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Harman networked sound and lighting upgrades rooftop space

A comprehensive Harman Professional Solutions equipment list has been selected for a major technology overhaul at the Monaco Philadelphia hotel’s Stratus rooftop lounge.

The new sound and lighting systems include JBL loudspeakers, Crown amplifiers, BSS controllers and Martin lighting fixtures.

The Monaco Philadelphia boutique hotel is located in the Lafayette Building in the city’s Historic District near Independence Hall, and the newly renovated Stratus rooftop lounge is 11 storeys up.

Ian Hoffer, president of Aurora Sound and Light commented: “In order to optimise and provide separate control for the spaces, we designed and installed four sound system zones – interior lounge, exterior lounge, pavilion #1 and pavilion #2, all built with JBL loudspeakers and subwoofers, and Crown amplifiers. We networked and manage the zones with BSS Contrio controllers.”

Hoffer continued: “The Stratus lounge has always been a cool space. It’s lush and comfortable and offers a really good mix of indoor and outdoor environments. But the hotel wanted to create something exciting. They specifically wanted to bring in professional, entertainment-level sound and lighting systems, and be able to use the lounge and its pavilions for a wide range of upscale events. I’m happy to say that from corporate meetings to weddings, to an impressive nightclub and dance venue, the Stratus now has plenty of headroom and is ready to perform.”

Hoffer and his team installed a mix of JBL AC-28 and AC-16 loudspeakers within the interior spaces, supported by a set of JBL ASB6115 and JBL ASB-6112 subwoofers. The large exterior space utilised the JBL AM-7212 loudspeakers and JBL ASB-6115 WRX subwoofers.

“For the pavilions, we wanted to go as large as possible but not be too obtrusive. Luckily, we had some architectural elements we could work with. We used a mix of black cabinets and white cabinets to blend in to the décor, and we were very careful with horn placement. We wanted the space to be exciting and sharp, but comfortable,” stated Hoffer.

Because of the close proximity to rooms and other guest areas, hotel management had a concern about bleed-over vibration. Aurora Sound and Light decided to mount the exterior subwoofers on a spring system, similar to what might be found with AC units where the subwoofers ride on springs, isolating them from the building.

For the lighting across the four spaces, Hoffer and his team placed more than 30 Martin Exterior 50 LED lights.

“The Martin compact LEDs are easy to place and work with, and are really nice in creating a mood and setting a tone for the spaces. We used the Martins for up lighting, down lighting, and for creating some impressive focal points,” added Hoffer. “For the outdoor areas especially, we needed small, weatherproof LED systems. The light quality, and colour and control capabilities of these fixtures are very impressive. All built into a rock-solid, easy to install unit.”

Similar to the sound system, the lighting system has been completely updated and modernised and is now based on zones, with digital controllers and room scene presets in place, all under password protection.

Hoffer noted that the most challenging part of the lighting system was to get updated wiring and control in place for the Martin 50 LED systems. In many spots, there may have been power, but no data. Hoffer and his team pulled Cat5 where they could, made use of some existing cabling, and went wireless for a key focal point within an outdoor pavilion.

“One of the outdoor pavilions has this huge, ornate flowerpot. It anchors and sets the space, but it had no lighting. An attractive piece, but we knew if it was properly lit, it would be really impressive. So we used a set of Martin outdoor LEDs and installed a wireless DMX unit to feed data to the lights,” said Hoffer. “It’s now a really impressive focal point, and we can change the colours and control the lights any time, even remotely.”

Hoffer explained that BSS BLU link Soundweb and Crown DriveCore Network amplifiers provided critical capabilities needed for the project.

“The BLU link and Crown amps greatly simplified the installation. Ultimately, we were able to run three Cat5e cables to network the system, rather than 30 analogue cables. This not only saves a huge amount of time and money during the installation, but adds a high level of flexibility and scalability for future changes or additions,” said Hoffer.

Harman Professional Solutions