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Author Topic: Options for Bar audio system  (Read 5046 times)

Gene Ragonese

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Options for Bar audio system
« on: August 09, 2016, 01:25:20 pm »

Hello all you audio experts,

I am in need of some expertise in what picking out equipment for a commercial system.  It is for the same place that had the disaster system in this thread.  http://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/topic,159402.0.html
after cutting the speakers from 20 to 10 and replacing all the woofers and tweeters it worked fine till yesterday.  At this point I am looking for options to replace the old equipment in there.

I would like to keep this system simple and Decent sounding  (I think putting a boombox on the bar top would be an improvement at this point).   They will primarily use a tablet with a dragonfly usb dac as the input.  Occasionally the tv would be the input.  There are two sections to have audio in.  The main bar area which is about 150x20  and the back room area which is about 50 by 25.  I'm sure if their existing amps could be reused the owner would like that but if that isn't a option that isn't an option.

Any help or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Thanks!!
Gene Ragonese
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Scott Carneval

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Re: Options for Bar audio system
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2016, 07:22:04 pm »

Hello all you audio experts,

I am in need of some expertise in what picking out equipment for a commercial system.  It is for the same place that had the disaster system in this thread.  http://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/topic,159402.0.html
after cutting the speakers from 20 to 10 and replacing all the woofers and tweeters it worked fine till yesterday.  At this point I am looking for options to replace the old equipment in there.

I would like to keep this system simple and Decent sounding  (I think putting a boombox on the bar top would be an improvement at this point).   They will primarily use a tablet with a dragonfly usb dac as the input.  Occasionally the tv would be the input.  There are two sections to have audio in.  The main bar area which is about 150x20  and the back room area which is about 50 by 25.  I'm sure if their existing amps could be reused the owner would like that but if that isn't a option that isn't an option.

Any help or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Thanks!!
Gene Ragonese

Hi Gene,

I remember the other thread, and I'm glad you're finally looking at replacing the old system with something appropriate. Before we can really help you there are a couple important questions to answer:

What is the ceiling height?

What is the ceiling made of? Acoustic Tiles? Sheetrock? Open beams?

Will the back room need independent source and volume control?

Will bands or DJ's ever play through this system, or is it just for background music?

Will you be using subwoofers?

Does the tablet have a headphone output? Using the dragonfly usb dac is just asking for trouble. Sure, you know how it works, and the owner might too, but the last thing you want is a phone call on a Saturday afternoon when the owner is on vacation and the bartender can't figure it out. KISS.

What is the budget?
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Gene Ragonese

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Re: Options for Bar audio system
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2016, 11:15:22 pm »

Hi Gene,

I remember the other thread, and I'm glad you're finally looking at replacing the old system with something appropriate. Before we can really help you there are a couple important questions to answer:

What is the ceiling height?

What is the ceiling made of? Acoustic Tiles? Sheetrock? Open beams?

Will the back room need independent source and volume control?

Will bands or DJ's ever play through this system, or is it just for background music?

Will you be using subwoofers?

Does the tablet have a headphone output? Using the dragonfly usb dac is just asking for trouble. Sure, you know how it works, and the owner might too, but the last thing you want is a phone call on a Saturday afternoon when the owner is on vacation and the bartender can't figure it out. KISS.

What is the budget?


Hi Scott,

Its finally time to change things up.  I cant keep on spending my time that I'm not out of town in there working one putting more bandaid's in the system.

The ceiling is roughly 20-25 ft throughout.  Its an old building so I'm gonna take a guess that its most likely lath and plaster up there. 

They primarily use the system for background music.   The bands that come bring their own equipment with them.  They used to have a dj on the weekends but the upper levels were renovated with apartments so they bass blaring days are over.

The tablet they are using isn't the top of the line which is why the dragonfly is on there.  Its a simple tablet running windows 10 with a external hard drive attached to it.  there is a headphone jack on the tablet if that needs to be used.    The one thing they did want which I haven't gotten around to doing was a wall attenuator to control the volume since adjusting the volume on the tablet is tricky to say the least.  Thinking about it now they have been using ipods as the source since no one can control the volume easily.

The back room will be the same source as the main.  I wouldn't say it needs its own volume control as long as it is within the same level as the front.

When you ask about subwoofers are you referring to individual sub enclosures?

As of now they have all of their ceiling mounted boxes with a 8" woofer and 1" tweeter.

Im not sure of the exact budget they are working with at the moment as I have yet to have a sit down with the owner about that.  I am going to assume 2-3k

Thanks for your time Scott!
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Hal Bissinger/COMSYSTEC

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Re: Options for Bar audio system
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2016, 11:12:36 am »


The tablet they are using isn't the top of the line which is why the dragonfly is on there.  Its a simple tablet running windows 10 with a external hard drive attached to it... Thinking about it now they have been using ipods as the source...

