AQ SERIES THE LIVING PROOF FOR GREEN-I
Living Ventures Ltd take their music really seriously. Despite using a hard drive delivery system to distribute music through their 13-strong Living Room bar/restaurant estate, the company's Head of Music, Steve Walter knows that the art of achieving the optimum mix is too complex to be entrusted to remote customer profilers and preset track categorisations.
'The music content and environmental management are a vital part of our offer, which is why we invest heavily in our sound systems and installation expertise,' he says.
They expect much from their long-serving audio system contractors Green-I, who espouse the same high brand values - from their choice of loudspeaker to the 'logic' programming in the DSP, which allows the subwoofer to kick in only when defined operational criteria are met. Zoning is likewise a critical element; for instance the music in the 300-cover restaurant needs to remain at BGM level, while on the same floor - but in a different area - live bands are creating an entirely different vibe onstage. The philosophy is to use a high number of speakers run at low volume, providing unsurpassed, even coverage.
Over the years Green-I have associated themselves with the top end of leisure hospitality and their audio system of preference has always reflected their quality installations - in this case Martin Audio.
Thus the new flagship 'Living Room W1' in London's fashionable Heddon Street sees multiples of Martin Audio's new horn-loaded AQ6 and AQ8 architectural enclosures - liveried in white and brown custom colours to match interior designer's Shideh Shaygun's imaginative concept. These maintain the moods over the defined time cycles into which the trading day is divided.
Green-I's Ian Woodall (Woody) and Paul McCauley (Macca), who headed up the 'in-house' installation team, have been fastidious in the detailing of the five-zoned interior, ensuring all the carefully-loomed cabling is concealed, the stage processing rack is chased into the wall (using durable right-angled connectors) and that the Martin Audio speaker bracketry could be customised to enable the enclosures to be run flat against the walls and ceiling. It thus becomes an intrinsic part of the design rather than looking like an afterthought.
It has enabled Green-I to mount the AQ's in either rotatable horizontal format - like bookshelf speakers around the open fires in the middle of the venue - or vertically. A mixture of AQ6's and AQ8's are used around the bar and dining area on the ground floor (with AQ8's exclusively serving the piano stage area).
Upstairs, in the formal dining area, they have deployed further multiples of yoke-mounted AQ6's, angled down to the floor, the use of Phoenix connectors allowing these to be mounted flush to the walls.
It all adds up to a high level of audio housekeeping in keeping with the overall 'living room' theme.
Green-I's reason for favouring Martin's new architectural series is straightforward according to Woody. 'It just does what it says on the box - no fancy words or marketing, they are simply really impressive.'
Yet surprisingly this is the first time Martin Audio enclosures have been used in the Living Ventures estate. 'The company undertook a listening procedure and loved the AQ box for its warm, hi-fi sound,' recalls the installer. 'They also liked the enclosure from an aesthetic point of view, since aside from being able to customise it in terms of both the colours and fixing points, Martin Audio were able to meet our requirement to place Declon cloth behind the grilles, so that the drivers could not be seen.' Although it was Green-I's first excursion with AQ they are already onto their third installation with the product.
The AQ series also offered the necessary versatility to reproduce music at low volume during daytime trading, to the wide range of live acts who plug into the stage system five nights a week, where a resplendent white Yamaha GT7 digital grand piano is awaiting them. In the same area, a carpeted flight-cased DJ containing industry standard playback/mixing equipment, will come into play at the weekend.
As a final touch, Radio 4 plays Just A Minute on a permanent loop to cubicle dwellers in the cleverly-themed downstairs toilets through Martin Audio C516 ceiling speakers.
Steve Walter is delighted with the installation and believes that any unit manager should now be able to relocate and recognise familiar audio architecture. 'This is our 13th Living Room, and we have used the same building blocks for each one, the same controls on the wall and the same philosophy,' he says.
The only thing that has changed has been the introduction of the AQ Series.
Further information from:
Maureen Hayes, Martin Audio
Tel: +44 (0)1494 535312
Fax: +44 (0)1494 438669
Jerry Gilbert, JGP Public Relations
Tel: +44 (0)1707 258525
Fax: +44 (0)1707 267140