A well-planned Renkus-Heinz audio system has contributed to the success of Stout FiDi, a bar and restaurant in Manhattan's Financial District. Opened as a counterpart to its uptown predecessor, in just over a year Stout FiDi has become a success story of its own, offering an intimate yet lively environment.
Like many bars and restaurants in lower New York, Stout FiDi is built into a long, rectangular space. Unlike most, however, Stout boasts an expansively deep space and towering 6m-plus ceilings, creating an impressive, spacious atmosphere – and some audio challenges.
"There's a lot of glass and other reflective surfaces in there as well," said John Paturno, president of Rego Park, NY-based Starview Audio. "The previous venue in there had been something of a cacophonous space, and part of our agreement with the owners was a commitment to some acoustic treatment. That helped take the edge off."
Stout's main room is dominated by a massive bar that stretches the length of the space, replete with ornate mirror-backed shelves of exotic whiskies climbing nearly to its 6m ceilings. The area is covered by four Renkus-Heinz TRX82 dual 8in systems.
The architecture informed the choice of loudspeakers, said Richard Trombitas of Cardone, Solomon Associates: "The shelves behind the main bar area dictated that the loudspeakers be hung relatively high, which would impact coverage. We recommended the TRX82 for that area because of its exceptionally tight pattern control over a longer throw. The conic horn provides a nice 60º vertical pattern that doesn't create a lot of excess sound to excite the mirrors and other reflective surfaces."
The remainder of the bar area is served by a dozen TRX81 systems, providing balanced, even coverage to every seat. Powersoft amplification drives the system, with Symetrix Radius DSP enabling the system to be controlled via iPhone.
"The TRX81 and TRX82 were a great choice for the new Stout FiDi location," Paturno concluded. "The system provides great musical performance, as well as exceptional vocal intelligibility. Guests can sit comfortably at the bar and hear every word of a song, yet still carry on a conversation without yelling in each others' ear. The system sounds fantastic."