The Oxford Social Club within The Pendry hotel has installed a new hidden sound system utilising Powersoft Ottocanali amplifiers to help the club lounge be both a sophisticated space during the day and a high-octane club at night.
The Pendry is the Montage Hotel Group’s flagship hotel, located in the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego. They turned to Clique Hospitality Group’s CEO, Andy Masi to help achieve the perfect Southern California boutique hotel experience. Masi brought on board long-time collaborator and nightclub industry veteran John Lyons to oversee sound system design for The Oxford Social Club.
“It’s intended as a high-end, sophisticated lounge with lots of cushy seating, but I knew that at some point in the night in every lounge’s life it’s going to need to some horse power,” said Lyons. “So I specified a system that would be able to give me the power and clarity needed for a serious dance." But Lyons had to work around the limitations of the physical space to achieve such a balance. "Since it was to be built from scratch, I made sure to specify sound treatment for much of the ceilings that I knew would give me a predictable sonic signature.”
With physical space in both the lounge itself and its rack room at a premium, Lyons specified Powersoft Ottocanali amplifiers driving Fulcrum Acoustic speakers for a low-footprint, high-impact sound solution. Lyons explained: “Any time I do a project I try to identify the products that are the best fit. In this case we wanted high-powered, high-fidelity sound, but we didn’t want to take up a lot of visual space. We also had a relatively modest amount of rack real estate available for amplifiers. Powersoft and Fulcrum were the clear choice.”
Lyons installed a system with 24 channels of Powersoft amplification over three Ottocanali 8k8 rack units, consuming a mere six rack units in the club's small rack room. “It’s the equivalent of having a rack of 12 amplifiers,” Lyons notes. These amplifiers drive eight Fulcrum Acoustics 15in coaxial loudspeakers and eight double 15in subwoofers, as well as additional smaller side zone speakers placed near the entryway and bathrooms. The mains were carefully positioned inside soffits around the lounge, while the subwoofers were secreted into existing millwork and columns. “We hid the speakers well so that we could get even coverage throughout the space without deadening the visual impact of the lounge,” said Lyons.
The Ottocanali amps were up to the task of driving the full speaker system with power to spare. Lyons added: “In order to get double 15in subs like that to sing you need a lot of headroom, and with their powerful output and damping factor the Ottocanali amps do that well. Since it was a new construction we were able to have our power mapped out and built, but with the Powersoft amps it was simply a matter of tying our mains power into our rack. It was nice that we didn’t have to allocate any more of our budget for special power accommodations.”