Luxury Restaurant Chooses Genelec Speakers

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Perched on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean across seven strikingly scenic hillsides, the Portuguese capital of Lisbon is one of the most picturesque and fashionable destinations in Europe. The city’s uber-cool designer shopping street, the Avenida da Liberdade, just got even cooler with the recent opening of JNcQUOI (pronounced as the French expression, “je ne sais quoi”) in the historic Tivoli movie theatre building.

An ambitious lifestyle concept with the emphasis very firmly on luxury, JNcQUOI is built over three floors and includes a high-end men’s fashion store, a gourmet restaurant and a chic deli-bar that includes a DJ booth. Leading Portuguese distribution and AV integration specialists, Garrett Audiovisuais, designed and installed a sophisticated sound, lighting and control system across all three floors based on a range of Genelec loudspeakers.

The brief from the client was simple – the owner wanted to offer his clients the best possible audio experience whilst they were eating and drinking, and indeed shopping. Following a comprehensive demo of the Genelec 4000 Series dedicated two-way installation speaker range along with some specific recommendations from Garrett, the company developed a specification based around various models of the 4000 Series depending on where they were deployed, plus two 7040 subs in the men’s Fashion Clinic; eight 8351 SAM monitors for the restaurant area (each of which can be tuned to the specific room environment via Genelec’s GLM software); and a pair of 8030 monitors and 5041 in-wall subs for the DJ area.

“During the 4000 demo, we also explained to the owner that Genelec was about to introduce a new range of SAM (Smart Active Monitoring) monitors that offered incredible sound definition in a three-way format (so richer sound than a two-way design) and would be perfect for certain areas of a prestigious installation like JNcQUOI,” recalled Garrett project manager, Mário Trigueiros. “The client loved the idea of offering ‘silken luxury sound’ to his customers, so that is what we decided to use for the restaurant. The choice was dictated partly by the superior sound quality for the area in which, typically, customers spend a lot of money, and partly because the extremely high ceilings in the restaurant necessitated a speaker choice with sufficient capacity to cover the area adequately with no hot spots and no holes. The 8351s do the job perfectly.”

One of the main challenges of the installation was that Tivoli is a listed building – this is always an issue for integrators as they have to respect the historical fabric of the building, which inevitably limits how and where equipment can be installed. The second challenge was to ensure that the installation was as aesthetically pure as possible, in keeping with the luxurious surroundings. Finally, there were a number of acoustic issues to address due to the nature of the building – exceptionally high ceilings and lots of very attractive, but highly reflective glass and marble surfaces.

“These are all the reasons why we selected Genelec in the first place,” said Trigueiros, “although the primary reason was sound quality – for top class, prestigious installations like these, Genelec’s pristine sound reproduction developed over forty years in high end studio monitoring is simply matchless. The second point is the active system design of the 4000 Series and the 8351s – not only does it mean less equipment to install and therefore fewer things to go wrong, it also gives us redundancy in that if one speaker fails for any reason, it doesn’t compromise the whole chain. This is very important in an environment like JNcQUOI where all the speakers are working pretty much 24/7.

Finally, all modern Genelec speakers have beautiful curved lines that blend very well into architectural environments. The speakers that are visible were delivered in white and largely fixed against white backgrounds for maximum discretion. All of the subs are hidden.”

In terms of speaker choice for particular areas, Garrett specified 4020s and 4030s in areas such as the men’s Fashion Clinic and the common areas where customers are normally moving around, whereas the bigger 4040s that deliver more low-end punch and higher SPL were used in the Deli-Bar and the pre-restaurant lounge. Garrett supplemented the eighteen 4020s in the men’s Fashion Clinic with a pair of 7040 subs to compensate for the fact that the space covers a large area, and all the speakers are flown at a height of 2.4m. “We wanted to provide an extra boost and greater depth to the low frequencies to offset the sound absorption effect of the clothes and the fact that the rest of the monitors were so high off the ground.”

Trigueiros and his team made good use of Genelec’s GLM software to calibrate the 8351 SAM monitors in the restaurant area. “It helped us to fine-tune the parametric EQ of the Xilica processor and we also used it to attenuate the resonance in the room, cutting out the specific frequencies that were causing problems. The results are fantastic.

”Despite the challenges of working with a listed building and a demanding client with very high standards, Trigueiros reports a smooth and trouble-free installation project. “Firstly, we make sure that we use high quality brands and problem-free products – Genelec obviously occupies an important place on that list – and secondly, we love what we do and we’re very good at it. We already have over 200 successful high quality bar and restaurant installations to our name which has earned us an excellent reputation in this area. We are very proud of what we have achieved with JNcQUOI; it looks wonderful, sounds fantastic, and the owner is delighted with the results.”

THE KIT

DeliBar & DJ area:

11 x 4040

2 x 5041

4 x 4030

2 x 8030

Fashion Clinic Men’s Store:

18 x 4020B

2 x 7040

Restaurant:

8 x 8351

6 x 4020B

ACCESSORIES

DeliBar & DJ area:

4 x 8000-422W adjustable wall mount

11 x 8000-436W short ceiling mount

Fashion Clinic Men’s Store:

15 x 8000-422W adjustable wall mount

3 x 8000-436W short ceiling mount

Restaurant:

8 x 8000-442W adjustable ceiling mount

4 x 8000-422W adjustable wall mount

2 x 8000-436W short ceiling mount

View all accessories for Genelec monitors here.