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Author Topic: Restaurant Install  (Read 5235 times)

Nathan Riddle

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Restaurant Install
« on: September 24, 2016, 01:57:50 am »

Bidding on a restaurant install. It is on the beach both inside & outside.

As this is new to me I wanted to run it by a few experts first.

Info

Customer is of relationship & ease of use type, then cost, finally tech. -Learned that from Caleb Dick :) thanks mate!

Customer says they want: high quality, even sound throughout, ease of use with the technology, and plugins for the musician who sings/plays guitar.

Foreground/Background; musician comes and plays music & needs hookups to the dsp.
2x mics, DI, L/R line, L/R radio, L/R ipod, L/R computer inputs.

FYI, I will do the final ceiling calculations (to determine # of spkrs) once I get the estimate approved to proceed on the proposal. Currently my estimation is based upon just replacing the ceiling speakers.

Parts List

~26x Atlas FAP63T in ceiling speakers (Main dining areas with ceiling & bar)
2x Atlas FAP43T in ceiling speakers (restrooms)
8/6/4x Atlas SM52T All Weather (downstairs patio, Lobby, Front)
4/2x Atlas SM82T All Weather (patio)
2x Atlas SM8CXT (main dining area without ceiling, musician focus)

1x Ashly ne8250.70 - 8 Channel 250W 70

1x BSS BLU100 London
1x BSS EC-V
1x BSS EC-4BV
1x BSS EC-8BV

1x router
1x Netgear GS108PE
1x 6U rack
1x power conditioner

1x 1000' cat6 box
1x 1000' 16awg box
1x 500' xlr belden
1x xlr / 1/4" wall combo wall plate
some misc stuff, hardware etc.

Questions:

Does 45hrs of labor sound about right?
Does 15k sound about right?
Are there other brands that I should be/should have looked at... tannoy?
Have I forgotten anything important?

My concerns

How much wattage is really needed for a 70v system? Does the typical speaker get loud enough on 2/4w taps? I can calculate that from the sens spec; I guess what i'm after is how loud should the speakers be able to get in a restaurant? I was specing 90-94dB, but that might be wayy too much and thus I could lower the amp spec some saving more money for client.

Am I too high on cost? Area is high tourism, beachie, expensive restaurant. I tried to spec according to customer type and requests.

I didn't really want to end up using 100w wall volume controls which is why I opted for the BLU100. But I realize this raises the cost significantly, with the wall panels & DSP etc. Whereas I could probalby get away with a mixer-amp.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Restaurant Install
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2016, 09:34:47 am »

A "rough estimate" to the labor is 30 minutes per ceiling speaker.

This should include the wire pulling.

YES it can vary-depending on how far and what "obsticals" you have to overcome getting the wire to the speakers.

Then add in rack wiring, terminations to jacks, alignment time, design time, programming time etc.

Part of the issue of "providing jacks for somebody to plug into" is gain structure.  Unless you have a front end that is adjustable and a separate level adjustment, you could run into situations that vary from a low level input to line level.

Distortion or not enough gain could be a problem.

So the "simple to use" starts to become a limitation.

In thinking in terms of "loudness taps", you need to consider a number of different factors.

What sort of average SPL do you want to have at the seats?  How far away are the speakers?  What is the sensitivity of the speakers?  How much dynamic peak range do you want/need?

Once you start to do the calculations, you may find that 2 or 4 watts is nowhere nearly enough.  So you either need to "readjust" your expectations, or plan on more power.

Personally, I usually start with the maximum taps and then maybe tap some lower as needed for SPL in different areas.

Your 90-94dB spec, is that continuous or peak?

REMEMBER- the peak in music are typically 15dB higher (NOT the 6dB peak in test signals).

So if 90dB is your peak, then the "average" level would be more like 75dB

I know some places that "squash the hell" out of a system like this, to keep the levels pretty constant.

That is fine on one level, but sounds like crap if somebody is actually listening.

So-as usual-it depends
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Nathan Riddle

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Re: Restaurant Install
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2016, 10:14:45 am »

A "rough estimate" to the labor is 30 minutes per ceiling speaker.

This should include the wire pulling.

YES it can vary-depending on how far and what "obsticals" you have to overcome getting the wire to the speakers.

Then add in rack wiring, terminations to jacks, alignment time, design time, programming time etc.

I figure 20 hrs for the speakers giving extra time for the outdoor speakers as they are further away.
3 hrs for the amp rack.
6 for programming.
4.5 for the 3x control panels (includes a bit of programming)
2.5 for the musician hookups
That's 36hrs but with 10extra for leeway or should I factor that into the margin on the labor cost?

