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Professional Audio Associates and Soundscapes Partner Design and Install Bose Speakers at Chestnut Hill Square

Chestnut Hill Square, in the Boston suburb of Newton, Massachusetts, includes 340,000 sq. ft. of fashionable stores, restaurants, and the area's best grocer, fitness club, and first-class medical office space. In addition to national brands such as Anthropologie and SoulCycle, Chestnut Hill Square has another well-known name: Bose. A total of 73 Bose Professional FreeSpace DS 100SE surface-mounted and DS 100F ceiling speakers throughout the parking and shopping areas make up the heart of the setup. AV distributor and design firm Professional Audio Associates, Inc. helped design the system, and AV systems integrator Soundscapes installed it, in partnership with frequent collaborator Professional Electrical Contractors (PEC), finalizing the system just in time for 2018's holiday sales season.

New England Development developed and owns Chestnut Hill Square. "We are delighted with the new Bose installation at Chestnut Hill Square," says Rebekah Macchia, New England Development's marketing director for Chestnut Hill Square. "Our shoppers are thoroughly enjoying this exceptional sound system which adds musical ambiance to the center."

Seventy FreeSpace DS 100SE loudspeakers line the walkways between the center's three main buildings, which constitute the distributed sound system's three main zones, powered by two Bose PowerMatch PM8500N networked amplifiers. Three DS 100F speakers are used in the lobby of the medical office building that anchors one end of the center; these are powered through a Bose FreeSpace IZA 190-HZ integrated-zone amplifier. All of the speakers and amplifiers are controlled using the Bose ControlSpace ESP-4120 commercial DSP processor, with a Bose CC-64 networked controller.

The Bose Professional products are a great fit in a large lifestyle destination environment like Chestnut Hill Square because they offer excellent, full-range sound for music combined with consistent area coverage. "They went in just ahead of Christmas and you could tell that shoppers and visitors were enjoying the music," says Paul Staz, president of Soundscapes. "We could hear people commenting on how much they liked the sound, and that really validates what we do as professionals. We use great technology to make their lives better, and Bose was a big part of that."

Staz says he worked closely with Professional Audio Associates, Inc., the Bose Professional distributor that created the design for the sound system and made product and programming recommendations. "Harry Bookstein, the commercial sales manager at Professional Audio Associates, drew up the design - for instance, he calculated the number of speakers needed and the distance of 17' between speakers - and the electrical contractors then ran the cable points through the stone fa├žade, which we used to install the speakers," Staz says. The result, he says, was a shopping experience vastly improved by Bose sound. "The installation went perfectly - no dead spots and consistent volume levels from zone to zone, and which can be adjusted easily if necessary from the security desk in the medical building," he says. "But at the end of the day, these are Bose speakers. Everyone knows the brand and everyone knows how good they sound. Once you say Bose, you don't have to sell them. They sell themselves."

Bookstein, whose company has done over 100 retail installed-sound projects using Bose Professional products, says Bose offers highly specific options for that type of project. Noting the DS 100SE's 160-degree horizontal coverage pattern, "The loudspeakers virtually guarantee that all the shoppers on the walkways next to the buildings are fully covered," he says. In addition, given the region's weather, Bookstein says that the DS 100SE's environmental rating assures that it can operate reliably in the highest and lowest temperature ranges New England has to offer. Bookstein also cited the CC-64 controller's ease of use - a single volume control for each of the four zones is all the end user needs to operate the system. "And adding to that, Bose has brand recognition in the retail industry," he says. "When you go into a store and see Bose, it means that everything in there is of a certain quality, which can mean a lot to consumers. Not to mention that the level of support offered from Bose personnel during a process like this, including the Bose territory manager and field engineer, instills great confidence in the distributor, dealer, and client."

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(20 June 2019)

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