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Zoned Audio Playback

May 15, 2012 10:43 AM


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Enchantment Resort in Sedona, Ariz., began an $8 million renovation to its main building, the Clubhouse, last November. Enchantment’s aging sound system was also slated for a replacement. IT Director Bob Gassick sought out the modular Ashly ne24.24M processor and paired Ashly NE-series amplifiers.

“The old system had four inputs, and we were looking to expand that to six inputs with the new system,” Gassick says. “It seems like a straightforward thing, but finding a cost-effective, six-input processor that would be simple for our staff to operate wasn’t such an easy task. After a few days of searching, I was glad to discover the Ashly ne24.24M, which—together with the Ashly neWR-5 wall-panel remote—was our ideal solution.” The input/output count of the Ashly ne24.24M is modular, and base units start at four-in/four-out with easy-to-install hardware expansion available up to a maximum of 24 input/output combinations.

Enchantment Resort’s ne24.24M supplies an intermediate eight-in/12-out. Gassick designed the system primarily for music playback using two MC500 players from Play Network, each having two dynamic programmable content channels. Each channel is a mix of five different channels (genres) from more than 70 available genres. The idea was that 10 different zones within the resort would be able to play any of the input material independently, a substantial improvement over the old system. The output from the Ashly ne24.24M feeds Ashly ne8250.70 and Ashly ne4250.70 amplifiers, which together deliver 12 channels at 250W per channel into the 70V system. The Enchantment Resort purchased all of the Ashly equipment from Don Nelson at Valhalla Sound in Scottsdale, Ariz. Nelson also consulted on the system design and programmed the ne24.24M.

Per demand of the renovation’s lead interior designer, all of the loudspeaker grills had to be square not round. Again, Gassick searched for a cost-effective, high-performance solution. He found the CW-840SQ from Outdoor Speaker Depot (OSD). The final design ended with 85 speakers installed. The majority of them were the CW-840SQ, but several omnidirectional landscaping speakers, bracket speakers, and rock speakers were used. The CW-840SQ speakers are 8Ω out of the box. OSD makes an outdoor 70V transformer that was used on all the indoor speakers and outdoors as needed.

Simple user control was an essential requirement of the renovated system. To make that a reality, Gassick installed 10 Ashly neWR-5 wall-mounted remote controls, one for each zone. Nelson helped program the neWR-5s such that each of the six push buttons selects a different Play Network customized channel mix as stated above and the up/down buttons change the volume. Installation was also simple because the neWR-5 receives its power over Ethernet. “The neWR-5s look great and are ultimate simplicity for the staff to use,” Gassick says. “They just select a source and adjust the volume.”

Product at Work: Ashly Audio ne24.24M

The ne24.24M matrix processor uses modular expansion cards to provide up to 24 channels of audio matrixing and processing. The base unit offers a four-input/four-output configuration. Each input and output expansion card has an individual DSP processor, allowing you to expand the base unit's total inputs or outputs four channels at a time.



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