New York, NY (December 20, 2006)–A new Sabon store is an oasis on the very busy 7th Avenue in Manhattan–perfect for enticing shoppers to come in and explore their spa-body products. Sabon’s soaps, lotions, body oils and candles promise to cleanse the body and refresh the mind, and the retail environment stimulates the senses with an immersive sound system featuring Tannoy Arena Satellite speakers with TS10 subwoofer.
Sabon store: Tannoy Arena speaker top rightSabon’s system features six Tannoy Arena speakers, and was designed and installed by Gal Karmi, a NYC-based system designer/contractor who’s worked closely with the store owners on systems for Sabon’s other NYC locations. This particular Sabon store, a small corner shop, could easily be overwhelmed by the wrong system. These speakers, mounted four on one wall, two on the opposing wall, are small in appearance but big in sound, according to Karmi. “There is much more system power in this Sabon store than in most installations of that scale,” he shared. Music being such an integral part of the Sabon experience, Karmi’s work began during this store location’s planning and construction.
“I spend some time looking at the plan, then get into the space and walk around, visualize where I’m going to place the speakers for the best coverage,” Karmi explained of his work on the Sabon stores. “It’s a combination of real technical work–measuring how many speakers we need to cover the square footage–and then visualizing how to actually fill the space, or a comparable space if the site is not available.”
The Tannoy TS10 sub fits perfectly into the Sabon display counterTo fill this space, Karmi wanted hi-fi speakers in a surround array for an enveloping sound dispersion. “The music needs to be the same quality all over the space, no matter where you walk,” he noted, “And the sound needs to be very high-quality, high-fidelity–very crisp and clear so that even at low volume, you hear distinct sound. We also wanted really deep bass. The Tannoy Arenas are actually hi-fi speakers, and the TS10 sub is actually a studio-grade component, so the sound here is very close to what you’d get from a studio monitoring system. This is not your average commercial playback system!”
Of course the visual aspects of the system are critical as well, and in this particular install, the Arena Satellites were an obvious choice. Two beautiful chandeliers light this corner Sabon store, with one whole wall of windows on 15th Street and the 7th Avenue storefront display window providing plenty of natural light. Tannoy’s Arena Satellites are designed to integrate well with stylish interior design, and these white Arenas work very well in the Sabon showroom. Karmi commented, “I personally like the industrial design of the Arena line, together with the hi-fi sound. They have a strong visual aspect, which is something I haven’t come across in any other speakers in this range. This level of design–the roundedness and subtle, finer details–is usually found in the high-end home A/V market.”
Though the Tannoy Arena Satellite speakers will seem diminutive in a large space, and even in Sabon pretty well out of view, the speakers are quite powerful, incorporating Tannoy’s acclaimed Dual Concentric driver technology. For the Arena line, Tannoy designed a new miniature 4″ version of its Dual Concentric driver, which works to achieve that wide dispersion and coverage Karmi was after for this install. The driver’s built-in super tweeter extends the bandwidth to provide a more focused sound stage, with more distinct vocals and instrumentals and more emphatic percussive sounds.
Sabon’s sounds, like its scents, figure critically in setting the right atmosphere for shoppers. The store is both cosmopolitan and calming, like its merchandise. “Sabon puts a lot of effort into selecting the right music,” Karmi assured. “They have an in-house DJ that puts together playlists and they work very hard at getting it right. I had a clear idea of what kind of music would be played here, as well as how important this aspect of the business is to the owners. They really wanted the music to surround the customers, creating a total environment they’re entering, off the city street.”
From ambient instrumental and electronic beats to hip-hop and dance music, Sabon spins a variety of sounds, depending on the hour and how many shoppers are in the store. The Tannoy TS-10 subwoofer, which fits cozily into a built-in shelf at the base of the main counter, provides very deep coverage, according to the system designer. Karmi elaborated, “This is a very good subwoofer–the sound covers you instead of being real boomy and getting in the way when you’re talking to customers. It’s soft and spreads around the space. Most of the Sabon stores have Tannoy subwoofers, and I’m using them in another big commercial system design right now.”
Gal Karmi’s company, called Gal Design, develops custom systems for commercial and high-end home installs. “I do a lot of lounges, design custom high-end systems for DJ booths and restaurants,” he added. “Tannoy comes up a lot in my work. They have a new line of high-powered speakers for use in bars and clubs that I’m excited to check out next.”