Name: Marc Lopez
Title: Marketing Manager
Company: Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems
SCN: What exactly is the Yamaha CIS Series?
Marc Lopez: The CIS series is an audio solution for commercial installations such as retail spaces, transportation centers, convention/hospitality facilities, conference rooms, and ancillary areas of performance spaces. The lineup consists of matrix processors, multi-channel power amplifiers, and ceiling/surface mount speakers for distribution and zone applications. The products are targeted for applications where quality and fidelity are a priority.
SCN: How is it different from other systems on the market?
ML : The lineup has unique features on each product, which improve an aspect for the integrator. For example, ceiling speakers have handle straps, so the installer can safely carry speakers up ladders, anti-drop tabs that hold the speaker in place before it is affixed, and double-threaded screws, so 0the mounting process is quickly accomplished. Another efficiency improvement is that we utilize the ubiquitous Cat-5 cable for a 16-channel bus between processors and power amplifiers to speed up installation and simplify connector termination. That connection can simply be daisy-chained to successive amplifiers or processors for more zones. Or for larger scale projects, we offer Dante networking.
Tulalip Casino Resort in Tulalip, WA recently upgraded its Destinations Lounge audio system with the CIS product line. SCN: What was happening out in the field that prompted the development of the CIS Series?
ML : For many years our customers have been requesting us to provide “bread and butter” commercial installation products that carry the Yamaha quality, consistency, and values. Combined with our decades of experience in speaker, power amplifier, and DSP technology design, we had been planning to extend our expertise to this area of application based on these requests.
SCN: What was the research and development process like?
ML : Since commercial installation products are fundamentally simple, we had an interesting challenge to evaluate the needs of the market and find places to make improvements. We were initially concerned that we couldn’t find enough significant reasons for improvement, maybe just enhancements in sound quality, coverage, processing, or output power, etc. while keeping the price constant to what they are using now. But what we found by studying the contractor’s workflow was that there were many ways to make the whole process from design/programming to the actual rack-building and installation much simpler and more efficient. Even with all these advancements, the biggest challenge ended up being more on the manufacturing side to keep costs down and quality consistent on a large scale, which is achieved by having a well-managed supply chain and owning our own factories. All in all, it was an outstanding collaboration between our marketing, development, and production teams.
SCN: How has Yamaha adjusted its approach to these markets?
ML : Many of the business principles that we already adhere to are used with the CIS line—just on a wider scale. We already have dedicated staff who work with designers on large systems, provide first-rate technical support, incredible QC and manufacturing consistency, and have a well-controlled inventory and manufacturing capability for just-in-time delivery.
The CIS Series was designed to provide “bread and butter” commercial installation products that carry the Yamaha quality, consistency, and values. SCN: What has the feedback been from end-users? Installers?
ML : So far the response has been outstanding. The end users are thrilled with the quality of their sound system, and the installers are equally impressed with the cleverness of the hardware and the efficiencies gained. We are being specified for those very reasons. We have a few notable installations so far in a well-known airport lounge and a large retail chain in which both the end user and installer are very pleased.
Chuck Ansbacher is the managing editor of SCN.
CIS Installed at La Guardia Airport
NEW YORK, NY—Norcon Communications of Inwood, NY, a provider of computerized sound systems for the three major airports in the greater NY/NJ area, installed Yamaha CIS speakers and amplifiers for the 2,700-square-foot lounge and club facility at a major airline carrier at New York’s LaGuardia airport.
This space consists of eight separate zones each serving a different purpose for the traveler (food court, reading, work, lounge, reception, common areas, quiet zones, bar). The design of the system allows the operator to play background music, individual live or pre-recorded announcements, as well as flight information to any one of the eight separate zones via an 8x8 DSP mixer router which can be controlled from an LCD screen located at the main desk.
Two Yamaha XMV4140 four-channel power amplifiers, 26 Yamaha VXC4W four-inch ceiling speakers, one DSP mixer/router, one DSP message recorder/ repeater, and five analog desktop microphones were used in the project.