Part of the issue of "providing jacks for somebody to plug into" is gain structure.  Unless you have a front end that is adjustable and a separate level adjustment, you could run into situations that vary from a low level input to line level.

Distortion or not enough gain could be a problem.

So the "simple to use" starts to become a limitation.

I agree that I wouldn't necessarily like it that way, but I really need to make sure it is fairly set and forget. I'm assuming the musician who hooks up will have an idea of what they need to do.

I plan on having a "mic only" line that has processing (hence the nicer DSP processor) to ensure that it can't get too loud, so if a line level gets plugged in it shuts that input off.

Then having a "DI only" line that does the same thing.

Next would be L/R (obviously summed to mono [we won't tell anyone I did that though]) line level xlr/1/4" levels for a musician who brings his own mixer and sets his own levels and just sends a l/r mix out.

I figure that covers all of my bases. Perhaps a hookup for RCA or 1/8" as well so people can plug in phone and play music. but this 'area' will only be for a musician, so unless the musician is running tracks/loops... I don't see it needed, i'll ask when i get more into the project.

In thinking in terms of "loudness taps", you need to consider a number of different factors.

What sort of average SPL do you want to have at the seats?  How far away are the speakers?  What is the sensitivity of the speakers?  How much dynamic peak range do you want/need?

Once you start to do the calculations, you may find that 2 or 4 watts is nowhere nearly enough.  So you either need to "readjust" your expectations, or plan on more power.

Personally, I usually start with the maximum taps and then maybe tap some lower as needed for SPL in different areas.

Your 90-94dB spec, is that continuous or peak?

REMEMBER- the peak in music are typically 15dB higher (NOT the 6dB peak in test signals).

So if 90dB is your peak, then the "average" level would be more like 75dB

I know some places that "squash the hell" out of a system like this, to keep the levels pretty constant.

That is fine on one level, but sounds like crap if somebody is actually listening.

So-as usual-it depends

I figure you probably have to limit the system fairly heavily so every source is consistent. I don't like squishing the dynamic range of music, because it's already so squished, but they can't be adjusting levels every few hours because one song was recorded at -3dbfs and another was at -10...

SPL,
It's hard to figure out exactly as I don't have room dimensions or height so i'm guessing at 8' in some rooms and 12-15' in others.

My spl spec would have been peak/max @ selected tap. I could go higher, but then for 8 speakers @ 32w/tap i've run out of amp power.

For instance, fap64t @ tap #16 with a 8' ceiling = 99dB max spl 173w required from amp. 84dB average (-15 like you said for music) is probably plenty for the dining experience correct?

I should have brought a spl meter to find out what the ambient/current noise level was so I could calculate better. But in my defense I was planning on going back once I had got the job and finalizing the speaker count/spl requirements.

I found a JBL paper to help me out http://www.jblpro.com/ProductAttachments/Real_Coverage.pdf
I think it was specing 10dB less than continuous.

Also, I was using the https://www.atlasied.com/fap63t-w
Loudspeaker Placement Tool to get a guestimate. # of speakers & taps & spl.

This is a fine dining establishment so I don't need 100dB continuous, but I assume 75-80dB averages would be appropriate.

At any rate, I think you helped me arrive at my own conclusions. Tell me if i'm wrong.
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Scott Carneval

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Re: Restaurant Install
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2016, 10:55:15 am »

Bidding on a restaurant install. It is on the beach both inside & outside.

As this is new to me I wanted to run it by a few experts first.

Info

Customer is of relationship & ease of use type, then cost, finally tech. -Learned that from Caleb Dick :) thanks mate!

Customer says they want: high quality, even sound throughout, ease of use with the technology, and plugins for the musician who sings/plays guitar.

Foreground/Background; musician comes and plays music & needs hookups to the dsp.
2x mics, DI, L/R line, L/R radio, L/R ipod, L/R computer inputs.

FYI, I will do the final ceiling calculations (to determine # of spkrs) once I get the estimate approved to proceed on the proposal. Currently my estimation is based upon just replacing the ceiling speakers.

Parts List

~26x Atlas FAP63T in ceiling speakers (Main dining areas with ceiling & bar)
2x Atlas FAP43T in ceiling speakers (restrooms)
8/6/4x Atlas SM52T All Weather (downstairs patio, Lobby, Front)
4/2x Atlas SM82T All Weather (patio)
2x Atlas SM8CXT (main dining area without ceiling, musician focus)

1x Ashly ne8250.70 - 8 Channel 250W 70

1x BSS BLU100 London
1x BSS EC-V
1x BSS EC-4BV
1x BSS EC-8BV

1x router
1x Netgear GS108PE
1x 6U rack
1x power conditioner

1x 1000' cat6 box
1x 1000' 16awg box
1x 500' xlr belden
1x xlr / 1/4" wall combo wall plate
some misc stuff, hardware etc.

