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Uni of Kent flies after Penguin Media Solutions overhaul

Martin Audio CDD loudspeakers were installed in the space

Situated on the University of Kent’s Canterbury campus, the K-Bar recently underwent a major design overhaul, with the addition of a juice and smoothie bar, and a new AV system, which were designed and installed by Penguin Media Solutions. This includes end-to-end Martin Audio CDD loudspeakers.

The brief was to develop a technical infrastructure for a multipurpose facility that would trade as a sports bar by day, with a small stage for live bands and DJs coming on weekend nights.

With a C-Burn ‘Secret DJ’ pumping background music through the sound system during daylight hours, the Martin Audio CDD loudspeakers have been put through the paces.

At the Stage end are a pair of CDD10 (10”) speakers, wall-mounted on Powerdrive brackets either side of the stage, and a CSX212 (2 x 12”) sub. Facing this at the opposite end of the room are a pair of CDD8 (8”), left and right and another CSX212 sub. Dylan Thompson, Penguin’s project manager, says: “It can therefore function as a 2.1 cinema surround system or for student presentations, while if the DJ wants to work from that end the volume can be adjusted accordingly.”

A separate sofa/loose furniture area, away from the main action, is served by a pair of CDD8, with a further pair of CDD8 providing a warm sound at the bar.

In this four-zone design, any source can be routed to any destination via Soundweb London DSP, operating under the master control of a Crestron processor, which also handles the video routing to the seven screens. All local control is performed from an iPad with a custom user interface from Penguin.

Thompson says: “There were a lot of different speaker brands previously all clashing with each other. By standardising on CDD, and halving the number of boxes the sound has improved massively.”

Kent Hospitality’s Keith Williams, says Penguin was required to programme the system in zones so that volume across the space could be adjusted according to use and specifics of event.

“The clarity of sound is stunning, and the ability to have loud music yet still allow conversation is amazing. The speakers spread sound in a consistent way as you walk through the space. At the same time, the speakers themselves are unobtrusive — they blend well and are discreet as requested,” he says.