Maison Kayser is set to open its sixth New York City location shortly
USA - In only a few short years, French artisanal bakery Maison Kayser has opened five successful bakery/café locations in New York City that complement its dozens of locations throughout Europe and Japan. Its US licensees have taken care to make every aspect of Maison Kayser NYC resonant with the brand's international prestige, and, as a result, its French-trained bakers and upscale service and atmosphere have raised the bar in The Big Apple.

High-fidelity sound is an important component of that atmosphere, and local AV integrator Essential Communications specified Ashly Audio integrated signal processors/amplifiers to deliver high fidelity with 24/7/365 reliability.

"This client is understandably particular and demanding," explained David Schwartz, owner of Essential Communications. "Canned music through a stereo wasn't going to cut it. Added to the challenge were the cool surfaces and building materials that they preferred, as do many such establishments these days. Those materials are highly reflective. After allowing the client to learn that simpler solutions wouldn't do the job, we stepped up the Maison Kayser template to include modest acoustical treatments and Ashly Audio processing and amplification, which gives me the ability to fine-tune each zone for maximum intelligibility and musicality."

A hallmark of the Maison Kayser brand is that the seating area is divided into separate sections that naturally suggest separate audio zones. Using Ashly processing gives Schwartz individualized equalization, dynamics, and volume control, which he uses to bring each zone into perfect balance. The input at each location is dead simple: nothing more than an input connection that allows staff and management to play music from their personal devices.

"It's nothing fancy, but it has to sound great," said Schwartz. Different locations use different loudspeakers from Community, Tannoy, and SoundTube. Some locations use Ashly ne-Series multi-channel network amplifiers with optional onboard Protea processing, whereas other locations use Ashly Pema, which combines an 8x8 Protea Matrix processor with either a 4- or 8-channel network power amplifier. Either way, Maison Kayser gets high-end multichannel processing and amplification in a small, two-rack space footprint.

"Ashly builds a good, solid product, and they're located nearby," said Schwartz. "The support Ashly offers is always timely and helpful, which is especially important for us because we're often creating evolving solutions for customers who require very individualized systems. We can always call Ashly and get a human on the phone who knows the products inside and out. The company and its people are very human, which is rare these days. For me, that factors into my specifications as much as anything else."

(Jim Evans)

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