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Historical Landmark’s Audio System Preserves Character

Jan 25, 2012 4:04 PM


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Hidden in plain view among the towering skyscrapers of Toronto’s downtown financial district, The National Club is one of the city’s most prestigious landmarks. Since its founding in 1874, The National Club has hosted a who’s who of important Canadian and foreign dignitaries. Today it serves as an esteemed venue for private meetings and dinners, weddings, presentations, and club-hosted events.

The brick-and-plaster building has endured several renovations since being constructed in 1906. Most recently, the club’s board of directors voted to replace the main dining room’s existing audio system, with an eye toward better addressing the club’s requirements for better voice intelligibility and improved sound distribution.

According to Brock McGinnis of Westbury National Show Systems, who designed and installed the new audio system, the building’s historic nature and 14in.-thick brick-and-plaster walls presented some specific challenges during the installation.

“The room is a very reverberant two-story space, and the dinner guests create a great deal of noise,” McGinnis explains. “It’s very much like having dinner in the middle of a cathedral. The walls and ceiling are made of very hard surfaces, so in addition to the reverb problem, we weren’t able to run any cable through the walls.”

McGinnis opted for Renkus-Heinz Iconyx digitally steerable array loudspeaker system. A pair of IC8-R columns is mounted on either side of the room’s motorized video screen. The high performance system provides superior sound pattern distribution technology combined with outstanding musicality and voice intelligibility.

“Renkus-Heinz was our first choice for The National Club,” McGinnis says. “We’ve used Iconyx loudspeakers on many other projects and find them to be extremely effective at steering the sound precisely where it’s needed and away from areas where it isn’t. The quality of sound we get is excellent, even with all the hard surfaces in the room.” Preserving the character and appearance of the club’s architecture was also paramount. The Iconyx loudspeakers fit very discreetly into the wall.

“The National Club is so pleased with the Iconyx system’s sound quality and distribution technology that they want to install more Iconyx loudspeakers in other parts of the building,” McGinnis reports.

Product At Work: Renkus-Heinz Iconyx IC8-R

Each IC8-R-II module has eight high performance coaxial transducers. Each transducer is individually controlled by its own digital processor/amplifier. By controlling the behavior of each sound source, Iconyx can tailor its performance to the venue. A single Iconyx array can cover both floor and balcony seating by producing multiple beams of acoustic energy. Each beam can be as vertically wide as 30 degrees or as narrow as 5 degree.



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