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Installation Spotlight: Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille, Austin, Texas

Oct 9, 2009 4:13 PM


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Intelligent Lighting Services designed and installed the sound system to cover Perry's Steakhouse & Grille’s new location in Austin, Texas. The design incorporates a selection of distributed Tannoy loudspeakers, including CMS801 DC ceiling loudspeakers in the kitchen, where they are positioned adjacent to the entrance and exit doors to help muffle the kitchen sounds that the patrons dislike.

In addition to award-winning cuisine and an aesthetically pleasing environment, Perry's Steakhouse & Grille also features live music entertainment every night of the week. Intelligent Lighting Services (ILS), a full-service AV systems developer, recently set the bar in terms of sound reinforcement capabilities at a newly opened Perry's location in Austin, Texas.

The project, which is headlined by Tannoy loudspeakers driven by Lab.gruppen multichannel power amps, has already proven so immediately popular that the seven other Perry's facilities are also in the process of sound-reinforcement upgrades. ILS, based in Austin, was asked to provide the design and installation for the 16,000-square-foot facility that was once owned by the family of former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson.

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"We were contacted by Perry's at the urging of their booking agent, who had been drawing complaints from performers and patrons about sound quality at the other locations," explains Eric Bernstein, a veteran systems integrator and general manager of ILS. "With this new Austin location, we were charged with providing a system that would be significantly better than what they had done in the past."

All the live music entertainment, including a pianist on a grand piano and three- and four-piece ensembles, takes place on the stage in the lounge/bar. The goal of the installation was to make sure that all the music reproduced throughout the facility was on par with the live version in the lounge.

Bernstein determined that a low-impedance system, rather than the previously used 70V transformer approach, would help enhance vital aspects such as dynamic range and frequency response. He designed a distributed system to serve multiple rooms on two floors. Performance and sound quality was further enhanced with Tannoy loudspeakers throughout the system.

During the design phase, ILS used EASE Address design verification software to help to accurately position the distributed Tannoy loudspeakers. Unlike conventional 2D ceiling loudspeaker software, EASE Address also allows for complex room shapes with varying ceiling heights.

All loudspeakers are driven by four Lab.gruppen C 20:8X power amps, the most powerful 8-channel amp in the company's C Series family. Capable of delivering 250W at 4ω on each channel, this high output helped attain the additional performance advantages of a low-impedance system that ILS sought. The amps are housed in an amp rack in the general manager's office on the second floor and are linked to an ETA Systems power sequencer for optimum power on/off.

The lounge/bar stage is outfitted with a Tannoy V6 loudspeaker; its conical coverage pattern makes it an optimum low-profile stage monitor because of exceptionally wide dispersion that allows performers greater freedom of movement. The stage also offers several mics as well as an Allen & Heath mic mixer.

Coverage for the room is supplied by six Tannoy CMS801 DC ceiling loudspeakers, which retain a compact format while delivering full-bandwidth, high-level output. Each CMS801 DC uses Tannoy's Dual Concentric transducer, with the 8in. drive unit mounted in a rigidly constructed injection molded, vented front baffle.

Sub-low frequencies in this room are further reinforced and extended below 150Hz by two Tannoy CMS 110TB ceiling-mounted subwoofers, each with a long-excursion 10in. bass transducer.

More CMS801 DC ceiling loudspeakers are distributed through Perry's, including 12 in the main dining room and two to four units each serving other dining rooms, hallways, and other areas. One of the most interesting applications of the CMS801 has been in the kitchen, where they are positioned adjacent to the entrance and exit doors to help muffle the kitchen sounds that the patrons dislike.

Another interesting application is the vault dining room, which is literally housed in a concrete vault, where sound reinforcement is supplied by dual Tannoy iw62 TDC full-bandwidth in-wall loudspeaker systems with 6.5in. Dual Concentric point source, constant directivity drive units, as well as an additional 6.5in. bass driver and 1in. Tannoy SuperTweeter. ILS built a wall at one end to house the loudspeakers, to serve as the mounting base for a large video monitor, and to conceal all cabling.

ILS designed the entire venue-wide system to be both flexible and easy to control. Multiple loudspeaker zones were established and controlled via a dbx ZonePro digital processor/controller that¡¯s housed with the Lab.gruppen amps. Most zones are further equipped with their own dbx ZC-8 wall-mounted source selector and volume controller—even in the restrooms, where they are concealed behind mirrors.

In addition, ILS designed and installed an extensive video system that has numerous video monitors fed by an 8x8 video matrix switcher, with Intelix video balun A/D converters for each video zone and additional control via several wall panels.

"Based on the dramatic success of this project, we've been asked to perform system upgrades at several of the other facilities," Bernstein says. "It's great to see that quality still sells, and we'll be bringing that same quality to the upcoming projects, including many of the components like Tannoy loudspeakers that helped us exceed the client's expectations."



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