US-based integrator MFI Productions has equipped the newly located Gibson’s Bookstore, Concord, New Hampshire, with a sophisticated sound reinforcement system driven by an Ashly Audio ne8250.70pem eight-channel 250W network amplifier. The new system also incorporates Electro-Voice Evid C8.2 coaxial ceiling speakers.
The bookstore doubled in size to 10,000sqft when it moved to a street not far from its original location.
“The old location was small enough that a simple, consumer-type sound system could do the job,” explained Rick Elliott, production manager at MFI Productions. “When the owner was looking over the plans with designer Kat Whouley of Books In Common, he realised it would take something more high-tech to do it right. He wanted the flexibility to accommodate any type of event, but he also wanted to make sure that his staff could operate the system intuitively.”
The new system needed to cover eight zones. MFI Productions deployed separate Pandora music boxes to allow different content to play in the children’s section, the main floor, the café, and the on-hold phone system. Elsewhere, a handful of line and microphone inputs were implemented to accommodate a simple acoustic music setup, a presentation, or a lecture. The café’s outdoor seating area, meanwhile, was fitted with two outdoor speakers, while 24 Electro-Voice Evid C8.2 coaxial ceiling speakers cover the bookstore. These are zoned so that speakers can be either muted or used for events of various sizes in either the children’s section or the main section. Elliott also ran a few extra input lines that the store can grow into if needed. In addition, Four Ashly neWR-5 network wall-mounted remote controls were placed at strategic locations to allow staff to intuitively select zone inputs and control the volume in each zone.
A single, two-rack space Ashly ne8250.70pem provides all of the necessary microphone preamplifiers, input processing, I/O matrixing, and loudspeaker processing, along with eight channels of amplification at 250W per channel into 70V. “The Ashly ne8250.70pem was the right solution because of its simplicity and flexibility,” said Elliott. “It could do everything that the expanded Gibson’s would require, and, when paired with four Ashly neWR-5 wall-mounted remote controls, could deliver that functionality in a way that would be transparent for the staff. When you consider that the two-rack space ne8250.70pem is handling all of the processing and amplification for the entire store, its cost is more than fair.” To help with the evolving system use, the IT contractor allowed Elliott to get through the bookstore’s firewall so that he can make adjustments to the ne8250.70pem from anywhere in the world.