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Clair Brothers Brings Acoustical Balance to Every Seat at Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood, Florida

© 2019 Ralph Notaro

HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA: When you have a destination as impressive as the Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood located inside the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, it only makes sense that the sound system delivering music to your ears would be the best available with Clair Brothers.

On the heels of Clair Brothers gear installation at the Hard Rock Cafe Atlantic City the integration/ installation company on the Florida project was AVI-SPL Special Projects Group led by Operations Manager Ed Sullivan. In the midst of the $1.5 billion dollar expansion of the world’s first guitar-shaped hotel, the Hard Rock Cafe is one of the latest additions to the casino area.

The casino floor’s ambience can certainly affect the acoustics of a restaurant and music venue and this room was designed to have a live acoustic character.

“It’s a bit of a challenging venue for audio because of its lively restaurant environment. It requires a delicate balance between the interior design and the production needs of achieving great live stage sound. Hard Rock places equal importance on how the room’s interior looks with regard to high-level design and how excellent the room sounds during shows,” said Tom Knauss, principal consultant at KMK Technologies, the audio consultant firm hired by Hard Rock to design the new system.

The system ultimately installed includes two Clair Brothers C8 line arrays – five cabinets per side, two CS118 subs per side, plus a stage monitor system made up of six signature Clair Brothers 1AM floor monitors.

According to Josh Sadd, chief design engineer at Clair Brothers, “The stage is completely surrounded by a restaurant and bar so one of the biggest challenges was maintaining a consistent sound for someone sitting at a table right in front of the stage, at a table twelve feet away, and someone else at a table in the back, let’s say a hundred and twenty-five feet away. That challenge was well met by the capabilities of this C8 system and the particular ability for us to control the sound in the vertical plane. This is due to the new component and waveguide type that we’re using at Hard Rock Cafe. In that regard, maintaining a balanced sound throughout the room, which would otherwise be difficult using a different speaker system, was easily achieved based on our array technology.”

“They say in sound it’s better to have more than you need than to need more than you have,” says Mr. Sullivan. “At Hard Rock Cafe there’s no chance of the latter. The system was designed with plenty of headroom, and the Clair C8/C118 PA has met or exceeded expectations in every respect. The main system was assembled and tested at the Clair Brothers facility in Manheim, Pennsylvania, and the Lab.gruppen amplifiers, with Lake Processors, were configured and tested along with them.

Each box came with a quality control certificate initialed by Mr. Sadd, whom made the trip to Hollywood, Florida to do the final test and adjustment with my AVI-SPL crew in the venue.”

Despite several unforeseen construction delays and a resulting ship-to address change, the Clair Brothers team was able to roll with the punches and deliver what was needed. “I can’t say enough good things about our experience with Clair Brothers on this project,” concludes Mr. Sullivan, “and I look forward to seeing more of their amazing products in our installations!”

Mr. Sadd concurs, “This was our first time working with Ed Sullivan and AVI-SPL. He and his team did a great job with the installation and we look forward to doing more with them.”

So how is the new system performing? According to Jack Covert, systems designer at KMK Technologies, “Not a single negative word or problem raised by the production or management team at Hard Rock. Usually there’s a minor tweak or two to be made once a system is up and running, especially in such a lively environment. But not this time. The Clair Brothers array technology really came through!”

ABOUT CLAIR BROTHERS Clair Brothers is a world-class sound reinforcement company specializing in the design, manufacturing, and sales of professional loudspeaker systems. Founded by Roy & Gene Clair, the company is built on a tradition of excellence with fifty-plus years in the industry as the premier choice of top artists and audio engineers. Innovative engineering and impeccable attention to detail delivers state-of-the-art audio performance from every Clair Brothers product. Their headquarters in Manheim, Pennsylvania serves as the international distribution network hub facilitating product sales and support. For more information please call (717) 665-4000 or email [email protected] •

ABOUT HARD ROCK INTERNATIONAL With venues in 74 countries, including 186 Hard Rock Cafes, 240 Rock Shops®, 29 hotels and 12 casinos, Hard Rock International (HRI) is one of the most globally recognized companies. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world’s most valuable collection of music memorabilia, which is displayed at its locations around the globe. Hard Rock is also known for its collectible fashion and music-related merchandise available in global Rock Shops and online at HRI owns the global trademark for all Hard Rock brands including Hard Rock Live performance venues. The company owns, operates and franchises Cafes in iconic cities including London, New York, San Francisco, Sydney and Dubai. HRI also owns, licenses and/or manages hotel/casino properties worldwide. Destinations include the company’s two most successful Hotel and Casino properties in Tampa and Hollywood, FL., both owned and operated by HRI parent entity The Seminole Tribe of Florida. Another exciting Hotel & Casino location includes Atlantic City. Hard Rock Hotels are located in vibrant city and resort destinations such as Bali, Cancun, Daytona Beach, Desaru Coast, Ibiza, London, Los Cabos, Orlando and Shenzhen. Upcoming new Hard Rock Cafe locations include Kathmandu, Nepal, Kyoto, Japan, Asuncion, Paraguay, Puerto Madero, Argentina and Chandigarh, India. New Hard Rock Hotel, Casino or Hotel & Casino projects include Amsterdam, Berlin, Budapest, Dublin, Madrid, Maldives, New York City, Ottawa, Sacramento, Dalian and Haikou in China. In 2018, Hard Rock International was recognized as a Forbes Magazine Top Employer for Women and Land Operator of the Year at the Global Gaming Awards. In 2019, Hard Rock International was honored as one of Forbes Magazine’s America’s Best Large Employers and Forbes Magazine’s Best Employers for Women. For more information on Hard Rock International visit

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