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Author Topic: Restaurant Install  (Read 5450 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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Nathan Riddle

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Re: Restaurant Install
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2016, 01:51:10 pm »

Scott, PM'd me and I asked if I could post it up here to benefit the community, he said yes.

Hey Nathan,

The in-ceiling Episode 650's sound really good. The AW70 surface mounts sound ok, but not in the same class as the 650's. I would use them for a patio, but definitely not for the primary speaker inside for the musician. 

You'd be really surprised at the output of the Martins, especially the 6. I would use the 8 in the room with the musician, but I wouldn't hesitate to use the 6 anywhere else. They have surprisingly good bass their size too.

The only caveat is that the entire amp is 70v, and the Martin CDD8's aren't available with a transformer (the CDD6WR comes with a transformer, the indoor CDD6 does not). In this case I would probably use a separate 2-ch amp for the mains, such as the Ashly KLR-2000 which I listed above. This might even allow you to drop down to the PEMA8125.70 to offset the cost of the additional amp, and the 'ancillary' zones will probably be just fine with 125 watts. The PEMA has balanced line level 'aux' outputs for each channel, which you could use to feed the KLR.

If you have any trouble getting set up with Martin, Ashly, or SnapAV let me know and I'll be happy to sell them to you.

Thanks Scott!!

You recommended and helped me out. The least I can do is buy through you! Definitely want to do that if indeed I do get the job.

If I keep getting installs then sure, i'll try and get dealerships; but for now the wonderful folks such as yourself should get my business ;)

Again, I'm trying to do my research and due diligence before using up your/others time here on the forums. But I realllyyyy! appreciate the help, could not do it without you/others.

I have a few questions that I hadn't found an answer quite yet.

For the Episode 650's what sort of area calculations should I use? The Atlas/JBL speakers have a calculator that shows how many speakers per area. Does SnapAV have a similar thing, or should I use the JBL software calculators input a similar sized speaker with same dispersion angle? Bottom line, how do you do it?

Would you recommend the CDD6-WR in place of the AW70 for all outdoor areas or is the cost increase not enough for the quality increase?

I'm thinking it might be best to use the CDD6 for the foyer/entrance instead of the AW70-6 because the sound signature would be similar throughout the main entrance/main room and then in the dining areas the 650's would sound really good and it wouldn't be a notable difference in sound signature between manufactures/series. I'm considering putting the CDD6-WR in the front as well...but then again that's more money and might not be necessary for the ~30s that the customer hears [unless there is a long wait time]

Here's my revised plan thus far:

650-6  - for all tabled areas.
650-4  - for restrooms.
CDD8 - for the main area where musician will be (if there is one).
CDD6 - for the foyer/entrance.
AW70-6 - for the lower patio, upper patio, front.
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Nathan Riddle

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Re: Restaurant Install
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2016, 06:55:32 pm »

So I sent the estimate/proposal to them. Ended up being 16.5k after tax. They balked at that, thinking more like 8-10k and they want to do it in stages.

Stage = planning final product & start before executing middle thus no extra money is wasted.

I'm looking for a bit of advice.

First, easy questions (i'll explain where they come from later):

1) Do 70v systems sound bad?
2) Can I accomplish the same thing without using 70v system?
    [Could I series-parallel speakers to get the same effect?]
3) Can I accomplish relatively same goal with less/wall mounted speakers.
4) What corners could I cut to lower costs?

My answers to myself (correct me if i'm wrong):

1) No, other 70v systems sound bad because old speakers & improper installations. Yes, lower than ~80hz transformers can saturate, but high quality components and large transformers can help to alleviate that.

2) I could, but it would either cost the same or more, and be more difficult to make work.
[I could, but then why wouldn't I just use a 70v system?]

3) I could use less speakers, not use the ceiling speakers, and instead op for wall speakers; BUT that would only be if the client is okay with uneven distribution because of the wall speakers being closer to some tables and further away from others. Plus the aesthetics of wall speakers is not as appealing.

