The iconic OXO Tower on London’s South Bank was the scene of a recent sound system upgrade at its popular Restaurant, Bar & Brasserie, which provides spectacular views over the Thames from its rooftop location on the eighth floor.
London based Evolve Install has upgraded the existing JBL system in the Brasserie, with a purpose designed JBL Pendant speaker system and also equipped the fine dining Restaurant with a similar sound system for the first time.
The work was project managed by Evolve Install director, Elliot Patterson. Surveying the site for the first time Patterson could see the layout of the existing speakers was awry. “They were not positioned in the right area to get optimal coverage and there were a number of blind spots — the sound would reflect off the large windows and bounce around. Also it had been zoned in a clumsy way.”
He discussed options with Ben Todd at Sound Technology, the UK and Ireland distributors for the Harman Pro brands, and after the latter had mapped the venue using JBL’s modelling system, the Pendants were proposed as the ideal solution.
Elliot Patterson explained the rationale, notably the long and thin dimensions of the space. “But the other issue was that directly underneath the restaurants are high end apartments so it was essential that the sound be contained.”
For the main Restaurant and Brasserie Evolve Install deployed a total of seven Control 67P/T enclosures with high-power 6.5” transducer — four in the Restaurant three in the Brasserie. For the respective Bar areas they used three of the smaller Control 65P/T (with 5.25” transducer). The Pendants were set at high level up in the ceiling — all speakers are hanging off the H-beams on steel rope with Gripples, with secondary safety provided.
Patterson observed that since the pre-existing six JBL Control 25T still sounded excellent, it made budgetary sense to redeploy them. “We re-ran the cable and reassigned three for the Brasserie and three for the Restaurant but positioned them in such a way that they would cover specific areas,” he said. All speakers have been carefully tuned and EQ’d.
The routing matrix covering the seven zones is a BSS Soundweb BLU100 — with fixed 12-inputs/8-out. There are four sound sources, two BGM players and DJ/Live input in Restaurant and Brasserie. Two BSS EC8BV Ethernet based wall remotes — one in each bar — provide local control by the bar staff.
In terms of space economy, the whole installation is driven by two Crown CDi 4|300 (4-channel, 300W per channel) and the entire drive rack occupies just 6U. These are 4-channel, 300W per channel. The entire system is driven 100V line.
In summary, the installer says, “This is not designed as a club system — it’s all about detail and clarity and bringing the best out of Music Concierge’s background music system. But at the same time, they also host live music, so we have provided plugin points in both the Brasserie and the Restaurant.
“To optimise this, we have provided the client with different daytime and night time [BGM] presets and also a Live preset. When the ‘Live’ setting is engaged it ducks the existing background system and at the end of the session it returns to default at the press of a button.”
Finally, Elliot Patterson says, “We have given the client full audio coverage of both their premium restaurant spaces, using an elegant JBL solution that blends in with the architecture. At the same time we’ve made it as simple and easy as possible to operate.”