Commercial Speakers Advice

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by DennisPCJr, Aug 27, 2005.

  1. DennisPCJr

    DennisPCJr Agent

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    This may be the wrong section for this but, I am building a store and need to find some medium price and quality ceiling grid mount speakers. Anyone have any brand or site suggestions? I got a speaker system for my theater years ago and am just realizing how little I know about speakers.

    Thanks Lots!
     
  2. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    There's plenty of sites. Depends on your budget and what you call medium. www.partsexpress.com has some good deals. How many speakers are you putting in and what will you power them with? Some commercial speakers may be made a bit different.
     
  3. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Atlas-Soundolier is one of the premier companies in the commercial field. I believe JBL also has some commercial offerings.

    You didn’t say what the use was – paging, background music, etc. If it’s hi-fi you're looking for, you might look at some of the companies specializing in residential distributed audio, like Niles, Russound or Sonance.

    An important element here will be how many speakers you intend to use. If you’re using four or less, you can get away with a connecting them straight to an amplifier. If you’re using more than that, you should go with a commercial 70-volt system that uses special amps and transformers at each speaker.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  4. DennisPCJr

    DennisPCJr Agent

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    Yes it will be for background music as well as some pa/microphone stuff. I will have more then 4 speakers. Im hoping the architect im meeting with tomorrow will be able to suggest how many speakers and where. Im just trying to find a company that makes speakers that aren't shower radio or home theater quality. Something in between.
    THanks a lot
     
  5. MikeLi

    MikeLi Supporting Actor

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    Most architects are not taught the art of placing speakers. They just think that one in the ceiling about so far apart is good enough. And it may be depending on your business or what your trying to do. You take a business like some of the expensive burger chains that rely on lots of monitors on the walls everywhere, they usually use upper end monitor speakers with good components and delay systems and such to be calibrated to a large open space so you don't get the echo effect.
     
  6. DennisPCJr

    DennisPCJr Agent

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    Its a Ice Cream Coffee shop im opening. Basically this sounds like its going to be very very complicated beyond the home theatre and car systems ive done and ill have to just call someone in to do it.
     
  7. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Then you want to go with TOA Electronics. They make some nifty 70-volt modular mixer/amps that support paging, background music sources, and anything else you might need.

    Seventy-volt systems are different from what you see in other audio installations. They’re specifically designed for installations that use multiple speakers. They work by delivering the audio as a straight-voltage signal. Each speaker has a transformer that can be tapped at different wattages, according to how loud you want it to be. Available wattages are typically from 1/4” watt to 5 or 10 watts. (Ever walk into the restroom at a restaurant and notice the background music that sounded fine out in the main room is suddenly too loud? They should have tapped it at a lower wattage).

    The contractor can help you determine what wattage to tap each speaker at, depending on locations, ceiling height, anticipated ambient noise levels (i.e., high in a restaurant or bar), etc. From there you choose the amp with the needed power. For instance, of you are going to put in 15 speakers with each tapped at 2.5 watts, you’d need a 40 watt amplifier.

    Unlike with speakers on the wall, you really don’t need to worry about delay with ceiling speakers, since you typically only hear the one closest to you.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  8. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Dennis,
    If you’ve installed car and home theater systems, you won’t have a problem doing this. It’s just a matter of knowing what you need and what to do. That part’s not any different than the learning curve with HT or car audio.

    The only tricky part is getting the TOA mixer/amp set up with the proper modules. Beyond that it’s all installation.

    See if you can locate a local commercial or pro-audio dealer who you will sell you a TOA and the needed modules (and mic) over the counter. They will also be able to fix you up with the appropriate speaker wire. Typically installation-grade 16 ga. wire is used and just ran from speaker to speaker. Bring them a diagram of your shop with dimensions and they can recommend speaker placement and number. This will be a mono installation, which simplifies things considerably. TOA’s smallest mixer/amp is 60 watts, which should be more than enough, so that makes choices easier.

    One potential caveat might be the paging mic, if it’s going to be used some distance from the amp. You might have to solder your own connections onto the cable you’ll have to run.

    As far as speaker quality, I don’t know what your expectations are, but I’m pretty sure you can get coaxial ceiling speakers from Atlas or JBL. If you’re really concerned about fidelity, I think I’d look at the residential brands I mentioned before. If you go that route, you may have to use outboard transformers if the speakers aren’t 70-volt-specific – the commercial/pro audio shop should be able to fix you up with those.

    If you need some installation tips fell free to drop me a line when you get everything lined out and ready to go.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  9. DennisPCJr

    DennisPCJr Agent

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    What does that mean the proper modules. I also think I made this sound a little more complicated. This isn't like a burger king or anything. I don't need a pa or counter mic system. I just want a corded mic or a wireless mic to plug into the amp for the few times there may be a party or something. Otherwise this is just for ambient music to be playing.
     
  10. chuckg

    chuckg Supporting Actor

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    Wayne hit it right with the TOA - I used to do commercial audio and those units are superb. The mixer/amplifier has small "modules" that plug into the back of the mixer/amp. You just get whatever module you want to match the purpose of the input. For instance, there are microhone inputs, line level (like CD) inputs, phonograh inputs, and even special microphone input modules that switch off the background music when you push a button on the microphone. (paging mic)

    If all you want is a radio/CD music with a couple of seakers in a small room, you could get a receiver that does Karaoke. Then you've got music and a microphone all in one cheap package. A pair of JBL Control monitor speakers will fill a small restaurant nicely. If quality need not be too high, placement will not be critical.

    In one install I did, we hung six JBL Control 1 speakers here and there in an upscale restaurant seating about 60. For amplification we just used three receivers with the same input going to all three. The sound was mono, for smooth coverage. For more than that, you'd really be better going with the 70 volt system Wayne described.
     
  11. DennisPCJr

    DennisPCJr Agent

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    I did find some TOA installers that im going to call and meet with next week once I have blueprints in hand. The store is only about 1200 sq ft overall including bathrooms backrooms and all so it shouldn't be a huge job but I want it done right. Im also goin to have them lay Wi Fi antenna in the ceiling as well I think.

    Thanks so much to you guys for all the help. Id learn and do it myself but I have a hundred other things to juggle and learn at the same time.
     
  12. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    We've got a number of small, 10w TOA mixer/amps - BG-10 and/or A901 (or something like that; they're practically identical units.) Even though they're only 10w, they're beautiful little units, fairly indestructable, and can, as others point out, accept a couple of 'cards' that will allow them to input microphones, balanced, unbalanced, or phono inputs.

    A note on 70v distribution. Don't expect any low-frequency response. Most systems do not pass anything near 60Hz and below - if you saturate the transformers, they don't work.

    Bose used to make some nice 70v speakers - yes, I know, Bose. But I'm talking Commercial Bose, not home-weight trash Bose.

    We've also had some Atlas and JBLs that were pretty good, too.

    Good luck,

    Leo
     

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