Never Blue in the Rocco Forte with d&b

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A business destination that combines European sophistication with that certain Middle Eastern style, the Rocco Forte Hotel Abu Dhabi has achieved a remarkable balance between two cultures. "Attention to detail is paramount," said F&B Manager for the hotel, Tristan Dechelette, "Take our atrium where you will find, seemingly suspended at the sixth floor, our restaurant and cocktail lounge Blue Bar. This is a platform floating in a towering palace of glass, yet even here, where you might imagine such a thing would not be possible, the sound is exquisite."

Why would Dechelette say such a thing? Well at eleven storeys the volume of the atrium is enormous, and the glass walls that flank two sides of this triangular vertical space make for a highly reverberant environment. "To our good fortune, Mr Dechelette has a background in pro audio," began Chadi el Masri manager of the Dubai branch of Lightbox Professional. "When he approached us to provide an audio installation design that could deliver in such circumstances, he already knew from personal experience a d&b audiotechnik system would be a quality solution. We demonstrated loudspeakers from the new d&b White range of integration products to him and key members of the hotel management; that was a turning point. That combination of classic d&b clarity from an elegant and stylish loudspeaker cabinet makes the White range ideal. It just remained to provide a tight design that addressed the listeners directly without exciting those high glass walls."

The Hotel wanted to be able to capitalise on Blue Bar, using it when occasion demands, for private functions, "So although we could have adequately covered the brief using 4S loudspeakers from the d&b xS-Series, the desire for higher sound levels at special events led to the installation of the larger 8S cabinet. The key is pattern control and placement, anyone can calculate best position, but if the loudspeaker cabinet doesn't perform to the precise specification of the published data then you have problems. The larger low frequency driver in the 8S extends the response down to 70 Hz from the 130 Hz of the 4S, adding greater warmth to the listening experience yet it still maintains that 100° conical dispersion so vital in such an acoustically unstable environment."

Lightbox flew the equipment in direct from Germany as the construction schedule was tight, "It was in, up and commissioned within a month of arrival," said Mr el Masri. "We at the hotel are most pleased with the way this project has been handled," concluded Dechelette. "Our time was not wasted with inappropriate demonstrations; Lightbox studied the architects' plans and made an astute assessment of what was needed. We are so pleased with what has been achieved in giving our guests a prestige experience that we have now asked Lightbox to quote for another venue within the hotel."

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