CHICO, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 2012: Nestled amid meticulously manicured grounds, the stately clubhouse of Butte Creek Country Club (BCCC) in Chico, California is – in addition to the ideal place to relax after a round of golf – a fabulous setting for weddings, fundraisers, and other events. However, until local integration firm Tolar AVL installed a sophisticated Ashly Pema 8250.70 Protea™ DSP Matrix Amplifier with Ashly neWR-5 remote wall panels, the clubhouse’s single-source sound reinforcement system was a source of frustration for BCCC management and staff.
“BCCC operates a very high-end facility, and required a sound system to match,” said Chuck Mahar, sales director and project manager with Tolar AVL. “The previous system included a large rack of amplifiers stacked with 70-volt transformers. There was a complete lack of DSP or equalization that meant that the entire clubhouse had to commit to the same input source. As would often happen, that source would be appropriate in some areas, such as the bar or outdoor patio, but inappropriate in others, such as the fine dining restaurant. The staff’s only recourse was to turn the sound system “off” where not wanted via wall-mounted L-pads.
“The L-pads would invariably overheat after long use, and their failure would send the amps into protection mode,” said Mahar. “That tended to happen in the summertime, when the clubhouse was booked solid with events. As a result, we were forever running out there to replace L-pads. Eventually, I convinced them that because they were frustrated with the system, they were better off investing in robust, modern technology.” In addition to solving the functionality and reliability issues that plagued BCCC, the two-rack space, eight-channel Ashly Pema 8250.70 would make the clubhouse greener by reducing energy consumption.
The system has a total of seven zones: two bars, three dining areas, an outdoor patio, and restrooms. Tolar AVL used the existing speakers, which were in fine shape and had never contributed to the clubhouse’s troubles. Inputs to the system include two wireless microphones, a CD player, an iPod, a computer, and satellite TV, as well as auxiliary inputs suitable for a DJ. The Ashly Pema 8250.70 provides comprehensive open-architecture processing that, together with Smaart sound analysis software, allowed Mahar to tune each room’s output to perfection. In place of the six crude L-pads, Tolar AVL installed six new Ashly neWR-5 Network Programmable Remote Controls, one for each zone except for the restrooms. The neWR-5s are network-ready, and it was a simple matter to wire them up with CAT5 cabling. Now, each zone can select its own input source, as well as control its volume.
“We really had to hit budget on this project, and it’s easy to see that an Ashly Pema system is more cost-effective than a comparable system composed of separate DSP and amplifier components,” said Mahar. “We’ve used the Ashly open-architecture software before and found it to be flexible, powerful, and easy to manage.” Because the Pema is network-ready, it was simple for Mahar to put it on BCCC’s IT network. “Now we can make changes or troubleshoot problems remotely,” he said. “In addition to all of the other ways in which the new system is vastly more reliable, having network access will further reduce the possibility of service calls and system downtime.”