4) I don't think I should cut any corners. I think I should tell them that cutting corners is a bad idea. If they don't have money for things then stages is fine. I think I should do the main speakers for the musician first and see how they like that. Then do the upgraded ceiling speakers. Then upgrade the amp/controller. Etc.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes so here we go with another one of those 'my friend' things. Life's complicated...get used to it? I'm sorta in a pickle, ideas/thoughts anyone?

My friend has a friend at the restaurant (his inside 'contact') who told him about the install and he talked to his contact at the restaurant to see what they wanted and 'brought' me to see what I think.

CLIENT = owner = payer.
CONTACT = owner son = person who wants stuff done.
FRIEND = my friend = where gig came from.

Now, it's my company that would do the install, but he found the gig.

I sent the proposal, hadn't heard back and I was just about to call them up when he decided to go talk to them (without me). Okay not a huge deal, but it sorta feels like undermining my authority on the subject matter which erodes my credibility; IMO (tell me if i'm wrong).

CONTACT likes their sonos system (eg. wireless easy simple...), wants a monitor for the musician now (easy), don't like 70v systems because that's what they have now and it sounds bad (incorrect info), CLIENT didn't like the estimated price (fine, it was just an estimate...don't freak out...). Friend says he likes the wall speaker idea, CONTACT now agrees with him (so now, when I suggest not doing that it sounds like either my friend or i am incompetent).


I know i'm not supposed to mix friends and business, but my friend is bringing me gigs that I don't have currently, so that's nice.
But I need to figure out how to make it clear that saying things on my behalf undermines my credibility as a company and generally looks bad on me. [I think that's the conclusion i've come up with]. Thoughts?
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eric lenasbunt

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Re: Restaurant Install
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2016, 10:29:00 pm »

So I sent the estimate/proposal to them. Ended up being 16.5k after tax. They balked at that, thinking more like 8-10k and they want to do it in stages.

Stage = planning final product & start before executing middle thus no extra money is wasted.

I'm looking for a bit of advice.

First, easy questions (i'll explain where they come from later):

1) Do 70v systems sound bad?
2) Can I accomplish the same thing without using 70v system?
    [Could I series-parallel speakers to get the same effect?]
3) Can I accomplish relatively same goal with less/wall mounted speakers.
4) What corners could I cut to lower costs?

My answers to myself (correct me if i'm wrong):

1) No, other 70v systems sound bad because old speakers & improper installations. Yes, lower than ~80hz transformers can saturate, but high quality components and large transformers can help to alleviate that.

2) I could, but it would either cost the same or more, and be more difficult to make work.
[I could, but then why wouldn't I just use a 70v system?]

3) I could use less speakers, not use the ceiling speakers, and instead op for wall speakers; BUT that would only be if the client is okay with uneven distribution because of the wall speakers being closer to some tables and further away from others. Plus the aesthetics of wall speakers is not as appealing.

4) I don't think I should cut any corners. I think I should tell them that cutting corners is a bad idea. If they don't have money for things then stages is fine. I think I should do the main speakers for the musician first and see how they like that. Then do the upgraded ceiling speakers. Then upgrade the amp/controller. Etc.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes so here we go with another one of those 'my friend' things. Life's complicated...get used to it? I'm sorta in a pickle, ideas/thoughts anyone?

My friend has a friend at the restaurant (his inside 'contact') who told him about the install and he talked to his contact at the restaurant to see what they wanted and 'brought' me to see what I think.

CLIENT = owner = payer.
CONTACT = owner son = person who wants stuff done.
FRIEND = my friend = where gig came from.

Now, it's my company that would do the install, but he found the gig.

I sent the proposal, hadn't heard back and I was just about to call them up when he decided to go talk to them (without me). Okay not a huge deal, but it sorta feels like undermining my authority on the subject matter which erodes my credibility; IMO (tell me if i'm wrong).

CONTACT likes their sonos system (eg. wireless easy simple...), wants a monitor for the musician now (easy), don't like 70v systems because that's what they have now and it sounds bad (incorrect info), CLIENT didn't like the estimated price (fine, it was just an estimate...don't freak out...). Friend says he likes the wall speaker idea, CONTACT now agrees with him (so now, when I suggest not doing that it sounds like either my friend or i am incompetent).


