With a history spanning back several decades, The Gathering is a restaurant in the city of Findlay, Ohio, which, under new ownership, has seen its unused third story converted into a bar.
With a ‘1990-industrial’ motif, regional designer and installer House of Hindenach A/V Systems adhered to such requests and created the bar with the help of an Ashly ne24.24M processor and a horizontal array of custom-designed dipole open-baffle loudspeakers having previously installed a straightforward sound system for the downstairs restaurant area.
Company principal, Don Hindenach said: “The new owner had two requirements for the upstairs sound system. First, he really wanted the 1900s industrial motif down to the last detail. Since loudspeakers weren’t around back then, the requirement translated to this: nothing that a contemporary patron would be able to identify as a ‘loudspeaker’ could be visible. In other words, the loudspeakers had to be in plain sight, but they couldn’t look like loudspeakers. His only concession was that he would allow subwoofer boxes, provided they were sufficiently hidden away. The second requirement was that the typical patron would be amazed at the sound.”
Hindenach’s solution was to build dipole open-baffle loudspeakers, a solution that would ideally meet both requirements. The design is similar to a typical loudspeaker except that there is no enclosure. As a result, the positive and negative waves generated by the driver cancel in the plane of the baffle. Hindenach reviewed Seigfriend Linkwitz’ white papers on the subject and devised a plan for The Gathering.
Hindenach added: “You can’t build an effective, high-impact dipole using passive processes. The filters are just too steep. So, it because clear that the Ashly ne24.24M DSP was going to be central to the design. Linkwitz’ papers provided me with starting points for where to put the curves, what sorts of knees to give them, and so on. I’ve used the Ashly ne24.24M in the past and I like its inherent stability. It delivers solid processing without gimmicky modules; all of the stuff I need and none of the stuff I don’t want. The price is absolutely right and allowed us to do great work while still remaining within budget.”Article continues below
In addition to providing the processing to make the dipole system work with maximum impact, the Ashly ne24.24M also provided more garden-variety input conditioning and room tuning.
The final system consists of three pairs of full-range dipole horizontal line-arrays supported by dipole and monopole tweeters at the high end and two dual-15 custom-built subwoofer enclosures at the bottom end. The AuraSound full-range drivers are three inches in diameter with ten millimetres of linear voice coil travel fitted four to a baffle.
The baffles are metal damped by a compound produced by C.P Moyen of Chicago, Illinois. The drivers are fixed to beams nine and a half feet high and arranged across the room in an alternativing left-right-left-right pattern so that stereo arrives at every seat.
“The system has a very interesting sound,” Hindenach said, “you can be staring straight at one of the baffles and it’s impossible to localise to it, which made it challenging to verify our wiring... but magically enveloping in the space. The net result is that every seat in the bar feels like the quiet seat. Now patrons can easily carry on a conversation despite the fact that the sound system is cranking.”
Having used the Ashly ne24.24M’s out-of-the-box network integration to make sound system changes from afar, while his crew made physical adjustments and measurements in the room, Hindenach said: “Everyone that has listening to it is raving, and we even had one comment that perfectly filled the owner’s second requirement.”
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