Today, modern audio installations in the retail and restaurant/hotel sectors must cover much more than just the optimal sound reinforcement of a given area. Due to the growing possibilities of playback – in particular, wireless streaming via Bluetooth using smartphones and tablets – integrators, service providers and manufacturers must increasingly pay attention to offering a system that is as flexible as possible while at the same time user-friendly and which, despite all its simplicity, fulfils the safety-relevant regulations in public areas.For example, a shop or restaurant in a shopping centre must not only have its own music content under control, but also ensure that emergency announcements are automatically played back via the public address system in case of danger.
In many cases, the challenges for end customers already begin during installation, because no one wants to have to close their shop or restaurant for longer than necessary in the course of conversion and renovation work. With the DQOR (installation loudspeaker) and IMA (mixing amplifier) families, LD Systems has developed two fixed audio installation components that precisely address these pain points. Based on two concrete planning examples, we explain below which advantages the two series offer in installation practice.
A typical application: the sound reinforcement of a shop in a shopping centre. The signal centre is an LD Systems IMA 30 mixing amplifier, which manages several signals and outputs them to a small DQOR PA system. A radio streaming player connected to the MUSIC Line inputs via RCA, or a tablet via Bluetooth, serves as the feed. A paging microphone for announcements is on channel 1, and a message player that plays automated announcements with special offers every hour is on channel 2. The DQOR speakers are driven by the built-in 35-watt amplifier and connected via the High-Z 70/100V outputs.
A common problem in shopping centres and other large-scale areas is the transmission of the emergency signal over long cable distances. By the time it has made its long journey from the fire panel to the mixer amplifier for prioritised playback, background noise can accumulate and falsely activate the emergency input, muting the rest of the inputs for regular operation. To avoid this problem, the IMA Series has a Vox control on the rear panel to allow incoming signals at the Emergency input to pass only above a certain level.
As in a shop installation, the ease of use of audio components is a top priority in a restaurant. After all, they are almost always operated by non-professionals. Therefore, from the very beginning, the IMA Series was designed to make the user interface as intuitive as possible. At the centre is the large master volume control, which – in comparison to models from other manufacturers – does not offer multiple assignments and thus enables simple control of the overall volume at any time. Only the IMA’s AUX outputs are excluded from this.
As shown in the following schematic of a restaurant sound system, the AUX output was used to expand the installation in the multi-storey location by connecting an LD Systems IPA installation power amplifier and a CURV 500 iAMP. Since the AUX output of the IMA60 works with unity gain, the signal to the amplifiers is not affected by adjustments to the master volume. The playback devices are an LD Systems RSMP Radio Streaming Media Player for Spotify streaming with USB stick as MP3 backups, and a laptop connected to the MUSIC inputs via a DI box.
The DQOR speakers proved their worth even before the sound system was first put into operation. The entire venue had to be extensively renovated before the opening, and the final installation of the loudspeakers could only be carried out after the work was completed. Thanks to the well thought-out slide-and-lock installation concept of the DQOR Series, the client was nevertheless able to save in effort and costs.
All of the cable routes were laid in advance and hooked up to the connections on the mounting plates at the later sound reinforcement points. To protect both elements – mounting plate and connection pins – during the renovation work, they were fitted with the optionally available DQOR WMC rubber covers. Another advantage of this is that the WMC covers are also suitable for outdoor connections when the speakers are dismantled over the winter season. After completion of the renovation work, the DQOR speakers are simply hooked into the mounting fixture and are immediately ready to play, without any additional cabling effort.
To ensure that the DQOR loudspeakers do not become a victim of their simple, tool-free mounting/de-mounting, all DQOR models are also equipped with a security screw that not only protects against theft but also holds the loudspeaker in the desired position and angle.
DQOR – installation loudspeakers for outdoor and indoor use
The installation speakers of the DQOR series are equally suitable for outdoor and indoor projects. The 2-way systems are available in 3” (DQOR 3), 5.25” (DQOR 5) and 8” (DQOR 8) sizes, and each is available as a low and high impedance (T) version at 8 or 16 ohms. In addition, the DQOR models can also be integrated into 70/100 V environments via a variable power tap selector switch.
IMA – all-in-one mixing amplifier for fixed installation use
With the IMA Series, LD Systems offers all-in-one mixing amplifiers for commercial and industrial applications that fulfil every expectation in terms of design and flexibility. Both IMA models – the IMA 30, with 35 watts into 4 ohms, and the IMA 60, with 65 watts into 4 ohms – offer four priority levels for emergency calls, microphone/line inputs and connected music sources, as well as a switchable automatic standby mode. Thanks to the integrated Bluetooth 4.0 interface, music sources can also be integrated wirelessly into the sound system.