The “new” Sibley Building in downtown Rochester, New York rose out of the ashes of the original Sibley Building, which served as the city’s first department store and burned down in 1906.
It has remained an architectural fixture ever since and was admitted to National Register of Historic Places in 1984. The lower levels serve as retail space and help to anchor Rochester’s current downtown revitalization.
Its public areas recently benefited from a sound system overhaul that centered on processing, amplification, and control provided by commercial audio manufacturer Ashly Audio of nearby Webster, New York.
“Although it had been fine when it went in, the old sound system was twenty years old,” said Alan Clayton, sales representative with the local integration firm, The Presentation Source, that designed and installed the new system. “The owners wanted to add some outdoor loudspeakers to the entrances, and they wanted to be able to play different music sources at different entrances. The old system had zero multi-zone support.”
The different music sources will be used to affect some innocuous crowd control: some exciting music at the sidewalk entrances to draw in passers by and some not-so-exciting music near a different entrance to discourage loitering.
A new Ashly ne24.24M modular matrix processor outfitted with four inputs and twelve outputs forms the heart of the new system, and an Ashly neWR-5 networked remote control provides relevant user controls.
“The neWR-5 is a great way to give the client just the right amount of control,” said Clayton. “It’s a fine line. I want to allow them to do everything they want to do, but not allow them to get into trouble. The neWR-5 lets me hone in on just the right amount.”
To power the existing indoor loudspeakers as well as the new One Systems outdoor loudspeakers, Clayton installed an eight-channel, two-rack space Ashly ne8250.70 amplifier.
“A lot of things go into choosing this kind of equipment, not the least of which is the inclusion of local manufacturers when possible,” said Clayton. “That’s especially significant given the historic nature of the Sibley Building.
“Just as important is our previous experience with Ashly equipment and Ashly support. Both are excellent. The equipment sounds great, holds up reliably, and the people at Ashly are very easy to work with.”