I know i'm not supposed to mix friends and business, but my friend is bringing me gigs that I don't have currently, so that's nice.
But I need to figure out how to make it clear that saying things on my behalf undermines my credibility as a company and generally looks bad on me. [I think that's the conclusion i've come up with]. Thoughts?

A couple of things here.
1-I learned the hard way when I was at a similar point as you. I compromised projects to get it done for the client, even when their budget to expectation ratio was vastly off. I wanted the gigs no matter what. I don't regret it as it was a learning experience, but, if you are not starving without the gig then I recommend you work with them to come up with the best solution to meet their needs. If they don't have budget or desire to do it right then gracefully say thanks but no thanks for the opportunity. Your business will grow far faster from quality relationships and quality work than half ass installs because the client just wanted to throw a few more speakers up.  Also, that 20% disappears real fast as you keep going for call backs that end up being the previous system or its integration into the current system.
If you won't be proud of your work at the end of the day then walk away.

2-nothing wrong with mixing friends and business IMO, as long as there are boundaries and professional respect. Some of my best friends are my colleagues and some of my colleagues were great friends in a previous life. Also depends on the person. Some people make it harder because they are your friend and some make it easier.

To your tech questions,
70v systems don't inherently sound bad. They are often super cheap components, but shouldn't be any reason why a good quality and well setup 70v can't sound good.

For a bunch of speakers distributed 70v is the way to go. Less wiring, fewer amp channels, etc.

Wall speakers would likely be cheaper and fine. Like you said, a few hot spots in the room, but probably not terrible.

Also, I frequently run into this when quoting installs. "We want these 300 things", "oh my, how much?!?"
My next step is to ask point blank for a desired budget range and then start discussing and listing priorities. That's when you find out they can live with preset buttons over a touch panel and save $500 or similar revelations
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Nathan Riddle

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Re: Restaurant Install
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2016, 11:47:14 am »

Hey Eric,

Thanks for the advice!

I've been meaning to update this thread and my other thread 'business minded questions'.

I sat down my friend and told him my concerns. He was open to discussing and willing to change. So we had a good discussion. I don't have an idea of what boundaries to set quite yet, but I began mulling things over.

Some of the difficulty lies with the fact that the paying client, isn't really the one who either wants the install done or wants to think about it, and rather has given authority to someone I see as not in a position to make decisions, only suggestions based upon my friend's suggestions. Thus I'm caught in a 3-way struggle trying to appease all parties to get the gig.

Currently, I have a few small issues with my friend assuming things on the customer's behalf and then telling me those assumptions as if they were facts. Also putting certain design ideas in the client's head without my approval. I want to give freedom, but make sure to bring it full circle and let the client know this isn't my company's final proposal. And as a salesman gives us knowledge of what the customer wants/doesn't want so we can either re-train them on their perspective, or have a solid proposal with the limitations associated with it.

Last night, I had a second good chat with him. Side note, one of the reasons I think we can make this work is we talk to each other. I digress, I basically said that I want him to have the freedom to suggest ideas and feel out what the customer likes/dislikes, but always bring the conversation around to that - I (the owner/designer) will be the final authority on suggesting design approaches to the customer. All in all I think things will work out between us.

As far as the customer is concerned, they are scarred of hurricane season and of spending too much money. So gig might be lost, but I learned some valuable lessons from it. They might be more interested next year, heck they might still go for it. Just waiting on them at the moment.

I agree whole heartedly with your thoughts! I thank you for them. I'm not hurting for money at the moment (I'd love a big payoff like this install would be, but not needed) and if I can convince the customer to do it correctly, yet in stages then I will do so. I have no desire to half ass something and not be proud of it. I understand customer/budget constraints, but there is a point that is too far.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Restaurant Install
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2016, 02:07:02 pm »

Hey Eric,

Thanks for the advice!

I've been meaning to update this thread and my other thread 'business minded questions'.

I sat down my friend and told him my concerns. He was open to discussing and willing to change. So we had a good discussion. I don't have an idea of what boundaries to set quite yet, but I began mulling things over.

Some of the difficulty lies with the fact that the paying client, isn't really the one who either wants the install done or wants to think about it, and rather has given authority to someone I see as not in a position to make decisions, only suggestions based upon my friend's suggestions. Thus I'm caught in a 3-way struggle trying to appease all parties to get the gig.

