San Francisco (May 27, 2010)—The new home of famed jazz venue Yoshi's sports customized EAW AX396 3-Way full-range installation speakers.
The new location is a 28,000-square-foot, two-story, state-of-the-art venue that features the best of local, national and international jazz artists, with seating for 417 in the jazz club and nearly 371 in the restaurant and lounge.
JK Sound, the Bay Area sound systems company that co-designed and installed the new venue’s P.A. system, turned to EAW’s Strategic Engineering Group to do custom modifications to the EAW AX396 3-Way Full-Range Installation Speaker, thereby rendering a new model dubbed the EAW AX-SY 3-Way Full-Range Installation Loudspeaker.
Michael Lacina, President of JK Sound, and Tom Schindler of acoustical consulting firm Charles Salter Associates, collaborated on the design and componentry of the new system. It was determined that an L-C-R array design would provide the desired coverage, using three pairs of EAW’s AX396 speakers with EAW’s UX8800 Digital Signal Processor.
The AX396 pairs were to be oriented such that their 90-degree pattern axis was vertical and that the 60-degree pattern axis was coupled, rendering an overall horizontal coverage of 120 degrees for each of the left, center and right speaker pairs. This was the goal of Tom Schindler’s design: to provide a true L-C-R listening experience for the entire audience.
However, they encountered the perennial conflict of visual aesthetic versus optimized acoustic performance. “The design called for two AX396 90 x 60 degree cabinets side by side with the vertical dispersion at 90 [degrees] and the combined horizontal dispersion at 120 [degrees],” Lacina explains. “The front dimension of the AX box is 2’ x 3’. Acoustically, one would want to arrange the boxes vertically side by side so that the high-mid components have minimal distance between them. But aesthetically, one would want the smallest vertical profile possible so that the speaker would loom less large over the performers’ heads.”
The solution, they decided, was to strip out the low-frequency woofers from the AX396 altogether and hide these components in the proscenium directly above each L-C-R Mid High pair. Long time JK systems engineer Brad Katz came up with the idea to marry the side-by-side 60 x 90 mid-high horns together in one cabinet, thereby simplifying the complexity of the speaker installation. Thus the AX-SY was born.