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Cave Dwellers

High tech options make man-caves attractive

By Kelly Twedell

Trey Godwin may be in the business of ‘building’ man-caves, but the mastermind behind Experience Sight & Sound said he sells his services mostly to women. His clients are often local interior decorators — and the men they’re working with usually have to accommodate a wife’s desire to keep the space attractive.

Godwin said he understands that it’s important to have the wires and boxy components hidden and to coordinate with a home’s decor by utilizing attractive finishes like cherry or walnut. Gone are the days of chrome style tower entertainment displays and floor to ceiling shelves of movies or CDs flanked by massive black speakers. Godwin knows that to do well in business, his man-caves have to be easy on female eyes, as well.

And business, the Fayetteville native said, is good.

Even in a bad economy, boys still want their toys, and top-notch picture and sound are essential for home entertainment packages, even at the beach. Experience Sight & Sound carries and installs higher end components like Marantz, and is the only authorized dealer in five counties that carries Martin Logan speakers.

Godwin’s company updates and outfits residences and commercial establishments. He has installed home theater systems that range from $6,500 upwards to $100,000 — including systems that have all the component controls integrated into one app the client can operate from a button on their smart phone. The current trend is clean, with hidden wires — not an ostentatious show of your equipment, Godwin said.

People are spending more time at home and are seeing their home theaters as a long-term investment. Integrating their thermostat controls, lighting controls and security is key for many clients.

“The benefit for using our service is that there is no monthly fee. You own the systems, and aren’t paying Time Warner Cable, etc,” said Godwin. “As long as you have Internet in the house, we’ll set you up.”

“In my house, I don’t want the government controlling my systems,” said Godwin. “I have control of my home, not ‘big brother’.”

Godwin said many of his jobs are clean up jobs after do-it-yourselfers attempt to set up their own systems, or when they want to upgrade the system they already have. Providing the whole package, Godwin and his crew take care of the job from start to finish, down to scheduling and working with the cable companies and certified electricians with complete clean up.

Educating clients on media is a part of his business. With numerous web-based services from Spotify, Hulu, Netflix, Pandora and many more, they consolidate these systems into one remote control for the user.

Retrofitting existing homes means more labor because of construction and the materials, like concrete, they were built with. “We pride ourselves on being very clean, very professional and precise when retrofitting systems,” said Godwin.

Enjoying his investment, Gabriel Cook, a single soldier from Fort Bragg, intentionally stays home more now for entertainment. With his 11-speaker system installed by Quality Sound & Video, he said it feels like he is inside the movie. “I was happy at the professional level of service of their staff and they provided me what I asked for,” Cook said.

The system is more for personal entertainment and Cook said he spends time watching action movies and playing video games. The idea for his home theater came a few years ago when he was trying to decide what to do with his bonus room. After looking at ideas online, he got excited about the idea of having his own in-home theater, complete with the movie-style chairs with drink holders that can be lit for ambiance.

While some homeowners balk at the price of a home theater and don’t mind having four remote controls to run their various electronic components, some commercial establishments can’t afford to not invest in an integrated system.

Hellas Restaurant and Sports Bar in Hope Mills has 28 flat screen televisions hanging so that customers can watch whichever game or event excites them. They were thrilled to simplify the management of their electronics — and even more thrilled that their entire system can be operated from an iPad. From the lights and TV’s to the sound systems and security cameras, everything is controlled from one app and can even be remotely manipulated offsite.