Ayre Productions recently completed an audio upgrade for the Fremont Chicago, a new upscale restaurant/lounge in the city’s River North area, which includes a complement of Martin Audio CDD loudspeakers that provide exceptional coverage for both levels of the venue.
One of several audio renovations in the Chicagoland area for their client the Four Corners group, Fremont Chicago provided Ayre with an ideal opportunity to install CDD for the first time.
As Ayre’s John Wagner explains, “We’d been telling our client about CDD, but we wanted to hear the product before committing to it. So we met with Martin Audio at InfoComm 2015, heard the speakers which completely blew us away, and CDD is now what we’re proposing for pretty much every install.”
The fact that Fremont Chicago functions both as a restaurant on the main floor and an upstairs bar/lounge with a performance space on the first floor presented unique challenges in terms of speaker positioning and coverage.
“On the first level, it’s one big room they want to function as a restaurant where there’s a large opening in the ceiling to provide a view of the second floor, which has a retractable glass roof. As you enjoy dinner on the first level, you can also see what’s going on onstage,” John points out. “The first floor was designed for dining and conversation. After dinner, the second level is available to enjoy music provided by DJ’s or live bands on Thursdays.
“We also mounted two CDD12’s above the main dining space directed down the center of the room, with two CDD5’s mounted 15 to 20 ft. up on the back wall as rear fill for the bar, and three CSX212 subwoofers positioned discreetly around the room along with C6.8T ceiling speakers to help with the booth areas, all of which covers more than enough of what the client would even want. This setup provides flat and even coverage. Everyone who sits in the dining room rants and raves about how amazing it sounds!”
In addition to an expansive bar and lounge area, the second floor has a small stage for weekly appearances by live acoustic performers with a mandate to avoid loud volumes that might annoy patrons dining downstairs.
“For the lounge itself, we have CDD15’s as FOH over existing subwoofers under the stage and CDD12’s mounted in four corners firing into the center of the room. Two CDD5’s are mounted on either side of the upstairs bar for additional fill with a CDD5 in a long hallway to the bathrooms and five C6.8T ceiling speakers around the perimeters of the room. There’s also a CSX212 sub in a soffit and two CSX118 subs deployed on the other side of the room. The sound system is for stage reinforcement, background music and some dancing. All of the booths are maneuverable to provide more standing room, so we had to create a system that’s super versatile.”
For John, CDD’s initial appeal is based on “their unique styling, mounting flexibility, ease of installation and use. In terms of audio performance, I believe CDD goes beyond what other cabinets are capable of. We work with other manufacturers, but a speaker like the CDD5 is ridiculous in terms of its incredibly compact size and the amazing amount of output it reproduces. That plus the sound quality and clarity is exceptional. You can mount a CDD5 in a corner between a ceiling and a wall and you barely know it’s there, but you’re hearing a huge sound.”
Summing up, John adds: “The CDD’s wide dispersion capability allows us to use a smaller amount of speakers for each space. The price point on each of these enclosures is also a pleasant surprise. They come in slightly less expensive than the typical speakers, and not having to use as many cabinets to cover a room saves money in terms of time and labor as well. The cabinet construction is great, the devices in them sound great, and price is a key factor in selling CDD.
“Best of all, our clients love CDD. They’d been using another brand but were ready for something different and when we brought their attention to the CDD line, they were skeptical but very interested. To demo the speakers, I took a CDD5 to the location and plugged an iPod directly into the amplifier and all of their eyes opened up and they saw stars. Now they want to do four more locations with CDD as well!”
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