Ayre Productions recently equipped Federales Tequila & Tacos, a trendy Mexican-themed bar/restaurant on Chicago’s West Loop, with Martin Audio CDD speakers.
The company’s third install with CDD, which also includes the popular eateries Fremont and Steakbar, Federales is a partnership of the Four Corners Tavern Group and Hogsalt. Designed by Studio K’s Karen Herold, the unusual space features a retractable roof and suspended iron cage hanging in the bar that holds video monitors and bottles, along with a 154-seat outdoor patio.
As Ayre’s John Wagner explains, “Federales has a rustic warehouse type feel and serves Tacos, Margaritas, Tequilas and custom craft drinks. A main feature is a wood-burning oven. It was a complete new build. In terms of the audio, the client wanted a restaurant system for background music and playback. DJ’s come in from time to time and the space becomes a lounge.
“We used seven CDD10’s for the space,” adds John, “with three cabinets on each side under the eaves of what is a rectangular space, all facing into the center but angled so they’re not directly hitting the bar. The seventh cabinet is at one end of the rectangle firing straight through the room with two CSX212 subs at the end of the space in opposite corners.”
John’s original design called for the speakers to be mounted piggyback on I-beams that support the metal cage in the bar, but the club didn’t want anything obstructing the view of the sky when the retractable roof was open. Which explains why the speakers and subwoofers are mounted under the eaves. The system easily covers the bar and seated tables on both sides with more than enough sound to reach the outdoor patio when the double-door glass wall and retractable garage doors are open.
Asked about the system’s performance, John enthuses, “the CDD’s sound great at all volumes. We have more than enough audio than we need with this setup. The CDD’s sound extremely clear, crisp and warm. They’re ideal for the program material designed by Hogsalt’s music coordinator, which is more of a downbeat house mix.
“Our client, Four Corners, is very happy with the system––they really love the sound of the cabinet––which explains why we’ve used them for all of their restaurants. Hogsalt used a competitor for their other venues and were hesitant when they first came in, but once the music coordinator heard CDD, he was surprised and pleased about how good it sounded.”
Summing up, John adds, “the CDD’s wide dispersion definitely helps reduce the amount of boxes you need for an installation—what would take 10 with a conventional speaker only requires 6 or 7 with CDD. But my approach in designing leads to me to put in an extra box just to have a bit more overall volume and clarity.
“And CDD has a great price point as well. The speakers are more than competitive with other name brands trying to do the same thing. Every time we do an install, it’s the first thing that comes to mind.”
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