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Cruise chooses tsg promedia and Audica MICROseries


Leading media programming and system design company, tsg, has just installed an Audica Professional MICROseries audio system in the new Cruise Footwear, Accessory and Bag store in Chester.


Established in 1984, Cruise is one of the UK's leading luxury retailers, with a reputation not only for designer brands, but also as a showcase for fresh, innovative fashion. Their stores house a selection of menswear, womenswear, footwear, bags and accessories from some of the world's most coveted brands.


Operating with formats of larger mainline and smaller specialist stores, Cruise Chester is the company's second stand alone footwear, accessory and bag store, stocking international labels including Gucci, Chloé, Dior, Jimmy Choo, Vivienne Westwood, Dolce and Gabbana and Paul Smith. The timber-framed building developed for the new store dates from 1664 and incorporates many of the site's stunning original features including an Elizabethan façade and a beautifully preserved 13th century crypt, which is included as a focal point of the store's retail area. Attention to detail shows throughout every aspect of the store's design, and the implementation is exemplary.


With comprehensive expansion plans, Cruise Retail Director, Stuart Margetts, wanted to ensure that the audio system not only met this store's criteria for style and audio quality, but was scaleable for the differing sizes of future premises. To ensure consistency of the Cruise retail experience, music content was also a key factor and an important part in the decision to choose tsg, who could supply the complete content and delivery package.


A number of loudspeaker systems were short listed, based on a high element of style. This inevitably included high-end hi-fi brands, not normally associated with retail installation, but which met the design criteria. A demonstration of the short listed products was arranged for Cruise by tsg and a unanimous decision was made in favour of the Audica Professional MICROseries, which was favoured for both design and audio quality. With four separate zones, MICROseries also offered a complete electronics and control solution.


The main equipment rack is located in the fourth-floor office and houses the tsg promedia hard disk system. This feeds five rack-mounted Audica MICROzone controller/amplifiers. A single MICROzone is used for each of the four retail zones with a fifth operating as a slave to one of the primary units for driving the larger number of loudspeakers used in the crypt zone.


The first MICROzone drives the store entrance and ground floor zone, which uses four white MICROpoint loudspeakers and a MICROsub – an 8-inch 100W active system operating below 80Hz. At the rear of the ground floor are several steps leading down through the original archway to the crypt, which uses two linked MICROzones to drive six MICROline loudspeakers in black. With listed status, the vaulted ceiling, walls and floor of the crypt could not be touched for the system installation so the MICROlines and mounted on Audica MFS floor stands and cabling is invisible along a fine channel between the floor and walls. A further MICROsub completes the crypt zone.


Although the system is primarily designed for background music, the opening and several subsequent events have involved the system being DJ driven and it has proved capable of suitably and reliably ‘rocking’ the store.


The first floor is divided into front and rear retail zones. Each of these use a MICROzone driving four MICROpoint loudspeakers, both ceiling and wall mounted as best suits the aesthetics and ceiling heights, with a MICROsub again in each area to provide bass reinforcement.


Each zone required access to volume control from within its own area and has initially been supplied by Audica remote RIR receivers controlling the MICROzones. These will shortly be upgraded to Audica's new CAT5-wired wall plates, which will give direct manual control in addition to the IR facility.


Commenting for Cruise, Stuart Margetts said, "Chester has been about establishing a standard for audio that fulfils our criteria for exceptional style and quality. We are delighted with the results tsg have delivered and with the design and performance of the Audica system".