Swing the Teapot, a cozy café/bar located in the village of Floral Park, NY on Long Island, recently installed a four-channel PowersoftM28Q amplifier. The amplifier was part of a total system upgrade requested by owner Shane Moynagh and his staff with guidance from Cardone, Solomon & Associates, regional independent sales representatives for Powersoft and the other audio equipment brands included in the new rig.
According to John Cardone, principal at Cardone , Solomon & Associates, “It’s a very small and intimate place with a very cool vibe.”
Cardone has known the owner for many years and also regularly performs at the venue, which has hosted such internationally acclaimed artists as Marshall Crenshaw, Steve Forbert, John Ford of UK band The Strawbs, James Maddock and Willie Nile.
In addition to the Powersoft M28Q the new PA system includes a pair of Renkus-Heinz PNX82 cabinets installed for mains with a pair of smaller PNX61 speakers for monitors covering the compact stage area. The PNX61 monitors are strategically ceiling mounted as a front and side fill, eliminating any need for floor monitors and freeing up floor space.
“The headroom in the Powersoft amp is exceptional and effortless, very open sounding,” comments Rich Trombitas, regional manager, Cardone, Solomon & Associates. “It’s quite flat—there’s no need for a graphic in the system. If someone comes in with a good microphone they end up setting all the tone controls on the board flat and bringing up the gain.
” And many times it will just be a solo or a duo acoustic act, so it’s also easier for the owner and the musicians to operate. It’s all around a delightful little system.”
A Symetrix DSP unit, located along with the Powersoft amplifier in a Middle Atlantic rack in the building’s basement, provides system optimization and also enables performers to independently control their monitor levels via a wall plate by the stage. A SurgeX power conditioner provides surge elimination. An existing small Mackie mixer behind the bar controls the PA.
Cardone adds, “Rich and I were there for the first real shakeout, when James Maddock came in and did a solo act. There were times when it sounded like a CD, it was just so crystal clear and articulate. The Powersoft amplifier makes things sound good; I love the way those amps sound. All the equipment works so well together.”
The new Powersoft-driven rig replaced an aging PA system that not only offered dated audio quality for visiting acts but was also visually unappealing. The original speakers restricted headroom both on the stage and at the main entrance. “When they had a decent act come through there it was spatially challenging. Anybody over 6-feet-2 would have an issue because they’d whack their heads on the bottoms of the speakers. It was a visual as well as a physical problem, and really cut down on the room size,” says Cardone. In the new set-up the main speakers, finished in white to match the ceiling, are mounted horizontally on the ceiling. They are visually unobtrusive, hanging less than 12 inches into the room, and create a more spacious appearance.
Cardone, who also performs at Swing the Teapot with John Ford, bass player with UK band the Strawbs during the early seventies, reports, “I play there monthly with The Mike Barry Band, and it’s like playing to 40 of your closest friends. They move the tables, there’s dancing—the place rocks!”