Located in downtown New York City’s Nolita neighborhood, the Gran Tivoli restaurant and Peppi’s Cellar bar downstairs have become a popular fixture for dining and entertainment with a simple but exceptional Italian menu, comfortable surroundings and a Martin Audio CDD/CDD-LIVE sound system.
Owner Jason Scott, co-founder of the Swillhouse Group in Sydney, Australia which has opened several successful restaurants in that city, described the cuisine for his first US venture in Gourmet Traveler as, “there’ll be pasta, there’ll be grills. It’s not going to be tricky or taste tricked up.”
Designed by Kevin Davison of Davidson Audio Services in Sydney and installed by local provider New York Wiring, the sound system features a combination of Martin Audio CDD6 upstairs in the restaurant and CDD-LIVE 8’s and 12’s with a CSX118 sub for the performance-oriented Peppi’s Cellar bar downstairs.
Discussing owner Scott’s intentions, Kevin explains, “Jason was very focused on audio in the restaurant and bar, both in terms of high quality sound in the Gran Tivoli upstairs and professional quality reinforcement for live performances downstairs in Peppi’s Cellar where there’s a small stage which can accommodate about four musicians comfortably and be extended for larger ensembles.
“For maximum effectiveness in both spaces,” Kevin continues, “we designed a distributed system with seven Martin Audio CDD6’s for low level but excellent quality background music. These are powered by Powersoft Quattrocanali amplifiers with DSP and Dante™ networking capability, a major aspect of the design in terms of flexibility and offering more control options. I can actually connect to the sound system from here in Sydney and make any needed adjustments via Jason’s computer, which is a very simple, cost effective way to do it.”
Elaborating on the system, Kevin adds, “the decision was made not to use subs in the restaurant to eliminate the possibility of residual noise and because the CDD6’s have quite a full response on their own. Ultimately, the CDD’s were chosen because the coaxial drivers provide seamless overlap coverage for the restaurant, especially within the format of a distributed system.
“In Peppi’s Cellar’s live performance area, there’s a CSX118 sub on the side of the stage within close proximity and two CDD-LIVE 12’s, one mainly for stage foldback that also serves as backfill and near fill for the performance area. The other CDD-LIVE 12 functions both as the main speaker for the customers sitting near the stage and in the first section of the bar. There are also two CDD-LIVE 8 as the delay speakers which cover the area along the bar running back through the main section of the room. All of the speakers are self-powered and controlled via Dante network with internal DSP. We also used a Xilica networked audio DSP control solution as system processor for the venue.”
Asked why he chose Martin Audio, Kevin says, “I’ve always like the company’s philosophy of getting the acoustics of the loudspeakers correct before trying to add electronic modifications to the signal that drives them. Really, it’s all about Martin Audio’s tonal quality and coverage capability.
“In terms of this installation, I was very pleased with the result. The concept of the design proved to be effective in providing the result Jason was after, which made me happy. It sounds really good.”
Describing his vision for the system and reaction to how it turned out, Jason concludes, “Upstairs we wanted a buzzy warm space that allows conversation, something a lot of modern restaurants don’t pay attention to. Downstairs we needed to have a tangible feel directionally from the stage, even if it was just background music from a playlist, it needed to feel like the sound was coming from a band.
“The system absolutely delivered in terms of audio quality and coverage in both rooms. I particularly like the Martin Audio speakers’ warmth and live feel.”
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