Housed within the modern Radisson Edwardian Guildford Hotel, the Market Kitchen & Bar describes itself as an all-day Mediterranean café, offering local bistro lunchtime dining before turning into a cosmopolitan evening destination. It also has a relaxed bar lounge, with soft, colorful furnishings.
To help maintain its chameleon effect, a sound system was required that could provide hi-fi music at low level from an eclectic playlist stored on hard-drive during the day, then pump up the energy into the bar lounge later on when a fully-specified DJ front end comes into play.
To meet the combined requirements of potency and aesthetics (the system needed to blend discreetly with Rabih Hage’s interior design), the venue opted for a Martin Audio AQ architectural solution.
The system was specified by Gavin Miller of Bedford based Kazbar Systems Inc after being approached by a mutual acquaintance, Dan Bewick of the music production company, Big Scary Monster.
“Venues such as The Ministry of Sound run exclusively on Martin Audio,” said Miller, “and just about every decent venue I go to seems to have their badge. I’ve worked with Martin Audio in the past and it’s a brand I know and trust. Fortunately with a short time scale, they were able to deliver.”
Miller brought in Darrin South from installation team, 33 Hertz, and with Martin Audio’s Kevin McNally offering support, they set about designing a system that would function through the trading day at three sound levels. Preset into the Martin Audio Engineer 818 DSP controller (and 8 x 8 routing matrix), the system accesses the different zones into which bar, lounge and restaurant are divided.
However, the installation team’s biggest challenge was one of containment, to avoid sound escape into the hotel’s 183 rooms and suites, while mounting onto several layers of ply reduced any vibrations.
As a result an AQ28 has been mounted on each of the four walls, with a fifth below the raised DJ and VIP area. Since the AQ28 is a two-way, dual-bass driver, designed to give extended LF performance from a compact, architecturally neutral, vented enclosure, the system can operate with or without the additional floor-mounted AQ215 (2 x 15in) sub.
Meanwhile, across in the adjacent restaurant/grill, four ultra-compact AQ5’s are mounted around a pillar on a separate zone to provide 360° coverage from a single point source.
Keeping the signal chain entirely within the Martin Audio domain, the AQ28’s and AQ215 are powered by Martin Audio MA3.0 amplification and the AQ5’s by an MA2.0, via the Engineer 818.
Three sound preset levels are stored in the system controller to ramp up for the post-office/ early evening cocktail hour and later into the evening, when the DJ takes over. Sound thresholds are further increased on Friday and Saturday evenings.
According to Gavin Miller, the hotel operators “absolutely love the sound system, which has exceeded their expectations.”
For more about Martin Audio, please click to www.martin-audio.com.
About Martin Audio®
Founded by audio engineer David Martin in 1971, Martin Audio pioneered the use of all-horn-loaded bass designs in world-class touring loudspeaker systems for groups such as Pink Floyd, ELP and Supertramp. Located outside of London, Martin Audio now embodies a sophisticated mix of acoustic design, research, mathematical modeling and software engineering for a wide range of products in the installation, cinema and touring sound markets.