WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA, April 3, 2013 — It’s one of the oldest quandaries in the restaurant business: you want your bar or restaurant to resonate nicely with the interlaced sounds of music, televised sports and people having a great time. But at some point, a sonic arms race begins, pitting tables against other tables and P.A. audio. It’s one of the greatest challenges in the installed sound business: getting that balance right for each restaurant. It’s a challenge that the experts at Guitar Center Professional (GC Pro), the outside sales division of Guitar Center that focuses on the needs of professional users, have successfully faced many times, most recently for Five Horses Tavern, in the Boston suburb of Somerville.
Five Horses Tavern is built on craft beers from around the world and offers 37 rotating drafts and over 130 bottles. The pub’s kitchen emphasizes locally sourced modern American comfort food with many vegetarian options. It’s the kind of place people want to be – a lot of them, and especially on weekend nights. Owner Dylan Welsh realized that between the talking and the music, the din was crossing the tipping point. “We were having a huge problem with noise inside,” he recalls. “We’d have 150 people in there, and the room has reflective wood and glass and high ceilings, and it would just get overwhelming sometimes. Something needed to be done.”
Welsh heard about GC Pro through a friend and contacted Senior Account Manager PK Pandey, who has designed and installed AV systems in numerous restaurants around the Boston area for years for GC Pro. Pandey stopped by and assessed the situation. “There were a lot of hard, reflective surfaces, and that was amplifying the sound in there,” he explains. “They are surface-mounted speakers, so moving them wasn’t an option. The solution was absorption, but the trick was placing it correctly to make the most effective use of it, and where it wouldn’t interfere with the interior décor.”
Pandey specified a combination of products, including Auralex®’s Studiofoam® Pro Class A acoustical foam, and Acoustical Surfaces’ Sound Silencer™ Porous Expanded Polypropylene acoustical wall and ceiling tile panels. Then, drawing on his extensive experience in solving noise issues in these types of environments, Pandey directed Welsh, who had decided to do the application process himself to reduce costs, where to best place the acoustical treatment products. That included affixing them to the underside of certain tables and chairs, to reduce upward reflections. “PK also had me put some of the materials on the ceiling beams, where they really worked well reducing reflections but aren’t at all visible, which really helped keep the look of the place together,” says Welsh. “Now that we’ve done that, the difference is huge – we still have big crowds on weekend nights, but no one is screaming at the top of their lungs to be heard by someone else at that same table. And the music sounds better, clearer.” Welsh is planning on opening another eatery in Boston’s South End neighborhood later this year and says consulting with GC Pro will be at the top of his list. “They’re true professionals,” he says. “They know how to make it work.”
For more information, please visit www.gcpro.com.
Photo File: FiveHorses.JPG
Photo Caption: Five Horses Tavern, in the Boston suburb of Somerville, which recently enjoyed an AV upgrade thanks to GC Pro.