Now with five locations in Florida that regularly generate lines out the door, 4 Rivers Smokehouse is one of the fastest growing restaurants in the Southeast. Indeed, it is rumored that Rivers worked for fifteen years, taking careful notes on copious spreadsheets to perfect the 4 Rivers Smokehouse sauces before launching the restaurant and its associated line of bottled products. Rivers is also passionate about music, and with the help of Sound Stage of Winter Park, Florida, his restaurants pulse with inspired tunes tweaked to perfection (much like his sauces) by an eight-channel Ashly Pema 8250 Protea™-Equipped Media Amplifier.
“An important thing to know about the owner, Mr. Rivers, is that he loves music,” explained Joe Forbes, systems consultant at Sound Stage. “Before we became involved with the restaurant, he opened a few locations in which the music playback system hadn’t been given a lot of consideration. Mr. Rivers wanted something that would give full-fidelity, full-impact music the role he felt it deserved at 4 Rivers Smokehouse. We knew we could help.” Sound Stage designed and installed the music playback system at the next 4 Rivers Smokehouse location using the Ashly Pema 8250 together with JBL Control Contractor-Series loudspeakers, and its success earned Sound Stage the same role at every subsequent new location.
Each system begins with a simple music source that feeds an Ashly Pema 8250. An ambient noise-sensing microphone on an input to the Pema 8250 engages Ashly’s Ambient Noise Compensation feature, which automatically adjusts the overall volume level based on how busy the restaurant gets. That feature is important because 4 Rivers Smokehouse can go from empty at opening to packed so quickly that managers and staff are justifiably focused on matters other than the music volume. Depending on the situation at a particular location, the eight 250-watt amp channels of the Ashly Pema 8250 feed some composition of JBL Control 25AV, Control 19, or Control 24 loudspeakers and some number of JBL Control SB210 subwoofers. “These systems are full-range and have plenty of power… they rock!” said Forbes.
He continued, “Our experience with Ashly began with its NE-Series amplifiers, which are great. But in a situation like this, the Pema range carries that same great sound and power, and a small footprint, but adds all of the front-end processing that we need. Working with Ashly has always been easy, and the tech support is fantastic.”
Forbes cited Ashly’s collection of straightforward, inexpensive user controls as another factor working in Ashly’s favor. In the case of 4 Rivers Smokehouse, he uses a handful of Ashly WR-1 dual potentiometer remotes, which provide volume control for two adjacent zones using just one wire.