Trader Vics finds the solution in E Series

CATEGORISED IN :   Entertainment

For something that began as a personal passion in the 1930s, the Trader Vic’s restaurant chain has grown to become one of the most recognisable and well-loved eatery brands in the world, with 26 outlets across the globe offering a unique brand of tiki inspired hospitality.

Started in 1934 by Victor J ‘Trader Vic’ Bergeron in the US, the first outlet in Dubai opened over 15 years ago, with the fourth and latest addition, Trader Vic’s Dubai Festival City, recently opening to rave reviews. Building on a legacy that spans almost 80 years, the new 320-capacity Trader Vic’s encapsulates the globally loved brand. Managed by RMAL Hospitality, one of the UAE’s leading hospitality specialists, the 10,900 sq ft venue boasts an extensive lounge, restaurant and outdoor terrace with waterfront views. Of course, while every new restaurant reflects the Trader Vic’s heritage, it also seeks to evolve the concept to evoke changing times and new technologies in order to give visitors that quintessential experience.

Since RMAL was looking to up the ante in terms of the technological offering at the new venue, it called on trusted consultants MiNDServe, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pearl Dubai Holding, that offers integrated community management, project design and an advanced state-of-the-art technology infrastructure. While the installation contract was carried out by Dubai based installer BCL, it was Chief Technology Officer at MiNDServe, George Puthenkulam’s role to design and engineer the technology infrastructure required for deploying the client’s very specific requirements for the new Trader Vic’s outlet.

“There were three things that mattered most to the client,” said George. “The food, the environment, and the sound. Trader Vic’s was a challenge as we had to create a venue where a live band could perform and where a family could sit for a meal and dine at ease with mellow background music both concurrently.”

The venue was designed with adaptability in mind, with the separate areas each requiring a tailored solution to make the most of the architecture and the materials used. Despite the need for these bespoke solutions, George was sure of one thing; that the loudspeaker solution had to be Tannoy.

“Tannoy was a choice as my past experience proved that I could predict pretty well the performance of the loudspeakers. Build quality, performance, local support and long term commitment to the market were crucial in our decisions in using an all Tannoy solution at Trader Vic’s.”

Of course, as well as the great food and atmosphere, it’s not just background music or DJs that is on offer at Trader Vic’s, and when George needed a system that would provide increased power and flexibility, he opted for Tannoy’s VXP Series. Each cabinet benefits from a range of fixed-install and portable mounting points as well as road-ready powder-coated steel grille and Lab.gruppen’s new IntelliDrive energy-efficient amplifier module. The Lab.gruppen IDEEA modules are designed to handle the demands of fixed installation audio, with the inherent extended duty cycles of around-the-clock operation and very high performance demands, while offering the durability, high power output and clarity required by portable applications. The VXP Series also marks the first time that sister companies Tannoy and Lab.gruppen have worked together on a single product, a fact not lost on George.

“We are very keen to work with companies who challenge themselves, innovating over current technology,” he said. “Lab.gruppen and Tannoy were always in that class, and we feel that the pairing of the two brands and technologies in the VXP Series is a very potent combination.”

That respect for Lab.gruppen carried through into the amplifier choice used to power the passive elements of the overall system, with a number of the new Energy Star certified E Series install-centric amplifiers being installed at Trader Vic’s. Launched in late 2011, the E Series provides ample power reserves with low power consumption, reducing the total cost of ownership below that of conventional designs.

George commented: “Rack space was premium and ensuring we were not generating heat within an already tight rack was a big technical challenge. We are aware that Lab.gruppen made great amplifiers, but hadn’t yet used the new E Series.”

For the pre-recorded musical element of the venue, an Apart 4,000 media player was installed, which is easy very simple and easy to use. For DSP control George went for Biamp’s Nexia RED-1F flush-mount controls.

“The system is configured in such a way that the restaurant operator can switch sources and level control – for example from live band on stage to media playback – and this can be achieved very quickly on the RED-1F user interface,” he said.

With such a state-of-the-art system in place now, Trader Vic’s has maintained its existing reputation in the Middle East and now owners RMAL Hospitality has another flagship venue that is better than it could have hoped for, as George testified: “The owners and operator were thrilled that we were able to provide them with a sound system that exceeded their expectations in every way.”

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