Old Elephant House, New Zealand

The Opportunity

Opened in 1922 and expanded in 1973, Auckland Zoo occupies a 40-acre lot near Auckland’s Central Business District. The zoo’s former elephant house was recently converted into a unique restaurant and versatile event space called the Old Elephant House. To ensure excellent sound quality and even distribution throughout the indoor and outdoor areas of the restaurant, the Auckland Zoo hired AV integration company Skopik to design and install a multi-zone audio system.

The Solution

Skopik equipped the new Old Elephant House restaurant with a HARMAN Professional Solutions networked audio system featuring JBL loudspeakers and Crown amplifiers supplied by JPRO.

Skopik selected JBL Control 25-1 wall-mounted loudspeakers and Control 14C/T ceiling speakers to achieve balanced sound quality and broad, consistent coverage in the indoor sections of the Old Elephant House. With a 5-inch woofer and .75-inch tweeter, the compact Control 25-1 delivers pristine sound with a wide, 100-degree coverage pattern. The built-in InvisiBall mounting hardware allows the speakers to be mounted discreetly, with minimum impact to the restaurant’s unique décor. The ceiling-mounted Control 14CT features a 4-inch woofer and .75-inch tweeter in a coaxial configuration with generous 120-degree conical coverage to fill in the gaps. In the outdoor areas, Skopik installed compact JBL AWC62 6.5-inch all-weather coaxial loudspeakers, which feature 110-degree coverage and a sturdy U-bracket for reliable outdoor mounting at any angle.

To power the loudspeakers and provide comprehensive control over multiple audio zones, Skopik selected the Crown CDi DriveCore 4|300 amplifier. Using technology derived from the flagship DriveCore Install series, the CDi DriveCore 4|300 offers streamlined functionality for small-to-medium installations like the Old Elephant House. Powerful onboard DSP includes advanced signal routing, EQ and the acclaimed LevelMAX limiter. Preloaded JBL speaker tunings allowed Skopik to optimize the signal being sent to each different type of speaker for ideal results. The HiQnet Motion Control app for iOS allows staff at the Old Elephant House to remotely control each speaker zone by independently switching sources and adjusting levels with an iPad.

The Impact

“The brief was simple,” said Jeff Sundrum, AV Service and Installations Manager, Skopik. “Our client required a high-fidelity audio solution for multiple areas at the Old Elephant House, which could be used by any staff member. We selected the JBL Control Contractor series and all-weather outdoor speakers from JBL’s broad range of products because the audio quality and coverage is pristine. This ensured that the best type of speaker was utilized in each location.”

“We simplified the installation process with a four-channel Crown DriveCore CDi 4|300 amplifier, which gave us sufficient zones to work with,” adds Sundrum. “The CDi 4|300 speaker presets and internal DSP for JBL loudspeakers meant that we did not have to rely on any external DSP. Some basic programming on the Motion Control app allowed us to provide staff with a clean and simple-to-use interface to manage audio sources and volume in all four zones. Our client is enormously happy with the outcome.”