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One of the spaces at the renovated Hotel Figueroa in downtown Los Angeles with audio driven by LEA Connect Series amplifiers.

LEA Professional Drives An Audio Upgrade At Hotel Figueroa In LA

Integration team at Los Angeles-based Drp implements Connect Series 704 power amplifiers to drive systems in numerous regions at recently renovated iconic hotel.

A two-year restoration project at Hotel Figueroa, one of the longest-standing hotels in downtown Los Angeles, included an audio upgrade implemented by the systems integration team at LA-based Drp that incorporates power amplifiers from LEA Professional.

“This was a challenging big project; when we arrived on site we quickly realized it wouldn’t just be about installing a new system. We needed to re-do the infrastructure already in place,” says Dan Potvin, Founder and Owner at Drp. “When we first inspected the old system and pulled out the rack it looked like a spider’s web back there. There was no signal wire but data infrastructure wire, so the system was not secure. We had to fix that first before we could even think about installing the LEA amps.”

Part of the Hyatt group, Hotel Figueroa has 268 rooms and suites spread over 14 floors and a pool nestled within a botanical oasis. Potvin focused on a few main areas of the hotel, including two prominent restaurants, Sparrow and La Casita, as well as the pool area. Initially the team came up against supply chain issues with some manufacturers not having product in stock, which led them to try LEA Professional, which had the amplifiers in ready to ship.

Ultimately, the integration team specified four Connect Series 704 amplifiers to power systems covering the majority of the hotel. The IoT-enabled four-channel Connect Series 704 is designed for small- to medium-scale projects, with direct HiZ (70 or 100-volt) or LoZ selectable by channel. To connect, integrators can engage the built-in Wi-Fi access point, utilize the venue’s Wi-Fi or use the FAST Ethernet to connect to any local area network via Cat-5/6 cable.

“Going in with these amps and being able to program one channel to be 70 volts and one channel to be low impedance, that is huge,” Potvin explains. “These have so many useful features, they are very unique within the industry, and that really makes my job easier.”

Adding to the legacy infrastructure at the hotel was the equipment racks; not audio racks but instead IT racks that could not hold much equipment, with the 1RU size of the Connect Series allowing them to fit. Another challenge the team usually faces when installing amplifiers in a hotel is ensuring that they’re not accidentally powered off, especially when they need to run 24/7.

“I’m so glad the on/off button is hidden on the Connect Series, we have had so many issues before where the power button is right on the front of an amp and people accidentally hit the amps off,” notes Potvin. “It seems simple, but that can be a real nightmare scenario for us.”

Potvin did need to fix one issue in the hotel after the install but was able to use the LEA Professional Web UI so he never had to step foot in the AV room. The Web App UI is a browser-based interface that fosters local monitoring of every amplifier connected to the network from any phone, tablet, or PC. In addition, it allows users to view the status of every channel on any given amp.

“The first time a DJ was performing the mix was boosted 8 to 12 dB, and those frequencies will knock you off your chair,” he says. “I went down to fix it but didn’t even need to open my laptop. Instead I logged on with my phone’s web browser and I was able to take the low end out in 20 seconds.”

In the future, Drp will be upgrading other areas of the hotel and adding more LEA Professional amplifiers to the system, Potvin concludes. “I mean, in a sense, it was a godsend that there were shipping issues and problems with other manufacturers getting products because it meant I found LEA and I’ve been using them on all my projects since. In an environment where the amplifiers will be on 24/7, I would only use LEA Professional.”

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Linea Research is a leading designer and manufacturer of high performance power amplifiers and DSP controllers for the entertainment, live sound, installed sound and commercial sound markets.