How a Café Powers Eight Different Zones with Just Two Compact Amplifiers

Two men sit in a cafe with sound amped by Powersoft.
(Image credit: Powersoft)

Welcome to Fig Malta, a new high-end dining experience in the heart of the Indian capital. Thanks to Powersoft’s Mezza small but powerful half-size install amplifier, guests are enjoying sweet sounds and the perfect soundtrack to their day with an easy-to-use multi-zone background music system.

Fig at Malcha is an ‘eco-contemporary’ café, bakery and bar offering all-day dining at Malcha Marg, near Chanakyapuri, New Delhi's historic diplomatic quarter. The second Fig restaurant, after the original destination in Gurgaon, Fig at Malcha combines Japanese design with Nordic lifestyle, featuring a curated menu based on high-quality, local and seasonal produce from local farms, GMO-free meat and cage-free eggs. It is also home to a Parisian-style bakehouse that offers fresh breads, pastries and ‘farm-to-cup’ specialty coffee.

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According to Gunbir Singh, founder and co-owner of BBW Distributors, for their second café the Fig team desired “warm, comforting, lush” audio—“more hi-fi than pro sound”—which would aesthetically complement the lighting, climate control and ventilation systems to offer patrons, “a pleasurable aural experience while in the space. Based on our experience within the food and beverage domain, we consulted with them and came up with a wish list of sorts. While they needed a multi-zone system with audio in all the public areas, they wanted equipment visibility to be minimal.”

An amplifier subtly placed behind a plant in a cafe.

(Image credit: Powersoft)

For BBW, the natural solution was a Powersoft Dynamic Music Distribution (DMD) system comprising two Mezzo amplifiers coupled with a WM Touch control panel. Designed to offer the same reliability, build quality and acoustic character of larger Powersoft amplifier platforms but in a half-size form factor, the flexibility and discretion offered by Mezzo means the amplifier has been the company’s “default choice for these applications for a while now”, explained Singh.

Using DMD, which takes advantage of the convenient dynamic routing capabilities embedded in Powersoft amplifiers, users can drive up to four independent zones using a single four-channel Mezzo amplifier. At Fig, the six audio zones are controlled using a single wall-mounted 4.3-inch Powersoft WM Touch screen, which offers, “a level of convenience and usability which makes this the Mezzo solution a non-brainer”, said Singh.

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For the installation at Malcha Marg, two Mezzo 604 A amplifier platforms, offering advanced DSP functionalities, remote control and monitoring, were paired with 12 Amphion Argon0 and two Apart Kubo 3T loudspeakers, as well as a Silent Angel Rhein Z1 V2 Roon server, a Matrix Audio X-SABRE 3 DAC, Gladen Audio speaker cables and Furutech interconnects. Though the Mezzo 604 A also incorporates an integrated DSP, BBW designed the system around the physical attributes of the space, choosing to apply acoustic treatment to the ceiling rather than rely solely on signal processing—while the use of a Roon server, which uses machine learning to automatically play music based on Fig’s preferences, is believed to be a first in the region.

Across Fig at Malcha’s two floors, BBW split the Powersoft amplifiers into four zones each, for a total of eight audio zones—six dedicated to the 10 Amphion speakers installed in the public areas, one catering to the washrooms and common space, and one left for future expansion.

A look at the control panel controlling Powersoft solutions in a cafe.

(Image credit: Powersoft)

The compact, easy-to-mount Mezzo are installed out of sight in an equipment rack on the café’s ground floor, with the understated Amphion speakers also contributing to keeping visibility of the sound system to a minimum. Singh reported that the local Powersoft team, represented by distributor Acoustic Arts, provided valuable assistance through the install phase, “saving us some time” by helping to set up the amplifiers.

Manish Yadav, from Fig, said the new sound system “has completely exceeded our expectations, which were already high to begin with. The sound quality is fantastic—we find ourselves listening to the system after hours a lot. It is also super easy to use; we have never had to call them for anything major, since it seems to run on autopilot.”

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Yadav is also full of praise for the multi-zone DMD system specifically, noting that restaurant staff, “now have the capability to control amplitude levels for zones individually. So if, for some reason, we have to reduce or increase the levels for a particular zone, it is simply a few taps on a very accessible touchscreen.”

“At Fig we have always done things differently. Music has been an important integral part of the Fig experience and we started exploring our options as soon as we finalized the new space,” he concluded. “The system has been a success in the way that it almost completely blends in with the Fig vibe. It is substantial but balanced, nuanced yet enjoyable—much like our offerings. We expect nothing but the best from the BBW team and they have delivered in spades.”

The AVNetwork staff are storytellers focused on the professional audiovisual and technology industry. Their mission is to keep readers up-to-date on the latest AV/IT industry and product news, emerging trends, and inspiring installations.