I think you need to consider copyright issues and the right to use that music in a commercial setting. So many people think that it's alright to plug their ipod into a system and play from the library they got from itunes. Not so. Now would be a good time to decide on a music service with equipment that would take care of the operator issues.

-Hal
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Cailen Waddell

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Re: Options for Bar audio system
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2016, 12:20:57 pm »

I think you need to consider copyright issues and the right to use that music in a commercial setting. So many people think that it's alright to plug their ipod into a system and play from the library they got from itunes. Not so. Now would be a good time to decide on a music service with equipment that would take care of the operator issues.

-Hal

Or just buy an ASCAP/BMI/SESAC license and play music from whatever you want as long as the music is in their lists....  Where an iPod is totally ok.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Gene Ragonese

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Re: Options for Bar audio system
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2016, 10:22:43 am »

I'm not going to need to worry about copyright issues if there is nothing for the music to come through.
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Options for Bar audio system
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2016, 01:05:00 pm »

I'm not going to need to worry about copyright issues if there is nothing for the music to come through.

Ding, ding, ding.  We have a winner.

I am sure you can find scumbags in other forums that will tell you how wonderful everything is and you can worry about those pesky copyright issues after the system is up and running.


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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
River Delta Audio is now:

Ghost Audio Visual Solutions, LLC
Cleveland OH
www.ghostav.rocks

Scott Carneval

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Re: Options for Bar audio system
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2016, 04:07:16 pm »


Hi Scott,

Its finally time to change things up.  I cant keep on spending my time that I'm not out of town in there working one putting more bandaid's in the system.

The ceiling is roughly 20-25 ft throughout.  Its an old building so I'm gonna take a guess that its most likely lath and plaster up there. 

They primarily use the system for background music.   The bands that come bring their own equipment with them.  They used to have a dj on the weekends but the upper levels were renovated with apartments so they bass blaring days are over.

The tablet they are using isn't the top of the line which is why the dragonfly is on there.  Its a simple tablet running windows 10 with a external hard drive attached to it.  there is a headphone jack on the tablet if that needs to be used.    The one thing they did want which I haven't gotten around to doing was a wall attenuator to control the volume since adjusting the volume on the tablet is tricky to say the least.  Thinking about it now they have been using ipods as the source since no one can control the volume easily.

The back room will be the same source as the main.  I wouldn't say it needs its own volume control as long as it is within the same level as the front.

When you ask about subwoofers are you referring to individual sub enclosures?

As of now they have all of their ceiling mounted boxes with a 8" woofer and 1" tweeter.

Im not sure of the exact budget they are working with at the moment as I have yet to have a sit down with the owner about that.  I am going to assume 2-3k

Thanks for your time Scott!

For 2-3k I'm not even sure where I would start. Is that supposed to include labor? 

You could look at something like the JBL Control 25 or Control 28. I can't really think of a cheaper commercial speaker.

Maybe a 70volt Mixer/Amplifier. It wouldn't go very loud, but it would sound decent and should work fine for background music.
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Max Hall

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Re: Options for Bar audio system
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2016, 09:35:46 pm »

If the system is only for background music. This is an option. Also before you dismiss the idea, if you add a crossover but bypass it, then if you do get some subs (shouldn't need any for background music) but if you wanted to add some for a bit more oomph. Just bypass the crossover until that may or may not come.  JBL have the control ones.  (I swear by them for any low/medium volume music in any sized venue).
There are also good value for money, reliable, simple and good quality.


 There are two models, the normal one, more for home but not necessarily.

100W RMS  with a peak of 200W
228 x 155 x 139    (Millimetres)
Bass frequency response is 80 - 20,000   (Good for a 5" driver)4
MORE IMPORTANTLY -   8 Ohm Impedance (Why this model might be beneficial than the professional one)

This means that if the amplifier used is rated for 4 ohms per channel say for 300w or so (will discuss power later). Then because each speaker is 8 ohms. Two connected in a daisy chain, makes 4 ohms. Or they could be connected through a speaker switcher unit. So that part can be isolated from others.     
Ie. If you had the main bar area with say bar on one side wall.   You could have 1 of the multiple amplifiers, wired up so that say. Channel 1 was speaker 1/2. Located on front left and right corners of bar, then using switcher. You could have just left on or right. Then have amp channel 1 as the front of bar. And so on....


