Suite were to be featured. First rate sound quality was required with the same tonal balance throughout all the cabins. The user control interface was also to operate cabin environment through lighting, blinds and HVAC.
The high standard of the yacht was to be complemented in the AV systems and Dawsons selected Denon Blu-ray receivers as core product in each cabin and paired this with the superb Linn 104/106 in ceiling speakers and Velodyne MicroVee subwoofers. A local iPod dock was also installed in each area together with a Kaleidescape zone player, so movies and music from the central server was available. The Owners En-suite and Study areas required access to all sources from the Owners stateroom. And all controlled from the same interface.
Due to space constraints the satellite decoders were grouped locally in two areas. HDMI baluns were used to transport signals to the cabin AV equipment. Dawsons provided a Crestron control solution using dedicated cabin control processors intercommunicating with each other. A control processor in our AV rack was dedicated to provide an interface for the lighting and HVAC systems.
It was extremely challenging to fit all this equipment on the yacht without impacting the stunning design. Dawsons worked closely with the Princess design team on these aspects, since it was a first yacht of this size to be built by the shipyard many problems arose but easily overcome by close cooperation. The yacht was partly commissioned whilst in Royal Devonport Naval Docks and this presented additional logistical issues.
For a ‘standard’ audio visual specification the result is superb, the Linn speakers are sealed with their own rear enclosure so sound quality is exceptional and consistent across the yacht. Dawsons programmed each iPod Touch per cabin in order to control the AV kit using a simple user interface so it’s easy for new guests to operate the equipment without instruction. They can also access air conditioning and lighting adjustments for their cabin. The Captain has access to all cabins from his iPad and can globally set temperatures and lighting if required ahead of guests arrival.
Dawsons collaborated with the Boning yacht systems engineers who created bespoke firmware so we could effectively control their CAN-bus lighting and air conditioning systems.
The external areas are driven from secondary zones on the Denon processors so adjacent zones are completely in sync, the Skydeck has a different arrangement using an additional Crestron multi room amplifier to allow more flexible switching and separate exterior playback by Airplay from the Owner’s mobile devices. The Sky deck is also equipped with a removable TV and our control system uses a HDMI matrix to feed signals from the Upper saloon video equipment.
Audio is reproduced on external areas by a variety of Speakercraft flush mounted speakers and subwoofers mounted in the deck heads and overhead structures to minimise exposure to the elements. These exterior zones are driven from Dawsons unique IcePower amplifiers providing clean undistorted audio.