Tucson, AZ – If location is the key to a successful bar and restaurant, then No Anchovies was destined for success from the start. Located just outside the main gates of the massive University of Arizona campus, it became a well-established go-to spot for the school’s student population of over 40,000, owing to its delicious pizza, diverse selection of drinks, and penchant for delivering a great time any night of the week.
As such, No Anchovies quickly outgrew its original 2,000 square foot space, prompting owner Nelson Seamans to set his sights on a major renovation and expansion. The new space he envisioned would have multiple rooms, including outdoor patios, balconies, sports bars, and a nightclub lounge that would need a powerful sound system to deliver the multi-faceted experience he desired. He reached out to longtime collaborator Jon Qualls of Arizona Communications Experts to design a powerful and versatile system that could meet his needs. Jon would design a cutting-edge system that featured Powersoft X-series amplifiers.
At 10,000 square feet, the new No Anchovies was slated to be five times the size of the original. In addition to the increase in coverage area for its new sound system, Qualls was working against some other restrictions as well. “We were dealing with a historic building, so we would have to situate our wiring, cables, and rack with that in mind,” he says. “We had a 6’ x 8’ room in the basement for our racks and that was it.”
With space already allocated to networking, audio and video sources for 65 flat screens, Qualls needed a compact solution capable of running a large-scale sound system. He had already decided on using Martin Audio speakers, which led him to connect with Marshank Group’s Paul Hugo. “Paul introduced me to Powersoft amplifiers, and my mind was blown by what they could do,” he says. Ultimately, Qualls required 24 channels of Powersoft X8 amplification (a total of three amplifiers) to drive his bevy of Martin Audio speakers.
A House of Many Rooms
Two of Nelson’s goals for the renovation were great sound in every space, and to have the ability to tailor the experience in each to the desired vibe of the night. The nightclub is just one of three lounges located on the building’s second floor. Jon equipped it with 4 Martin Audio CDD12B 12” coax loudspeakers and four CSX218B-F double 18” subwoofers, with an additional pair of CDD6BTX-WR loudspeakers on its outdoor balcony. The club’s speaker selection was designed to deliver the pumping low end required to get the party going. With three DJ hook-ups, two stereo programmed music sources and eight stereo video sources that can all be routed wherever they’re needed, the rest of No Anchovies has Martin CDD6, CDD8 and CDD10 as appropriate supplemented by CSX112 or CSX118 subs depending on the application.
The three Powersoft X8 amplifiers allowed Jon to power the entire system with just 6U of rack space. “We didn’t have a lot of space in the audio rack, so getting that much power from so few amps was really critical and saved rack space for our control and playback equipment,” he says. “In the past we would have needed many more amps for a system like this. It’s incredible to see what we can achieve now with Powersoft.” Jon utilized the X8 amps’ 3-phase power handling to maximize performance and efficiency. Their combined 24 channels of output also allowed him to take full advantage of the Rane HAL1X DSP matrix, EXP3X and EXP5X expanders he specified to give Nelson the routing and control to and from each individual space that he desired, all at the touch of a Savi Control4 touch-screen interface.
Cool Under Pressure
In addition to their small footprint, Jon quickly noticed how cool the Powersoft amplifiers were running in the rack, even under the strain of a weekend night with every room going at full blast. “The amps I used to use always put out the most heat in the rack by far, but these things are running cooler than the network switch,” he says. “Even when we’re driving the system really hard at night the amps are showing no signs of strain whatsoever. It gives me a lot of confidence that this system will show great reliability long-term.”
Bringing the Party
The renovated No Anchovies, which opened in December, has been a smash hit with the University of Arizona. The new sound system has been winning accolades from patrons of all kinds. “With DJs a few nights a week, game days, and special events backed by this sound system, students are loving it,” Jon says. “Even other bar and restaurant owners in town have come by and said they’ve never heard anything like it.” While No Anchovies was Jon’s first Powersoft installation, he sees many opportunities to specify them for future projects. “I’ve already got Powersoft amps lined up for a few football field audio systems I’m working on,” he says. “This is the beginning of a great relationship.”