We were contacted by the owner of Stark Carpets to provide and install a sound system to their new store in the prestigious setting of Chelsea harbour. This required a super fast turnaround time as the store was due to open the following week.
Commercial Sound Systems
Audio often gets overlooked, or forgotten until the last minute during construction jobs and retail builds. Though obviously not ideal from an installation point of view if the final decorating has been done, it is what it is, and we can work around it.
To quote the owner on the specific requirements:
“I’m not totally sure what is exactly required but a good sounding system is what is needed I think, but nothing fancy”
Which is fine! We are here to advise and refine you a suitable system, working with your budget, building size and layout, with many levels of equipment available in order to keep within those restraints, yet provide an audio system that performs as you hoped, or better.
The type of equipment suitable for retail spaces can vary greatly, with factors such as ceiling height, internal wall structure, and if the sound is to be divided into zones, or just used as one large system. Other options such as tannoy/announcement facilities and the integration of audio from shop displays or televisions will also be taken into account.
The Starks Carpet store is fairly unique inside, with its modern industrial style. This design layout, with its warehouse style open ceiling, ruled out any ceiling speakers being used, and even pendant speakers really as they would have looked out of place and would have required several meters of suspension..
So, wall mount speakers were chosen, as we could fit them in discreet locations around the shop floor, giving great sound coverage whilst blending in well with the industrial aesthetic.With their smart look and amazing performance, the decision to go with Amate B6 speakers in a black finish wasn’t a difficult one to make.
For professional applications, the Amate speakers really have no rival for the quality they offer at such an accessible price point, with high power handling and hi-fi levels of audio reproduction, along with superb area coverage that allows a minimal number of speakers to achieve an impressive result.
Coupled to a suitable power amplifier, just a few of these fantastic speakers fitted in optimal positions will provide a rich and detailed background music experience, with ample reserves for louder use on open days and product launches, whilst remaining near invisible due to their small size and discreet enclosure design.
Commercial Speaker System
After a site inspection, our installers decided on mounting positions for the eight Amate B6 wall speakers, dotted around the main shop floor to ensure the best sound coverage whilst not being ‘on display’ too much.
Though most installs would utilise a 100V line operation, it was decided for this particular location to go with a low impedance option instead as it does generally provide stronger bass reproduction, with overall sound quality being a desired factor of the customer.
100V line systems are ideal for installation work, especially on larger systems with multiple speaker positions that would be extremely costly and complex if done with low impedance due to the loading mismatches. With a smaller contained system however, such as this 8 identical speaker installation, the use of low impedance equipment has no disadvantages, and tends to be fuller across the audio frequencies, especially the low end response.
A powerful Fonestar SA4150 power amplifier was selected, running a pair of Amate B6 speakers per channel, with each having a good 75W RMS each, giving them plenty of power reserve and allowing the system to operate with a desirable margin for the best sound quality.
This was fed through a high quality Studiomaster C3 rack mounted mixer preamp, which split the 8 speakers into a pair of independent volume zones, and provided a set of master tone controls, along with a selection of several stereo inputs which we provided audio cables for easy connection of 3.5mm headphone outputs from smartphones/ipods, laptops, tablets etc, and of course any other source device they should wish to use.
Retail Audio Installation
Located out of sight in the back office, the mixer and amplifier units were housed in a simple, low cost 4U carpet rack cabinet to keep things tidy, and the controls were labelled for easy identification.
Though simple in function compared to a large 100V line installation or the average smart home audio system, the overall sound quality of this powerful speaker system was everything the Starks Carpet team was looking for.
The owner was especially pleased with the aesthetics of the installation, with the Amate B6 speakers blending in perfectly with the design scheme of the store, and was more than impressed with the performance and sound quality from this discreet yet purposeful sound system.
The Equipment Supplied:
- 8 x Amate B/6 Black Wall Mounts
- 1 x Fonestar SA4150 Amplifier
- 1 x Studiomaster C3 Compact Rack Mixer
- 1 x 4u carpet rack case
- 1 x Dual 0.5m XLR cable
- 1 x RCA to 3.5mm Jack cable
- 1 x 100m 1.5mm Dual Core copper cable