A fashionable new stopover in Koreatown, LA, the Line Hotel is a 12-story modernist tower originally designed by the respected architecture firm Daniel Mann Johnson & Mendenhall, which retains a midcentury look combined with an industrial chic aesthetic, stripped-concrete walls and double height windows in the lobby.
Commissioned to install a sound system in keeping with the modern, high-tech feel of the hotel, LA Sound opted for Martin Audio loudspeakers throughout the public areas downstairs and outside on the patio deck, pool area and in the greenhouse.
According to Richard Ralke of LA Sound, the system starts with Martin Audio C8.1T 8-inch ceiling speakers in the lobby, café, entryway and bar areas. These were chosen because they have a tighter dispersion pattern, which was more effective in covering the greater ceiling height averaging from 12 to 14 feet and reaching people who are both standing and on the move.
The loudspeakers play throughout the public areas downstairs and outside on the patio deck, pool area, and in the greenhouse.
For the Pot restaurant, a collaboration with the street-food king Roy Choi which specializes in Korean hotpots, Martin Audio C6.8T 6-inch ceiling speakers with a wider dispersion pattern were used to provide more balanced coverage in a space with a shorter 10 to 12 foot ceiling height where people are sitting down and not moving.
“We also used AQ112 subwoofers in both areas,” adds Ralke, “six in the restaurant and two in the bar. For the bar, we actually installed the subs in a custom-built serpentine bench, which is approximately 50 feet long and weaves down the length of the room.
“There’s a large upright back that extends down to the floor with a padded bench that clips to that section. We were able to take the bench section off and bury the subwoofers in the base of the back and cut openings in the sub structure of the bench, allowing the low frequency energy to exit out of the kick panel at the front. The subs are spaced down the length of the bench so there’s no bass build up anywhere. The low frequency energy is very even throughout the room.”
“In the restaurant,” Ralke continues, “we were able to bury an AQ112 in a staircase—the speakers are around 14-inches in every dimension so they’re pretty small––and fire it into the room through an air conditioning return vent. The other one is integrated in the outer wall covering near a hostess stand at the entry. Again, the low frequency coverage throughout the space is very smooth and even.”
The bar, lobby and restaurant are situated in separate zones so the volume can be adjusted for each, but they function as one common source area because they are adjacent acoustically and open to each other. Either zone can adjust their level individually using the Rane Hal house system with remote controls for volume and source selection.
According to Ralke, “We currently have 12 output zones and all 10 input allocations, and every zone has a DR3 digital remote controller that allows the user to change the level and source material in any zone. Three mobile background music sources are fed into the Hal and either left as stereo or combined into Mono, then exported to these 12 zones around the building. The subwoofers and full-range ceiling speakers in the bar are two different zones so we can get the crossover to EQ the way we want to within Hal, but they go up and down together at the bar volume control.”
One level above the lobby and restaurant is a patio deck with a pool area and greenhouse also providing the same source audio. The outdoor pool area has 14 Martin Audio C115T surface mount outdoor full-range speakers with four subwoofers and an additional four C115T’s in a remote listening area by the patio. Three Powersoft M28Q 4-channel amplifiers drive all of the subwoofers and full range speakers in the hotel.
“The pool deck is on the second floor of the hotel right above Wilshire Boulevard one floor below, explains Ralke, “So the hotel put up a wall consisting of metal mesh fence and added a creeping vine type of plant. We were able to mount the speakers to the metal mesh and have them totally blend in within the plants. The deck has complete coverage without spilling down into the street.”
“The greenhouse on the deck presented an acoustic challenge because it’s all glass and concrete, wood and steel inside,” explains Ralke. “But the hotel showed us a layout with plants positioned to break up the sound, so we were able to use 6 Martin Audio AQ8 8″ two-way surface mount exterior speakers and get the smooth, even coverage we needed from one end of the greenhouse to the other.”
Asked about their client’s reaction to the sound system, Ralke says, “They love it. In fact the owners are so happy with the sound system, they’ve asked us to do a new karaoke club named Speek they’re putting in early next year.”