by Christopher Walsh
Hollywood, CA--Ecco Ultra Lounge is a "green" nightspot, focused on minimizing and neutralizing its impact on the environment.
Every material used in the construction of Ecco has been chosen for environmentally friendly factors. This extends through its LED lighting system; power supply from the L.A. Department of Water & Power's Green Power resources; energy-saving cold and heat insulation; solar paneling; paperless ticketing, marketing and reservations; and organic cuisine.
This eco-consciousness extends to Ecco's audio. The system includes four Turbosound TA-500H Aspect Wide boxes, positioned adjacent to the dance floor, and four TSW-218 subs. The speakers are ROHS and WEEE (recyclable) compliant: the wood is bought from sustainable sources, and the speakers are painted with water-based paint, so no harmful chemicals are involved.
Amplification is by Florence, Italy-based Powersoft, and includes two K10dsp 2-channel; two K6 2-channel; three Q4002 4-channel; and two Q3002 2-channel power amplifiers, for 47,000 Watts of power.
Joe Lodi, of New York-based Advanced Audio Technology, was lead designer on the project, and provided the system and installation. Low-energy consumption, he explains, "was a concept that the venue was going after, an eco-friendly situation. That's what they're trying to capitalize on, and they are.
"When we went in there," Lodi adds, "Powersoft came to mind first, because of the high efficiency of the amplifiers and how they operate: they actually recycle the energy back into the amplifier's power supply. In other words, with the actual cone movement, there's energy generated from the voice coils. When all that energy isn't used by the movement of the speaker, it recycles back into the amplifier, back through the same output lines, which is unheard of. It's a new development, and they're the only guys on the market that are doing that. They're 90% efficient, and 50% more efficient than any other amplifier on the market, currently, they say--and I believe it. Within three years, the savings on electricity result in the cost of the amplifiers, so they pay for themselves."
On Turbosound speakers, Lodi says that, "Just because of the high efficiency of the speaker itself, you're obviously not going to have to push it with as much power as would be required normally. As far as every part of the system being optimized from impedance of the speakers to amplifier loads, everything was running real, real smooth and easy."
The greening of pro audio, says Lodi, is increasingly visible. "What's great is, an owner has a certain budget they're willing to work with. At the tail end of the installation, when you give them the whole spiel on the savings they would gain, they actually opt to spend a tiny bit more on the amplifiers. Most businessmen and women, if they know in three years that it's going to save them the cost of the amplifiers, they're willing to do it. Most venues think they're going to be there for 10-plus years."
Ever vigilant for manufacturers exploiting green consciousness without actually changing their products' consumption or components, I suggest that some green products are real, and some are not.
"I can tell you now that what's real is Powersoft," Lodi answers. "They actually do what they claim they do. The greatest part about it is there's no sacrifice whatsoever when it comes to sound quality, output, or warmth of the amplifier. All the good characteristics that you would think would be lost in such a streamlined design are all there. I'm very accustomed to using huge amplifiers with gigantic power supplies that weight 150 lbs. to run sub. When I heard [Powersoft], I was astounded."