A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor



WEBSTER, NEW YORK: The Rock Bottom Brewery stays in the lead of a very competitive market by virtually faultless delivery of customer expectations: great and varied beer, stick-to-your-ribs food, and an atmosphere that welcomes release from life’s tensions. David Greenberg of Rock Bottom Restaurants contacted No Static Pro Audio Inc. of Los Angeles, California to upgrade the sound quality of its San Diego location, which was breaking the spell of its carefully-crafted atmosphere. No Static not only relocated existing loudspeakers at that location to make them more effective, but eventually also replaced full racks of failing processors, attenuators and amps at other locations with a single Ashly ne8250.70pe, which delivers all of the necessary DSP together with eight channels of resolutely reliable amplification. And it does this in just two rack spaces and for a small fraction of the cost of assembled systems with comparable functionality and quality.

“We originally worked with Rock Bottom at one of their San Diego locations,” said Gene Gordon, CEO of No Static. “Their original designs had otherwise good loudspeakers hanging straight down from treaded rods with a decent amp rack. While I think that’s fine for a place with twelve-foot ceilings, the Rock Bottom Breweries had seventeen-foot ceilings and the speaker placement really compromised the sound. In the first location, all we needed to do was lower the speakers and place them on the walls and soffits so they focused sound horizontally rather than vertically straight down. They were so happy with the results that they kept adding locations to our to-do list.”


But when No Static arrived at several of the older locations in Colorado, they found not only loudspeakers that would benefit from repositioning, but a backline of failing processors and amps. To begin with, the old systems were typically composed of eight attenuators to distribute power from each amp. With 70-volt amps feeding 70-volt transformers on each attenuator and transformers on each speaker, each system was less efficient than it could be. The systems were merely capable of supplying “background” music, where Rock Bottom hoped for “foreground” music. In addition, several pieces of each system had simply broken. When amp channels failed, the systems were band-aided by tapping signal from working channels, further diminishing the quality of the system.

The Ashly ne8250.70pe is a network-ready, eight-channel 70-volt amplifier with built-in Ashly Protea DSP. “Replacing their existing equipment with a single ne8250.70pe was an improvement in every respect,” said Gordon. “First, the Ashly Protea software is way more powerful and flexible than what they had in there originally, allowing me to sculpt the system’s performance with far greater precision. Second, fidelity is much improved because we can go straight from the amp to the speakers. Third, a single Ashly WR-5 programmable remote wall control not only simplifies the user interface, but also provides direct control of the VCAs within the amps, resulting in greater power going to the speakers.”

Rock Bottom Restaurants is very pleased with the work No Static has done and keeps adding new locations to their wish list. Gordon also commented on the cost of the retrofit, which can be as little as one quarter the original cost. “For $2,500 I can replace $10,000 worth of equipment with something that is far superior in every respect,” he said. “I’m bidding against companies that are still relying on older technologies. Our bids come in at half of theirs, and we’re also giving them greater performance, reliability, and usability! It’s like the other guys are not even playing in the same league.”

ABOUT ASHLY AUDIO With over a thirty-five year history, Ashly Audio Inc. is recognized as a world leader in designing and manufacturing quality signal processing equipment and power amplification for use in the commercial sound contracting and professional audio markets.


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July 2010
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