Chicago, Il – October 2020. Located in the vibrant West Loop neighborhood, Nobu Hotel Chicago combines the essence of the Windy City with the spirit of Nobu. Innovative architecture and 115 stylishly-appointed rooms and suites seamlessly blend old-world Japanese influences with ultra-modern design. The Nobu Restaurant is at the heart of the hotel, opening out onto Randolph’s famed Restaurant Row.
Technology had to contribute to the guest experience, and sound was no exception. Nobu Hotel Chicago partnered with Martin Audio’s team of experts for audiovisual and AV low structured cabling. Encompass AV gave the team an opportunity to flex their design, acoustics, audio visual infrastructure, and overall hospitality strengths and sound performance.
Encompass AV came in to rethinking the entire audio visual, structured cabling that ensured greater network infrastructure to deliver the Martin Audio solution. They also wired the entire building with the high-end audio visual low-voltage and electrical systems, all while integrating seamlessly with other vendors on the site.
System design was focused entirely on the guest experience from display screens that come down on mechanical lifts with the touch of an iPad, to audio systems that deliver extremely high-quality sound across the property’s many settings. One of the key elements in this was Martin Audio’s differential dispersion technology to provide even coverage throughout the hotel.
Pickett and the Encompass AV team decided on a similar system design for each of the public spaces but tailored to the specific needs of each area. The CDD series forms the backbone of the solution in each area to ensure that even coverage and high audio quality is maintained throughout the hotel. With the pool, spa, fitness areas, restrooms, lobby, conferencing space, rooftop bar and, of course, the centerpiece restaurant to cover, dozens of CDD6 ultra-compact two-way passive loudspeakers have been deployed from the entrance all the way up to the rooftop.
“With Nobu Hotel Chicago, we’re looking for even coverage with a really tight, nice low end throughout the entire space,” explains Pickett. “We wanted people to be able to walk through every area and not hear any dropouts or comb filtering, and we were able to accomplish that with the CDD series.”
The award-winning CDD6 delivers the hotel’s smooth, even coverage thanks to its Coaxial Differential Dispersion technology which achieves ‘point source’ summation of the LF and HF sections — eliminating off-axis variations in frequency response associated with non-coaxial designs. It also improves on conventional coaxial designs thanks to the static waveguide that merges with the unique cone shape to maintain the dispersion pattern all the way out into very high frequencies.
Coverage was only one aspect that led to the selection of the CDD speakers, with the aesthetics playing just as important a role. The compact footprint of the CDD6 and its close mounting capabilities for walls and ceilings ensured the loudspeakers could be easily hidden in every space. “In areas like the rooftop bar we were able to hide all the CDD6 speakers above the ceiling, so you really don’t see them,” recalls Pickett. “It made a lot more sense to us to use more of the smaller cabinets which could be installed out of sight more easily, than fewer of the larger CDD family members that could have been more of a challenge to hide.”
A global lifestyle brand, Nobu Hospitality is built on instinctive design, a passion for service and a commitment to great food. “The real prize in the building is the restaurant,” says Pickett. “High-quality sound and even coverage were definitely requirements. They needed that feeling where you walk into a high-end restaurant and it sounds the part, that it has that feel to it and carries that energy with it. The CDD6 was able to deliver this perfectly. The sound is phenomenal.”
About Martin Audio®
Founded by audio engineer David Martin in 1971, Martin Audio pioneered the use of all-horn-loaded bass designs in world-class touring loudspeaker systems for groups such as Pink Floyd, ELP and Supertramp. Today, Martin Audio embodies a sophisticated mix of acoustic design, research, mathematical modelling and software engineering for a wide range of products in the installation and touring sound markets.