The power of rock 'n' roll is being heard and felt at the newly opened Hard Rock Cafe in Verona, Italy, thanks to a set of Dante Connect Series amplifiers from LEA Professional. Located at Piazza Bra, the busiest and most famous square of Verona, the restaurant company wanted to ensure it lived up to its global reputation of providing music memorabilia, American cuisine, and—most importantly—a powerful rock 'n' roll music experience for its guests. Inspired by the clothing, gold records, instruments, and a nearly countless number of original memorabilia from the music legends who shaped rock music, AV integrator Marini Music Service found another music legend in LEA Professional.
Founded in London in 1971, the Hard Rock Cafe now operates 253 locations worldwide. The unique and beloved brand is known for displaying iconic and historic rock instruments and clothing from the likes of John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, and Elvis Presley. Hard Rock Cafe Verona, the company’s newest location, is a spectacular music lover's destination, featuring four indoor dining areas each with a different motif, an outdoor area with seating for 280, a music museum, and walls throughout the facility filled with objects treasured by generations of music fans.
To live up to its global reputation as the home for Rock 'n’ Roll, franchise partners at Hard Rock Cafe Verona needed a system of highly reliable, very flexible, and excellent sounding audio amplifiers. The system would be called upon to deliver the music to all main restaurant dining areas, the memorabilia museum, and the outdoor patio area. The system would also power the cafe's stage, which is used for special announcements, presentations, and live music performances.
Davide Gaiardoni, partner and sound engineer at AV integration firm Marini MKusic Service, was the lead system designer for the project. Gaiardoni first heard of LEA Professional amplifier solutions as a recommendation from local distributor Audiosales. Understanding that the Hard Rock Cafe expected the very best in performance and usability possible, Gaiardoni researched the amplifiers, saw that LEA met or exceeded his specification requirements, and decided to give the Connect Series amplifiers a try.
The team at Marini Music Service selected a set of five LEA Professional Dante Connect Series amplifiers, four 354D amplifiers, and one 704D amplifier to power all eight of the restaurant's audio zones—the seven background music zones and the live stage.
The Dante Connect Series amplifiers are perfectly suited for small- to medium-scale installations. This range of two-, four-, and eight-channel, Dante-ready amplifiers feature direct HiZ (70V or 100V) or LoZ, selectable by channel. And with three ways to connect, system designers can engage the built-in Wi-Fi access point, connect to the venue’s Wi-Fi, or use the FAST Ethernet to connect to any local area network via Cat5 or Cat6 cable. The Dante Connect Series also features analog inputs and external I/O control for remote on/off and fault monitoring.
Large or small, designing an audio system based on Dante-connected devices offers many benefits, including nearly limitless system flexibility and scalability. The ability to decentralize system processing, set various zones and presets, and easily reconfigure the system as necessary (without moving a cable or equipment) were all advantages that Gaiardoni knew the busy restaurant would need.
"LEA Professional gave us everything we could want from an amplifier," said Gaiardoni. "The quality of sound, the SPL headroom, the user interface, the IoT connectivity; everything combined to create a truly magical experience worthy of this iconic venue."
The Dante Connect Series is also the first professional amplifier family to feature built-in cloud connectivity. With the Dante Connect Series, Gaiardoni and his team can harness the power of the Cloud for remote amplifier control, monitoring, diagnostics, notifications, and more from nearly any smart device.
"LEA's cloud platform is fantastic; we can log in remotely and see if there are any issues and address them immediately," commented Gaiardoni. "This capability gave us and the restaurant management team a lot of reassurance and confidence that if anything went wrong, it could be fixed in a click."
The feedback from the Hard Rock was incredibly positive, especially given their musical knowledge and keen ear.
"Everyone at Marini Music was excited to work on this project, and the results have been excellent," concluded Gaiardoni. "LEA's built-in technologies made the installation very smooth, and we look forward to designing and installing many more systems around the Connect Series amplifiers."
Speaking on the growing number of European installs utilizing LEA Professional products, Scott Robbins, vice president of sales commented, “We are proud to see LEA Professional technology in a growing number of prestigious European installs. The feedback from integrators and partners on this side of the Atlantic has been phenomenal, they have not only adapted to our IoT-enabled technology, but recognize that this technology is the future of the industry.”