Spring Ponds

From a constructional perspective what made the dual-purpose room possible was that the entire dance floor which sits just above the pool surface can be lowered through the water on hydraulic rams to become the floor of the pool, and raised again when required. This not only involved some heavy duty engineering but also required an intelligent approach to selecting and tuning a sound system to deliver its best in both pool and party modes.

“We spoke to our clients about what speaker system options they could have, and as they’ve now experienced high performance sound in the cinema installation we had done for them previously they wanted full-on, no compromise, club audio,” commented Joe. “Our challenge was the natural acoustics of the pool room, a large and highly reverberant 20m by 12m space with very reflective ceiling and pool surface and a typical RT60 of well over 2 seconds. We knew that to achieve that goal we had to focus a lot of energy into a fairly narrow horizontal plane at around head height to minimise reflections and avoid exciting the room too much.”

“They wanted the speaker system to complement the big mirror TV above the hot tub and be capable of going loud when the occasion demanded,” commented Joe. “So after modelling the room we recessed Python-KP102 line arrays either side of the TV, and a further four around the perimeter to give even coverage across the room. They’re RAL colour matched to the walls so they sit nicely with the look and feel of the space.”

The subs, according to Joe, “were another story.” With no possibility to locate subs anywhere on the ground, the only viable option was to put them in the ceiling void. “The builder was nervous, the client was nervous, but when we showed them how it was going to be done and the result they could expect they were convinced. The KP102s are really efficient, and as our client wanted a really solid low end we installed eight Rumble-KU212s in the ceiling behind acoustically transparent cloth so the whole thing looks seamless.

“Calibration was tricky due to the very different acoustic conditions between when the pool is open or covered, but we arrived at a sweet spot where it sounds good all round. The KP102s dispersion pattern is narrow in the vertical plane and that ensures sound is directed towards listeners’ ear level, while the wide horizontal pattern covers the large room really well. The modelling indicated where we might expect some nodes and troughs in the low end, so we took advantage of that to create some hot bass areas in front of the TV and in the bar area. It works a treat and they love it!”

The support from 2B Heard has been fantastic, the whole experience has been great. To give you a timely example of first-rate support: we bought the amps about a year ago, not uncommon these days because COVID disrupted a lot of the supply chain, and consequently the amps needed firmware updates but so did the software that controls them. We’re here to do some calibration but we couldn’t do the updates on site so Matt Holland got on the phone straight away with K-array engineers and, in real time, went in through the back door and they’ve been updating the amplifiers as we speak, saving us an hour and a half drive to the office. How’s that for dedication?

Joe Carri (Prestige Audio)