The STK restaurant concept has opened haute steakhouses in major cities around the country, and now its second Manhattan location occupies the ground floor of the borough’s famed W.R. Grace Building.
Music plays a vital role in STK’s contemporary vibe, with a custom playlist drawing on classic rock, dance, and everything in between gives way to a live DJ on most evenings.
New York City’s EL Media Group designed and installed STK’s sound system around two
Symetrix Jupiter 8 turnkey processors with Symetrix ARC-2e wall panel remotes.
“Rather than deal with the hassle of orchestrating multiple contractors, EL Media Group provides a one-stop shop,” explains Andrew Mitchel, A/V technician with the company. “Without compromising our depth, we deliver a breadth of services that greatly simplifies the A/V needs of our clients.”
In addition to audio and video design/install/support, EL Media Group can provide clients with custom-branded CDs, iPods, and USB drives; mobile app development; and A/V production.
“After comparing the overall fidelity and musical impact of multiple well-known pro audio manufacturers, it became clear that Symetrix built processors of noticeably higher quality than the rest of the field,” says Mitchel. “The Symetrix Jupiter series maintains that high audio quality and pairs it with easy deployment at a remarkably affordable price.” Inspired by the app-based paradigm of smartphone technology, integrators can configure the Jupiter hardware to suit the needs of widely divergent situations by selecting situation-appropriate “apps.”
In the case of STK, Mitchel used the “Sound Reinforcement #6” app on a pair of Symetrix Jupiter 8s. Each Jupiter 8 provides the restaurant with eight inputs and eight outputs, and the selected app provides each input with filters, graphic equalizers, split-frequency compressors, and feedback fighters; and each output with comprehensive speaker management, gain, and liming. A matrix mixer allows any input to be routed to any output.
The design for STK required multiple zones and, within most of those zones, separate outputs for full-range loudspeakers and subwoofers. The zones include the bar area, the dining area, each of two service bars, each of two private dining rooms, and the restrooms. The restaurant’s aesthetically-compelling ceiling, which is composed of individual bent slats separated by airspace that extends up to the true ceiling, proved a challenging impediment to easy loudspeaker placement.
EL Media Group located the full-range loudspeakers (from Tannoy’s Di-, CMS-, and V-series) at strategic locations between the slats. Apart from a few Tannoy V-Series subwoofers hidden near the bar, the remainder are made by Community and chosen because that have the unique ability to nestle within the booth seats. Lab.gruppen C-Series amplifiers power the system.
In contrast to the large output list, the input list at STK is modest. Most of the time, STK uses the custom music service provided by EL Media Group. They provide clients with a proprietary music player and maintain its own server that delivers user-specific content to that player.
The player allows manual track and playlist changes over and above the regularly scheduled changes programmed into the server. The other input is for a DJ rig, which is frequently used in the evening and on into the night. The currently unused inputs may be used in the future if, for example, STK adds screens or presentation capacity in the private dining rooms.
Restaurant staff can select the input source and adjust the output volume across multiple zones using the four Symetrix ARC-2e wall panel remotes. Each private room contains its own ARC-2e, and the third and fourth units are placed at the back bar and on the main restaurant floor.
“The Symetrix wall panel remotes are great,” concludes Mitchel. “They offer me tremendous flexibility in what I present to the user and allow me to concisely and intuitively present controls that would require multiple remotes from other manufacturers.”