Anyway, if you were to choose the 'professional' model. There really isn't much difference.
The Pro model is:

Rather than a titanium tweeter , it's plastic.
Marginally bigger    235 mm x 159 mm x 143 mm (9.3 in x 6.3 in x 5.6 in)
Slightly different built in passive crossover.
4 Ohms per speaker meaning that unless you find a 2 ohm per channel amp you wouldn't be able to have more than 1 speaker per amp channel. That ends up in a lot of extra cost (double the number of amps) and space.
The Pro model is also designed to handle a little bit more power, but don't sound as good as the normal model.   Your choice what you would rather sacrifice.

That is my speaker recommendation. As for amps, there are multiple options. This is what I might do:

Go for quality, but pick a range that doesn't rip you off.
Ensure amp is more than capable of powering speakers. An amp near clipping sends a distorted signal that ruins quality of sound and damages speakers.
Don't let all the staff near the amps (Place on racks in cupboard etc..., only keep the mixer open so that amp is not turned to max thinking it will make everything louder. It will but mixer will need eq ing..??. To re adjust so sound hasn't got too much treble/bass/reverb/gain etc...
I would suggest a four channel amp. More speakers in the same size also cheaper than buying 2 two channel amps.
 
Example amps:    Regarding Impendance. I have found a few 2 ohm amps so you could have three speakers per channel (if you wanted)


QSC  CMX300Va      2 Channel, 2 ohm per channel so three 8 ohm speaker per channel max. But amp copes with 4 and 8 ohm. So you could just have one speaker per channel. But is a bit powerful for less than 2 per channel.


QSC RMX 1450a    2 Channels, 4 ohm per channel. Powering 400w. So 2 speakers on each channel would be closely matched. But don't turn amp all the way up, remember that the amp is at the top scale of the speakers capacity.

Or the same amp just a different model    RMX 850a.     You could connect three speakers to each channel at 2 ohms. Giving  430w per channel. This would be better matched because the amp has plenty of power but not enough risking damage to the speakers.

Hopefully from the information I have given, you should be able to maybe to a little more research into the matter of matching speakers to amps.


For 2-3k I'm not even sure where I would start. Is that supposed to include labor? 

You could look at something like the JBL Control 25 or Control 28. I can't really think of a cheaper commercial speaker.

Maybe a 70volt Mixer/Amplifier. It wouldn't go very loud, but it would sound decent and should work fine for background music.


As Scott said a 70 volt system is also an option and work well when a good quality system is installed however can be a pain if not done properly.

A friend recently did out his bar area sound system and installed a big sonos system, the connect and connect amp rather than the little play 1, 3, 5 etc.. He has been pleased with it, giving you zones etc.... However, 2-3K wouldn't get hugely far paying for sonos.

You have to remeber that it is your decision and everyone can only advise you. Be sure that it is right before you buy it. Depending on where the bar is, some companies like jbl/qsc. Do a try it before you buy it service, might be an idea??!!

If all you want for inputs is a 3.5mm jack input from tablet/mobile device and maybe a tv sometimes. Here is my suggestion:
http://www.altoproaudio.com/products/zmx862

Inputs for the two listed inputs plus space for a bar tender mic just incase/birthday/special event.... etc.
Don't just plug tablet into tape in input though, this completely limits how you can change sound because you lose all the eq adjustments. If you can find a decent 1/4"jack to 3.35mm jack cable then use that. If not Use a 1/4" male jack to twin female rca. Then plug a twin male rca to 3.35mm male jack cable into that.

I don't know what audio outputs are on the tv's. But I would use the same jack to rca female cable and then depending on length, if you are connecting into a headphone jack on tv, then same setup as for tablet. Or if it is twin L/R RCA Phono output, then connect a twin male phono to twin male phono cable into the 1/4" male jack to twin female rca cable. Again this way or you lose functionality. Especially on a tv source. That will need a lot of editing.


And maybe a graphic eq to finalise sound. Either a 15 band stereo or 31 band would do. Alto do good mixers and equalisers! 

Anyway, I'll keep looking into it for you and get back to you if I have any other ideas. But me know how you get on. Good Luck :D

Regards Max
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Gene Ragonese

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Re: Options for Bar audio system
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2016, 09:19:12 pm »

Max, Thank you for all of the information!!!!  I presented this to the owner and he like the solution.  The only request he had was that the speaker boxes mounted on the ceiling were reused.  The reason being is that i guess he paid quite a bit of money having them built and would like to keep them.  With that presents what to do with changing out the current speakers in there.  The woofers are goldwood gw-8pc/8  and tweeters are pyramid tw44.  He ultimately would like to have all 20 speakers in the bar working.  But just to get things going we agreed on getting 10 of the speakers up and going before moving onto more.   Currently there are only 6 woofers and tweeters running on the 3 amps and they haven't had any issues.   Any ideas on what would be a good solution for this with amps and speakers?
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