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Harman features in upgrade at London’s Kensington Close Hotel & Spa

CP Sound provides elegant integrated solution utilising new JBL PRX400 Series loudspeakers alongside Crown, dbx and AKG at refurbishment of Balmoral Room.

CP Sound provides elegant integrated solution utilising new JBL PRX400 Series loudspeakers alongside Crown, dbx and AKG at refurbishment of Balmoral Room. London’s Kensington Close Hotel & Spa has recently completed an impressive £40m renovation in celebration of its 50th anniversary, including new conference and banqueting suites. The hotel is situated in a prestigious London location, just off High Street Kensington, so sound containment was an important issue. The team brought in CP Sound’s MD Colin Pattenden to advise on acoustic treatment and selection of the optimum sound system for the flagship, 230-seat Balmoral event room. The room is reconfigurable between one or two spaces, and operable in theatre, classroom, party or boardroom modes. “The council had suggested that the hotel look at sound thresholds and I put together a scenario I knew would work — based on JBL’s new PRX 400 series,” explained Pattenden. Introduced as a replacement for the popular MRX series, the installers specified 10 PRX412M tops, with 90° x 50° dispersion, which have been designed to provide the sensitivity, frequency response and power handling needed to address a multitude of different audio requirements. For situations where LF extension is required, CP Sound has provided five PRX418S single 18in subs, to create a system capable of generating 135 dB of full-range, high quality audio. These are powered by a combination of five Crown XLS 1500 (in bridge mode, driving the subwoofers), a Crown XLS 2000 in stereo mode, driving six tops), a Crown XLS 1000 (driving the JBL Control 28 DJ monitors) and a Crown XLS 2500 (in stereo mode driving six further top boxes). This tells only half the story. As the room can be split into two, four of the PRX412Ms are back facing. “If there’s a wedding at one end and a dance at the other the volume levels can be adjusted accordingly,” said Pattenden. Clever processing was required to achieve this and the gain structures have been preset into a pair of dbx DriveRack PA+ processors; these were configured as 2-in and 4-out, run in 2-way stereo mode. Easy to set up, the device’s Auto Level Wizard will fine tune the level settings of each speaker system while the Auto EQ Wizard will further optimise the sound. A pair of AKG WMS45 Perception Wireless handheld mics were also specified. “These are simple plug-and-play mics, perfect for the task, and the DriveRack’s anti-feedback filters ensure the sound remains crystal clear with very good feedback rejection,” said Pattenden. CP Sound have also provided two DJ plug-in points, while clients’ iPods will often provide a further source at private events. Having satisfied the noise requirements of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (aided by the removal of a glass conservatory at the rear) CP Sound is content in knowing they have provided the owner, Cola Hotels, with a versatile and highly controlled solution.