Questions:

Does 45hrs of labor sound about right?
Does 15k sound about right?
Are there other brands that I should be/should have looked at... tannoy?
Have I forgotten anything important?

My concerns

How much wattage is really needed for a 70v system? Does the typical speaker get loud enough on 2/4w taps? I can calculate that from the sens spec; I guess what i'm after is how loud should the speakers be able to get in a restaurant? I was specing 90-94dB, but that might be wayy too much and thus I could lower the amp spec some saving more money for client.

Am I too high on cost? Area is high tourism, beachie, expensive restaurant. I tried to spec according to customer type and requests.

I didn't really want to end up using 100w wall volume controls which is why I opted for the BLU100. But I realize this raises the cost significantly, with the wall panels & DSP etc. Whereas I could probalby get away with a mixer-amp.

Hey Nathan,

Here are some observations/suggestions that came to mind as I was reading your original post:

Regarding inputs, 2 mic inputs can be useful, but I think you would be fine with 1 if you run out of inputs in the DSP. I wouldn't bother with a 'DI' input. Any musician who comes in would almost always prefer to bring their own small mixer to plug into a set of L/R inputs. This way they'll have granular control over their levels and EQ. This will save you, the restaurant, and the musician from headaches, as well as save the restaurant some money. I would even go so far as to suggest a good wireless mic for announcements, private events, trivia, etc. and skip the wired mic input. If you provide a wireless mic(s), make sure you provide an appropriate antenna combining/distribution system so the mic can be used anywhere on the property.

As far as providing an iPod input, you will need to use a transformer to balance the signal so it doesn't pick up a hum on the way back to the rack. I prefer this wall-plate from RDL. It provides 3.5mm and RCA inputs, and sums them both to a single balanced mono output: http://www.rdlnet.com/product.php?page=487 

Have you considered TV audio inputs? If there are TV's, especially in the bar area, it's always a good idea to route audio from one of them into the system. They'll thank you for it when there's a big game or breaking news event happening.

I'm not a fan of Atlas speakers. They're mediocre at best, and there are much better options for similar money. SnapAV has an Episode brand of ceiling speakers that are the best value, in my opinion. They actually sound pretty good and are priced almost exactly the same as the Atlas.

For 'areas that matter', such as the room the musician will be performing in, I would look at something a little nicer, such as the Martin CDD. I would prefer having the sound coming from the stage rather than a bunch of ceiling speakers, at least for this zone.

I don't see any mention of subs, but that's something to consider as well. These days most new cars have subs built-in, a lot of people have subs with their TV soundbars, etc. and most people are just used to hearing music on a full-range system. This doesn't mean you need to shake the ceiling tiles loose, but having the warmth of subs can make a world of difference.

I notice you have an Ashly ne8250 amp and a BSS DSP. I would suggest the Ashly PEMA8250 amp/DSP combo instead. It has a mono mic input AND a summed RCA input on EACH of it's 8 inputs, and has a full suite of DSP including routing, mixing, auto-leveling, limiting, and EQ on each of it's 8x250 watt outputs. This is our go-to DSP for restaurants, conference rooms, and any other scenario where consumer-level inputs are involved. Ashly makes some really nice wall-mounted controls as well as a very intuitive iPad/iPhone app.

I would stay away from Netgear. SnapAV also has a house-brand for networking gear called Araknis which we've used with really good results. It has a cloud management app and can be remote rebooted if needed.

As for speaker wattage, the most speakers I see in a zone is 8. You could probably get away with tapping the speakers at 30 watts, but 15 watts will still get much louder than you would expect. You can bridge 2 channels of the Ashly to provide 500 watts to certain zones if you really need the extra power.

If installs are a market you intend to pursue, I would suggest setting up an account with SnapAV. They have a painless ordering process, great website, and because we live close to the warehouse everything we order is free shipping and next day delivery.