Currently, I have a few small issues with my friend assuming things on the customer's behalf and then telling me those assumptions as if they were facts. Also putting certain design ideas in the client's head without my approval. I want to give freedom, but make sure to bring it full circle and let the client know this isn't my company's final proposal. And as a salesman gives us knowledge of what the customer wants/doesn't want so we can either re-train them on their perspective, or have a solid proposal with the limitations associated with it.

Last night, I had a second good chat with him. Side note, one of the reasons I think we can make this work is we talk to each other. I digress, I basically said that I want him to have the freedom to suggest ideas and feel out what the customer likes/dislikes, but always bring the conversation around to that - I (the owner/designer) will be the final authority on suggesting design approaches to the customer. All in all I think things will work out between us.

As far as the customer is concerned, they are scarred of hurricane season and of spending too much money. So gig might be lost, but I learned some valuable lessons from it. They might be more interested next year, heck they might still go for it. Just waiting on them at the moment.

I agree whole heartedly with your thoughts! I thank you for them. I'm not hurting for money at the moment (I'd love a big payoff like this install would be, but not needed) and if I can convince the customer to do it correctly, yet in stages then I will do so. I have no desire to half ass something and not be proud of it. I understand customer/budget constraints, but there is a point that is too far.

Doing stuff in stages.... there needs to be a master design that the client really, really likes and signs off on.  If the installation stages are very far apart (say, more than 90 days) my experience has been that clients tend to lose focus on either completing the installation or that "design drift" takes place.  Expectations change but the budget usually doesn't.  ::)

The infrastructure - DSP, much of the wiring, probably power amps, UI controls - has to go in at the same time or there are additional expenses to accommodate the incremental nature of the installation.  You may want to look at your proposed design and see how you can break up the installation and price each segment accordingly.  Get your design fees in the first installment...
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Craig Hauber

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Re: Restaurant Install
« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2016, 07:47:15 pm »


CONTACT likes their sonos system (eg. wireless easy simple...),

Now there's a company that needs to branch into commercial audio!

-I've lost track of how many clients wondered if I could do the job with their product

(Probably didn't help that most of those jobs were in that company's home town and employees would hang out at the bars&clubs and they would offer up gear!)

Last time I checked they didn't make a system that would replace an EAW Avalon dance rig (or JBL live-PA)!

-but the hours you waste explaining the difference in home audio vs pro to clients is just frustrating!

So thank you Sonos for making life difficult (And Bose, you're a close second-place!)
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Nathan Riddle

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Re: Restaurant Install
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2016, 10:06:03 pm »

Doing stuff in stages.... there needs to be a master design that the client really, really likes and signs off on.  If the installation stages are very far apart (say, more than 90 days) my experience has been that clients tend to lose focus on either completing the installation or that "design drift" takes place.  Expectations change but the budget usually doesn't.  ::)

The infrastructure - DSP, much of the wiring, probably power amps, UI controls - has to go in at the same time or there are additional expenses to accommodate the incremental nature of the installation.  You may want to look at your proposed design and see how you can break up the installation and price each segment accordingly.  Get your design fees in the first installment...

I definitely want them to sign off on a master design before starting, but I didn't think about making sure they really liked it or about the extended nature causing design drift. Great insights! Thanks!

Hurricane season is over on the 25th, so we're going to get back in touch and see what they think.

Now there's a company that needs to branch into commercial audio!

-I've lost track of how many clients wondered if I could do the job with their product

(Probably didn't help that most of those jobs were in that company's home town and employees would hang out at the bars&clubs and they would offer up gear!)

Last time I checked they didn't make a system that would replace an EAW Avalon dance rig (or JBL live-PA)!

-but the hours you waste explaining the difference in home audio vs pro to clients is just frustrating!

So thank you Sonos for making life difficult (And Bose, you're a close second-place!)

Where's my like button?

Haha, all that explaining and chatting just to overcome an emotional connection to a device that won't work properly. Oi!
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Restaurant Install
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2016, 10:06:03 pm »


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