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Acoustics consultancy firm 21dB was tasked with installing a sound system that was able to provide an optimum audio experience for both live and recorded music in the opulent dining space. The company chose Genelec speakers as part of an intricate audio solution befitting of the restaurant’s sensory splendour.
The spacious indoor expanse, high ceiling and large glass façade were considerable obstacles to designing an effective sound system which had to be integrated intelligently to provide high-quality music and an optimum acoustic experience. The client also required a clean aesthetic so as not to detract from the luxurious décor which was designed to resemble an antique oriental mansion. In order to achieve this, the subwoofers needed to be hidden from sight completely and the visible speakers needed to blend in with the background as much as possible.
A Genelec system was chosen from distributors Eltek and a total of 19 Genelec 4040A installation loudspeakers were ordered in white and painted by an artist in a shaded light blue finish to blend into the restaurant’s décor. The seven Genelec 7070A subwoofers were either hidden in custom made perforated boxes or recessed into the floor with a steel grille on top which was made possible thanks to the floor thickness.
“We have used Genelec speakers many times before, and we have always been impressed with their performance and often received excellent feedback,” said Fouad Bechwati, Principal of 21dB. “As acoustic consultants for the project we felt that the combination of the acoustic treatment and the Genelec speakers would deliver the best possible solution for the client. Another consideration was the fact that the restaurant usually has a live band playing every few days. With Genelec being used extensively in music studios as a result of their fantastic reproduction, we knew their qualities for this application and felt that they were the best choice for the job.”
In order to tackle the challenging acoustic environment, 21dB specified a seamless porous sound absorber to be installed across some parts of the ceiling in order to reduce the reverberation times, which could not have been achieved with just soft furnishings and curtains alone. The ceiling is ornately decorated with attractive cornices and gold leaf decoration, so special considerations had to be made to ensure that the absorber did not hinder the attractive aesthetic.
Having dramatically improved the acoustic environment, the Genelec speakers provide a crisp and clean sound which can be played at any level whilst still maintaining the same level of definition in the music. Whenever live bands perform, usually traditional Arabic music, the sound from the speakers is natural and precise, delivering the best possible experience to diners. The sound system is a perfect accompaniment to the restaurant’s stunning food, service and ambience, and it also helps the luxurious Em Sherif to distinguish itself as a landmark in authentic oriental cuisine.