Situated on the University of Kent’s Canterbury Campus, the popular K-Bar recently underwent a major design overhaul with the addition of a juice and smoothie bar and a new state-of-the-art AV system. Designed and installed by Penguin Media Solutions, the system includes end-to-end Martin Audio CDD loudspeakers, among other impressive AV solutions.
“With the arrival of CDD I don’t need to look elsewhere, which is a nice position to be in,” says Dylan Thompson, Project Manager and system specifier. “CDD has been a revelation—it’s well priced, sounds great and I can spec it for just about anything.”
Having worked for the university previously, Penguin was awarded the contract by Kent Hospitality, which manages all the university’s bars and leisure facilities.
“We met Keith Williams, Head of Trading at Kent Hospitality a few years ago now, and he really liked our ideas and approach,” says Thompson.
The brief this time was to develop a technical infrastructure for a multipurpose facility that would trade off as a sports bar by day, with a small stage for live bands and DJs coming in on weekend nights. It needed to be cost-effective, multi-zonal for flexible audio and video routing, and have simple control for the bar staff.
With a C-Burn “Secret DJ” pumping background music through the sound system during daylight hours, the CDD has certainly been put through its paces.
At the stage end are a pair of CDD10 10-inch speakers, wall-mounted on Powerdrive brackets either side of the stage, and a CSX212 2-inch by 12-inch sub. Facing this at the opposite end of the room are a pair of CDD8 8-inch on the left and right as well as another CSX212 sub.
“It can therefore function as a 2.1 cinema surround system or for student presentations, while if the DJ wants to work from that end the volume can be adjusted accordingly,” says Thompson.
A separate sofa/loose furniture area, away from the main action, is served by a pair of CDD8 speakers, with a further pair of CDD8 speakers providing a warm sound at the bar.
In this four-zone design, any source can be routed to any destination via Soundweb London DSP, operating under the master control of a Crestron processor, which also handles the video routing to the seven screens. All local control is performed from an iPad with a custom user interface from Penguin.
“There were a lot of different speaker brands previously all clashing with each other,” says Thompson. “By standardizing on CDD, and halving the number of boxes the sound has improved massively.”
Kent Hospitality’s Keith Williams confirms that the sound system element needed to be capable of delivering unobtrusive yet powerful foreground and background sound reinforcement. “We required Penguin to program the system in zones so that volume across the space could be adjusted according to use and specifics of event. The new CDD system more than met the requirement.
“The clarity of sound is stunning, and the ability to have loud music yet still allow conversation is amazing,” says Williams. “The speakers spread sound in a consistent way as you walk through the space. At the same time, the speakers themselves are unobtrusive––they blend well and are discreet as requested.”
Finally, Willaims reports that customers have commented on the vast improvement in both sound and visuals within the bar. “We are grateful to Penguin for recommending the Martin Audio CDD series, which has more than met the brief.”
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