SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 2012: When the Hilton Concord undertook a multi-million dollar plan to renovate its thirty year-old property, it wanted to do more than merely spruce up the amenities. The popular hotel, which occupies prime real estate on the East Bay of San Francisco, wanted to increase the environmental sustainability of its operations. The overhaul included the use of recycled carpet, LED lighting, low-VOC paints, and a new, super-efficient HVAC system. Even the sound reinforcement system in the building’s flexible ballroom and meeting space contributes to the hotel’s much smaller carbon footprint. Local AV integrator JK Sound, Inc. designed the new sound reinforcement system around Ashly Audio’s new KLR Series amplifiers, which deliver tremendous output efficiency while still maintaining high fidelity, bulletproof reliability, and affordability. “There wasn’t much to the original sound reinforcement system,” said Dan Thiel, sales and installation manager with JK Sound, Inc. “It was late 1970s technology that had suffered significant deterioration over the decades. The surrounds on many of the loudspeakers had disintegrated completely, and what was left of its head-end was held together by band-aids and chewing gum.” The layout at Hilton Concord is straightforward. The large Golden Gate Ballroom subdivides into four smaller rooms, one of which subdivides yet again. A smaller adjacent meeting room subdivides into two smaller rooms. In total, seven zones were required. “Ashly’s KLR Series was the obvious amplifier choice given the green goals of this design,” said Thiel. “They are highly efficient, meaning that for modest power consumption, they have tremendous output. That’s green in two ways. First, and most obviously, less power consumption translates to less power plant carbon dioxide emissions right out of the gate. Second, since inefficiencies lead to the production of heat that a building’s air conditioning needs to deal with, the KLR’s efficiency is less of a strain on the power used to cool the building. Ashly even includes removable, washable air filters on the front of each amp so that it is easy for the hotel to maintain their efficiency. On top of all that, the KLRs are still among the most affordable, and yet reliable amplifiers available.” Thiel installed four Ashly KLR 3200 dual-channel amplifiers. In the higher ceilings of the ballroom, they power Community D8 ceiling speakers, whereas in the lower ceilings of the adjacent meeting room, they power Community D6 ceiling speakers. BSS Soundweb London provides all processing and user control. A BSS Blu-8 Wall Controller works like a small mixer, providing the operator with input selection from among background music, local mics, and local line inputs, along with individual and master volume controls. A BSS Blu-10 Wall Controller provides lockout password security control of the system and room combining. Because JK Sound was subcontracted by Digital Audio Visual Solutions, the company that regularly operates the A/V equipment for events at the Hilton Concord, its green design, centered on the Ashly KLR amplifiers, is likely to find its way into many other Bay Area hotels and event centers. “We essentially want to create mirror images of this system in the other venues that Digital Audio Visual is contracted to operate,” said Thiel. “That would make it easy for them to train operators on one system with knowledge that will port to the other systems. Of course, the reliable and efficient Ashly KLR Series amplifiers will remain an integral part of the design.”
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