Aura Restaurant & Lounge recently opened in Philadelphia and placed itself at the vanguard of the city’s hip and happening night life.
Aura hired Pro Systems from nearby Cherry Hill, New Jersey to breathe fire into its sound reinforcement system, and they responded by providing Aura with an unfalteringly stable Symetrix Solus 8, a processor that’s heavy on fidelity and possessed of a deep musical soul.
“We’ve been installing Symetrix processors of various types for several years now, and we have yet to experience a single failure,” said Jim McCann, owner of Pro Systems. “That’s saying a lot, considering the large amount of Symetrix processors we have in the field. Symetrix builds robust gear.”
Because he knew Aura would need custom-tailored processing, McCann was considering a SymNet Express unit.
“But then my Symetrix rep stopped by and showed me the Solus 8,” he continued. “It had the powerful open-architecture processing that I needed, but because I knew we wouldn’t need I/O expandability, the fixed-I/O Solus 8 had a very attractive price.”
Although the job wouldn’t be complete for several months (and for reasons far, far outside the control of Pro Systems), McCann had the Solus 8 programmed and ready to integrate just hours after receiving it.
Aura’s downstairs section provides elegant seating for Chef Lamont Moses’ culinary creations and, with tables removed, a secondary dance floor. The upstairs section is a purpose-built lounge and dance floor, with VIP seating and bottle service. Two DJ booths, one on each floor, provide the most charismatic inputs to the system.
A Tascam DVD player and an iPod jack fill out the Solus 8’s eight inputs. Four of its eight outputs feed the two-way stereo JBL AM7212 and ASB6128 system that energizes the upstairs dance floor. The remaining four outputs feed JBL AC28s in mono zones in the upstairs VIP lounge, the downstairs restaurant, the downstairs VIP area, and the bathrooms. QSC PL2 and CX series amplifiers power all the loudspeakers and subwoofers.
User control is simple. Pro Systems installed two Symetrix ARC-2e wall panel remotes, one on each floor. Using the menu selection button and up & down value buttons, Aura managers can select the input to the upstairs and downstairs separately. Additional menus allow them to change the volume within each zone.
They also included PC control using the built in SymVue control screens. Like all Symetrix processors, the Solus 8 readily integrates with the ARC family of wall panel remotes, as well as third-party solutions both simple and complex.
After his success at Aura, McCann and Pro Systems have installed several other Symetrix Solus units, selecting the Solus 4, Solus 8, or Solus 16 depending on the fixed I/O needs of each particular venue.