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K-array Loudspeakers Bring Invisible Sound To Sofitel London St James
Located in one of the city’s most exclusive areas, the Sofitel London St James is one of the UK capital’s most unique five-star hotels, combining traditional British design with a French contemporary style. When one of the hotel’s most elegant areas needed a new audio system, a K-array loudspeaker system and Sennheiser G3 radio microphones were chosen to meet the strict criteria.
Sofitel London St James is housed in the sympathetically renovated, Grade II-listed former Cox’s and King’s bank building. A flexible, high quality audio installation was required to cover the grand brasserie, The Balcon, the Champagne Balcony and the St James Bar where the décor is inspired by the 1920’s Paris apartment of Coco Chanel. With interiors designed by the Russell Sage Studio, a quality sound system that would be invisible to the eye was a necessity.
“The hotel delivers a standard of excellence that accepts no compromise. With our reputation for acoustic quality and excellence, CGA Integration was appointed to design and install a sound system that delivers on an aesthetic level as well as ensuring the prerequisite of superior sound,” says CGA owner Chris Gunton.
“The sound needed to complement and support the cuisine, being delivered with clarity and balance throughout, but with minimum impact on the meticulously designed décor.”
Ceiling loudspeakers were out of the question, with the ceiling voids used for services and the circular grilles aesthetically inappropriate. Instead, CGA chose K-array’s KZ-10 micro line array and KKS-50 miniature subs, which were delivered in custom, RAL specification colour matched finishes, which renders them virtually invisible. Complementing these are Sennheiser ‘2012 ready’
G3 radio microphones, for when the system is used for private functions.
Distributed in Britain by Sennheiser UK, K-array’s KK and KKS loudspeakers are proving a popular choice for venues where intricate décor cannot be compromised by the requirements of a modern audio system. Historic churches, halls, restaurants and meeting places are all now taking advantage of being able to install high quality sound, without detracting from their visual appeal.
“We were also very conscious of not putting too many low frequencies into the ceiling void, because there are rooms directly above these areas,” Chris continues. “The K-array units are highly directional, so sound is projected very accurately to where it is wanted. In addition, the RAL options meant that they could be finished in a colour which exactly matches the ceiling.”
“Sound is so important in creating the overall ambience in a restaurant,” says Antoine Winckler, the hotel’s Director of Food and Beverage. “The system that Chris and his team designed and installed perfectly complements the quality of the design, food and service that our customers expect.”