I would also make sure you have the proper insurance to cover installs.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2016, 10:57:35 am by Scott Carneval »
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Nathan Riddle

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Re: Restaurant Install
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2016, 05:07:32 pm »



Hey Nathan,

Here are some observations/suggestions that came to mind as I was reading your original post:

Regarding inputs, 2 mic inputs can be useful, but I think you would be fine with 1 if you run out of inputs in the DSP. I wouldn't bother with a 'DI' input. Any musician who comes in would almost always prefer to bring their own small mixer to plug into a set of L/R inputs. This way they'll have granular control over their levels and EQ. This will save you, the restaurant, and the musician from headaches, as well as save the restaurant some money. I would even go so far as to suggest a good wireless mic for announcements, private events, trivia, etc. and skip the wired mic input. If you provide a wireless mic(s), make sure you provide an appropriate antenna combining/distribution system so the mic can be used anywhere on the property.

As far as providing an iPod input, you will need to use a transformer to balance the signal so it doesn't pick up a hum on the way back to the rack. I prefer this wall-plate from RDL. It provides 3.5mm and RCA inputs, and sums them both to a single balanced mono output: http://www.rdlnet.com/product.php?page=487 

Have you considered TV audio inputs? If there are TV's, especially in the bar area, it's always a good idea to route audio from one of them into the system. They'll thank you for it when there's a big game or breaking news event happening.

I'm not a fan of Atlas speakers. They're mediocre at best, and there are much better options for similar money. SnapAV has an Episode brand of ceiling speakers that are the best value, in my opinion. They actually sound pretty good and are priced almost exactly the same as the Atlas.

For 'areas that matter', such as the room the musician will be performing in, I would look at something a little nicer, such as the Martin CDD. I would prefer having the sound coming from the stage rather than a bunch of ceiling speakers, at least for this zone.

I don't see any mention of subs, but that's something to consider as well. These days most new cars have subs built-in, a lot of people have subs with their TV soundbars, etc. and most people are just used to hearing music on a full-range system. This doesn't mean you need to shake the ceiling tiles loose, but having the warmth of subs can make a world of difference.

I notice you have an Ashly ne8250 amp and a BSS DSP. I would suggest the Ashly PEMA8250 amp/DSP combo instead. It has a mono mic input AND a summed RCA input on EACH of it's 8 inputs, and has a full suite of DSP including routing, mixing, auto-leveling, limiting, and EQ on each of it's 8x250 watt outputs. This is our go-to DSP for restaurants, conference rooms, and any other scenario where consumer-level inputs are involved. Ashly makes some really nice wall-mounted controls as well as a very intuitive iPad/iPhone app.

I would stay away from Netgear. SnapAV also has a house-brand for networking gear called Araknis which we've used with really good results. It has a cloud management app and can be remote rebooted if needed.

As for speaker wattage, the most speakers I see in a zone is 8. You could probably get away with tapping the speakers at 30 watts, but 15 watts will still get much louder than you would expect. You can bridge 2 channels of the Ashly to provide 500 watts to certain zones if you really need the extra power.

If installs are a market you intend to pursue, I would suggest setting up an account with SnapAV. They have a painless ordering process, great website, and because we live close to the warehouse everything we order is free shipping and next day delivery.

I would also make sure you have the proper insurance to cover installs.

Thanks Scott! I really appreciate the spots from a seasoned integrator/installer!

Not at my computer so forgive me if I don't respond accurately to everything.

I think my primary concern at this point is as far as budget am i in a good ball park? Just because prospective client is waiting on estimate. I do love the help for the parts though because I realize you kind of need parts picked before a cost can be established. Anyways, thanks for any and all help

~11k parts
4k labor
~15k total

I haven't done a restaurant install yet so this is a best guess. Done churches, homes etc, though.

Thanks for the insight for the input drop. I want to use the xlr 1/4" combo jacks for line in's (Incase mixer is one of the other), if the customer wants the iPod hookup I'll definitely use the summer with balance out. I concur that the Di isn't necessary.

We mentioned the TV inputs in our initial meeting, but they said they only leave the tv's muted. Next time we meet I want to bring up exactly your point about big games.

The Atlas was after some digging. I didn't want to post without doing my due diligence on brands. Ivan recommend them for their even dispersion compared to jbl which was what I was considering at first. After looking at the data sheets it indeed seemed as the Atlas were much better. Now I haven't heard them so I can't tell what their sound quality is. Suggestions for a comparatively priced alternative is greatly appreciated!

Martin CDD, hadn't considered them. I have no experience with martin speakers , so that's new to me. They look impressive on a datasheet sort of like Danley SM80's probably less low freq control, but that's not the point of this thread... Haha.

I couldn't find pricing except for fairly high, so I'm not sure if they fit the bill. I do agree though that the mains for the musician area need to be exceptional. The main area where the musician will be has a high ceiling and  table seating so they will both be used for background and foreground (live) music.

