The choice of Tannoy's VX Series loudspeakers for Fuku Restaurant's audio system was driven primarily by the requirements of the concept created by Groove Dining Group President, Paul Ardaji.
"It's an upscale Pan-Asian restaurant based on a very serious, food-driven concept," Ardaji explained. "We also wanted to be taken seriously as a music/entertainment destination where you can listen to world-class DJs spin. Music creates energy and we wanted to ensure we had an amazing sound system for dinner and late night, but often, those are different kinds of systems."
The main floor is divided into two sections, with the main bar at the front, and Fuku's sushi bar and primary dining area in the rear. In each, four Tannoy VX 12s are mounted vertically and suspended a foot below the ceiling, along with one Tannoy VS10 BP subs to round out the bass response at lower volumes during lunch.
John Jackson, vice president of Unlimited Electronic Environments, the design/install firm on the build, was previously a touring DJ himself and used Tannoy Reveal near-field extensively for years.
The choice of the VX Series loudspeakers for Fuko was based on their ability to provide consistent clarity at both low and high volumes, the compact footprint offered by their Dual Concentric design, and their overall output and outstanding reliability.
"We demoed them in the parking lot at my warehouse, hammered on them with power and basically tried to break them, but they ate it up and still sounded good," said Jackson.
The VX Series were also ideal in terms of meeting the acoustic challenges presented throughout the 3700-square-foot space, particularly in the upstairs lounge.
"In the lounge, we also used four VX 12s," Jackson said. "But the ceiling was only about seven-feet high, so having a cabinet we could mount horizontally and recess into the concrete beams without sacrificing sound quality was very important.
"With some other large cabinets we've tried, there's always something missing when you're playing low level background music, but with the Tannoy you get full-range delivery at any volume."
Additionally, the system includes three third party subs that kick in for happy hour and late night, as well as Crown amps, DBX DSP and a Crestron control system that allows Fuku's staff to select EQ, level and spread settings automatically for various times of day.
Located on Clematis Street in West Palm, Fuku is one of a large number of establishments competing for the attention of potential diners, Jackson adds: "It's a highly competitive, highly saturated area, but the food and presentation are phenomenal and the atmosphere, when Fuku first opened, was fantastic. There's nothing else like it down there."
That's as much a result of Fuku's innovative design and signature take on Asian cuisine, as it is of Ardaji insistence on creating a musical atmosphere that evolves according to the needs and tastes of patrons.
"You have to pay close attention to your guest's tolerance for volume and their musical tastes at different times of day," Ardaji says. "In the end I couldn't be any happier with the sound quality - especially in the lounge. There, because the ceilings are so low, the speakers not only had to look good but sound good in very close proximity to people's ears. It's a difficult space, but it's where everybody's wanted to be since day one. I'd absolutely use Tannoy again."