The Multnomah Athletic Club (MAC) in downtown Portland, OR has upgraded two of its aerobics studios to include Powersoft M28Q, M30D and M50Q amplifiers powering an exploded array of Fulcrum Acoustic loudspeakers in each room.
The MAC occupies two buildings totaling more than 550,000 square feet; the eight-level clubhouse faces directly onto Jeld-Wen Field, home of the Portland Timbers soccer club.
David R. Garlett, senior design consultant, Delta A/V Systems, of Gresham, OR, designed the playback systems for the two rooms, one a spin class and the other an aerobics studio, which measure between 1200 and 2500 sq. ft.
The Powersoft M28Q, M30D and M50Q amplifiers are part of an upgrade that also included a Symetrix DSP unit, a multi-disc, multi-format player and a Crestron control system with remote control via local touch pad and Apple iOS devices.
“The Powersoft, with its enormous amount of power in a compact space, allows us to have really nice headroom,” says Garlett. “It’s plenty loud — that system could break the windows in there, but it is heavily limited and controlled. It sounds better than most hi-fi systems, and with Powersoft I don’t have to break the bank to get that power.”
He adds, “The results were beyond our expectations. It was an amazing feat to not only satisfy the aerobics instructors, staff and patrons, but management as well.”
Garlett comments, “We incorporated pretty much every audio DSP trick known to man.”
“There’s a Fulcrum monitor behind the instructor that is mix-minus — it plays program but not the instructor’s microphone. The speakers are arranged in an exploded array and they are all time-aligned, with zero being the monitor behind the instructor,” Garlett explains. “When the instructor speaks there’s a very fast, zero attack, ducking about 6 dB, with a release of zero.
“When the instructor speaks it isn’t additive to the overall SPL. So what we accomplished was a system that can run at a good clip, but no one complains that it’s loud or fatiguing.”
Additionally, he says, “There are four zones out in the main studio and a graphic control that allows them to dim a given zone should someone mention that it’s a little loud for them. They can drop that zone 10 dB; the net drop is probably 6 dB, because you do have crossover from other zones, but it’s enough to placate the patrons.”
Although Garlett ordered the Powersoft amplifiers without the optional DSP, only because the system needed some features only available in a dedicated outboard DSP matrix device, he reports, “In all other cases I do use Powersoft DSP as a fixed architecture. What are you going to buy for that price?” Powersoft amps deliver a lot of bang for the buck: “It’s all there, and more — and I have happy customers to prove it.”
Delta AV is a Portland-based, privately held, audio-visual systems integration firm that has been providing design, engineering, sales, installation, service, custom programming and documentation of high-tech audio/video and control systems since February 2, 1996.