Beverly Hills' New Spaghettini Restaurant Combines Exquisite Dining, Incomparable Jazz, and Audio by Powersoft
With an Established, 26-Year Pedigree, Spaghettini's Newest Venue is Accentuated By Superior Sound and Smooth Low End, Courtesy of the Powersoft X4 Amplifier
Powersoft X Series amplifiers.When the first Spaghettini restaurant opened in Seal Beach, California 26 years ago, its mission was to provide patrons with a top drawer experience: from fine food, to exquisite ambience, to indelible performances by top jazz artists. Last month, the new Spaghettini & the Dave Koz Lounge opened in Beverly Hills, with an integrated, 135-seat performance space. Chap Cooper of Long Beach, CA-based Chapman Cooper & Associates was hired to handle sound installation for the exquisite new club, and he decided to go ‘high-end’ from top to bottom —with the lower end of the frequency range handled by
Situated near Rodeo Drive and nearby well-known establishments such as Spago Beverly Hills, Spaghettini & the Dave Koz Lounge routinely draw the kind of celebrity clientele that only Beverly Hills can command. In addition to its acoustically sound performance space and chic interior design, the restaurant boasts menu of ‘California cuisine with Italian sensibilities’ by acclaimed chef Scott Howard. The restaurant’s performance stage, which features nightly performances by top jazz artists, measures 23’ x 15’ and is adjacent to the dining area’s intimate seating area — yet cleverly hidden behind a movable wall.
From the outset, the program requirements were to create a ‘no-compromise’ sound system that could exceed the sonic requirements of renowned, nationally touring jazz artists — yet remain hidden from view by restaurant patrons. “The owners told me ‘We don’t want to see the speaker clusters,’” Cooper recalls. This posed some aesthetic challenges, especially given the relatively small size of the stage. For the main PA, Cooper mounted (8) Martin MLA Mini speakers behind fabric soffits directly above the stage. For the lower frequencies, he installed (4) Martin subwoofer boxes underneath the stage po— which posed a larger challenge: “Each subwoofer box contains a pair of 12” speakers and the stage itself is only 12” high, so we had to dig out the concrete,” he explains.
Low Frequency Response and ‘The X Factor’
A well-articulated low end was a critical concern for Cooper. “In this room, for this style of music, we’re looking for rich, defined edges with a musical low end that enhances the music rather than interfering with it,” he says. After speaking to many industry veterans and colleagues, Cooper was introduced to the Powersoft X4 series amplifier, which he ultimately chose to power all four subwoofers. “It had been highly recommended as ‘the choice’ by a number of people who I respected, and after I listened to it I was sold,” he says. In addition to the sound, the specs of the X4 were impressive, especially considering its 1U economical rack space configuration which proved to be invaluable: “I needed a minimum of 1,500 watts per box, and the X4 gave me plenty of headroom. Also, were very tight on rack space, so the extremely small footprint and low profile of the X4 was a welcome addition,” Cooper adds.
Before the Powersoft X4 had arrived, Cooper set up other power amplifiers as engineers continued to refine and test the overall sonics of the room. “By the time we racked up the Powersoft X4, we had all kinds of predefined EQ curves set up in the console from the other power amps we had been using,” he says. “When we fired up the Powersoft amplifier, we removed all these EQ curves and just listened to it flat. We thought, ‘Wow, this is what it’s supposed to sound like.’ It was like Magic.”
By having the lower frequencies more accurately represented, live sound engineers have to make fewer EQ adjustments on their Yamaha M7cl digital mixing console. “Now that we have the X4s, all of that low-frequency information is captured accurately and with greater definition. There is a tightness there and a faster, more accurate response in the sub woofers — it is very audible.”
Musical low end
Since opening, the venue has attracted top-drawer talent such as Larry Carlton, The LA Collective and GRAMMY nominated artist Mindi Abair. Then there are the artist that just ‘drop by’: “Tower of Power showed up and said, ‘Hey, can we sit in?’” Cooper recalls. “Tom Jones also came in and sat on a few tunes, George Hamilton was in there, Jon Stamos—this was just in the last week!”
The sound system has met unanimous approval with all the artists who have played there, says Cooper: “They have the ear and we have had nothing but praise for how great the system sounds.” Bass players in particular have the Powersoft X4 to thank for making their portion of the frequency spectrum detailed and intelligible. “They don’t want subwoofers clouding up what they’re doing,” Cooper says. “The X4 sounds very musical in the low end, that’s one of the things that is so great about it!”
Cooper, who has been handling installations at clubs, theatres, and schools in Southern California since 1982, was impressed with Powersoft’s performance on the Spaghettini installation. “We needed a touring-grade amplifier to deliver the power that we need and it had to be reliable day in, day out. That’s exactly what we got, and why we chose Powersoft.”
With such a great sound system on hand, Cooper is confident the venue will keep attracting high quality talent well into the future. “It’s very important for musicians to know that every aspect of that system, including the Powersoft X4, will perform at the level they expect.” With an appreciation for the X4’s combination of eye-catching aesthetics and power under the hood, Cooper compares the Powersoft to a high end, Italian sportscar. “There are a lot of Italian sportscars in that parking lot, so it’s nice for people to come in and hear the audio equivalent of such high end machinery.”