Subs, I wanted to, and your argument was exactly what I said. But the customer didn't seem too interested. I was hoping for mains with decent low end extension so that I don't need subs.

About the Ashley stuff, I started looking into their Dsp but it didn't seem like it was intuitive like the bss gear was. Also I liked the look, feel and network capabilities of the bss control panels. I agree though that the Ashly stuff definitely could work and might be cheaper, how much so I'm not sure quite yet.

Hadn't considered bridging the amp for more power. But I was trying to keep each zone 8 speakers & 250w so I think I'll be okay. But thanks for the tip if indeed I do have to!

I did sign up for snapAV thanks! Well see if they like me ;) I really do want to pursue the install market. I enjoy designing systems and solving problems for the customer!

Again Scott, others, really appreciate the wisdom!

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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Restaurant Install
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2016, 07:14:00 pm »



~11k parts
4k labor
~15k total


Do those figures include a decent profit on the parts?

Do you have enough profit for things like: Training, warranty repairs/service calls, time already spent and will be spent before the install even starts, etc.
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Nathan Riddle

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Re: Restaurant Install
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2016, 08:18:31 pm »

Do those figures include a decent profit on the parts?

Do you have enough profit for things like: Training, warranty repairs/service calls, time already spent and will be spent before the install even starts, etc.

According to D-Tools (which i'm trying out as per Caleb Dick's suggestion - btw thanks) I have a 20% margin on parts currently. That is with rough estimates of part cost as I know the actual parts [i'm leaning toward the Ashly system now] can change. But before I have the final proposal signed off on and the work has started i'll have gotten prices on every item and forced a decent margin.

I figure I might have to eat some of the initial time & design time to learn things. It would still be a large payoff because of the profit from the parts.
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Cailen Waddell

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Re: Restaurant Install
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2016, 08:49:22 pm »



Part of the issue of "providing jacks for somebody to plug into" is gain structure.  Unless you have a front end that is adjustable and a separate level adjustment, you could run into situations that vary from a low level input to line level.

Distortion or not enough gain could be a problem.

So the "simple to use" starts to become a limitation.


Ivan, When building DSP blocks, often for iPod inputs or whatever, I use a clip limiter for the input, a leveler block to get the level within what I'd like it to be, and then a use controllable level...  of iPod a has the volume at 50% and iPod 2 has it at full, they will both be close in level.  Of course the downside is user level controls don't work on the iPod very well but I find its worth it in the long run.  It takes some finesse to get song ends to fade out without being funky... but it can usually get close.

It doesn't solve every problem, but it makes the variety of levels you see somewhat manageable.


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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Restaurant Install
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2016, 09:18:22 pm »

I have a 20% margin on parts currently.
Back when I was in the install side of the industry, I think 20% was a pretty low percentage markup.

I was not on the "money side" of things, but I think the markup was more like 30-35%.  And I also think that the "multiplier" was not 1.3 or 1.35, but something higher.

I think the "markup" was figured another way, such as the cost being 65-70% of the final price.

Depending on which way you figure it, you get different answers.

Let's use 30%.  If you sell it for $100, then your cost is 70 and your profit is $30.

If your cost is $70 and you mark it up using 1.3 you get $91 or a profit of $21.  That is a difference of around 30 or 50%-depending on how you "do the math".

Just something to "think about".

Remember that your "profit" has to cover things like insurance-rent-taxes-time to order-time to unbox-returns if needed etc.
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Scott Carneval

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Re: Restaurant Install
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2016, 10:11:39 pm »

Back when I was in the install side of the industry, I think 20% was a pretty low percentage markup.

I was not on the "money side" of things, but I think the markup was more like 30-35%.  And I also think that the "multiplier" was not 1.3 or 1.35, but something higher.

I think the "markup" was figured another way, such as the cost being 65-70% of the final price.

Depending on which way you figure it, you get different answers.

Let's use 30%.  If you sell it for $100, then your cost is 70 and your profit is $30.

If your cost is $70 and you mark it up using 1.3 you get $91 or a profit of $21.  That is a difference of around 30 or 50%-depending on how you "do the math".

Just something to "think about".

Remember that your "profit" has to cover things like insurance-rent-taxes-time to order-time to unbox-returns if needed etc.

Markup vs margin.

30% markup is cost * 1.3

30% margin is cost /.7

We shoot for 30% margin. More on accessories and items under $100, but less (sometimes much less) on high dollar items and commodity items such as projectors and TV's.


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