We have been upgrading the amplification of a restaurant in Cape Town over the past few weeks. As the summer period is the busiest time of the year, the restaurant could not be without amplification for more than a day at a time. Since there has been some time for us to get into the restaurant and strip the audio system and clean up the installation we decided it was time to remove all the amplifiers and build them into an amplifier rack.

The process started with removing all the amplifiers from the restaurant and labelling all speaker cables. The installation is a combination of different speakers that fit the requirements originally laid out by the restaurant owner. The original installation was completed ten years ago, so it is justifiably time for a little bit of maintenance.

In the workshop we started the Rack Assembly by installing all the amplifiers into the 12u equipment cabinet.
The three new Crown XLS 1500 amplifiers are new, installed temporarily in December awaiting the amplifier rack. These new Crown amplifiers are replacing the original E&W PS-1500 amplifiers.
After discussions with the restaurant owner we have agreed that within the next few months we will be upgrading the Crown LPS 1500 amplifiers too.

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On the workbench, the rack assembly starts with the installation of the amplifiers and Power Distribution Unit (PDU). Once this has been completed and all the equipment is secure, we start with the power cable installation.
It is preferable to install the power cabling to one side of the cabinet so that it doesn’t unnecessarily interfere with any of the audio cabling. In this installation they are installed up the right of the cabinet as all the power connections are on the right of the amplifiers. Once this has been completed, we power up the amplifier rack for the first time and check that all the amplifiers power up without fault.

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The second stage of the rack assembly is to start installing the audio cabling. We have chosen yellow Klotz mic cable for this installation, its better insulated than standard installation cabling and we like the colour yellow. For the connections we have chosen Neutrik connectors, they are very high quality and easy to use. The reliability of these connectors is perfect for an installation like this where performance is important.

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Stage three of the rack assembly is installing the lacing bars and running the cabling to the hinge side of the rack. Due to stock shortage in Cape Town, we have only installed one lacing bar currently and will complete install another three when we receive stock.  Restaurant Amplifier Rack 038

Stage four of this rack assembly is to terminate the other ends of the audio cabling. In this installation, the other end of the cabling will plug straight into a mixing console. This amplifier rack is being wall mounted directly beneath the mixing console, so the audio cables don’t need to be very long to connect to the mixing console.

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Final stage of this amplifier rack assembly is the delivery to site and connection.
Stages on site are as follows:

  • Mounting amplifier rack to wall.
  • Plugging in PDU and checking that all amplifiers power up after transportation.
  • Installation of speaker cabling into amplifiers.
  • Connection to mixing console.
  • Power up each amplifier and test that there are no audio faults.
  • Set the amplification level for each amplifier.
  • Check that the restaurant staff that are going to be controlling the system are happy with the new layout.
  • Sign off with the restaurant owner.

This is a great amplifier rack that we were happy to configure and assemble for our client. Servicing the audio system is now much easier than it has ever been before and the client is very happy about that.