Fine music highlights the menu at Jackie's
- by Gregory A. DeTogne
If Elvis was alive today, he would no doubt have the boys keep an eye on the Cadillac while he and Priscilla (or Linda, Anita, Ginger, Dixie, Sherry, etc.) occupied a private corner at Jackie's, a hip and fun-loving new restaurant-cum-nightspot just outside the capital beltway in Silver Springs , MD.
The visit would be inevitable, for in the greater cosmic order of things, Elvis and Jackie are kindred spirits, sharing a true passion for Southern-style victuals as well as music. Sure-fire starters at the Presley table would have to include Jackie's popular "Elvis Burgers" (mini-hamburgers topped with pimento cheese). Dinner would likely be meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and green beans, or maybe skillet-fried chicken. Providing that touch of home The King often misses on the road, the funky ambiance of the dining room's shag carpet, heart-shaped throw pillows, and bouncy, colorful lighting would nicely complement the evening, as would the music, which is piped in via a sophisticated and versatile sound system designed and built by Total Audio Visual Systems, a full-service systems integration firm also based in Silver Springs.
Sadly, The King will never get to savor the food and music at Jackie's, but fortunately we can. The brainchild of Jackie Greenbaum and ex-husband Patrick Higgins, Jackie's is a one-time body shop that has been transformed into one of D.C.'s most distinctive gathering places. Retaining its bare brick walls, high ceiling, and exposed duct work, the restaurant houses a bar, lounge, and its main dining area below street level. Pink leatherette seats mix freely with mod print upholstery, while across the rear wall, an open kitchen allows diners and cooks to greet each other face-to-face. Young and old alike are comfortable here, returning in droves to feast on "nostalgia plate" specials and a decidedly good-time vibe.
"The menu is indeed awesome," notes Total Audio Visual Systems' Roly Jan, who regularly entertains clients here. "But an equal part of the room's drawing power is the systems quality. Jackie has a hearty appetite for fine music and superb sound, so both definitely play principal roles in her formula for success."
Divided into six zones, Jackie's is served by source program material currently including computer-generated tunes as well as CDs. Built with expansion in mind to accommodate a DJ and live music in the future, the audio system is collectively drawn from a gear list dominated by components supplied by Chester, PA-based Inter-M Americas (IMA). Roly Jan and Richard Shaeer, IMA's independent sales rep for the region, share design credits for the rig, which combines the pure presence of audiophile quality with simplicity of control and operation.
In the main dining room, a dozen coaxial, eight-inch SA 802 ceiling speakers from AMK operating at eight ohms receive power from a pair of L-800 two-channel amplifiers from Inter-M. Matrix control for this space--as well as all other zones--is entrusted to an Inter-M PX-0288 8x8 matrix mixer. Allowing local audio sources to be routed in any combination to up to eight zones using local or remote control, the PX-0288 is capable of receiving up to eight local music sources at a time, while local and remote paging capabilities are provided with priority override. In the main dining area (as well as all other zones again), wall-mounted PS-88 remote program selectors also from Inter-M interface with the PX-0288 matrix controller, offering quick, easy, fingertip access to any available source as well as priorities via an LED display.
Equalization was only required in the dining room area and gallery. Here, DSP-based, two-channel GEQ-2231 units once again plucked from the Inter-M catalog each serve up 31 bands of graphic EQ dedicated to each space individually, while additionally offering limiting, a 24-bit A/D converter, and 64 Hz sampling frequency.
"EQ was needed in the dining room and the gallery because of the high ceilings and bare brick walls," Jan confides. "They are raw, reverberant spaces, where, without some processing, you could easily turn off the sound system one night, then come in the next morning and still hear it playing. The GEQ-2231s gave us DSP performance at an affordable price, plus analog-style controls, which helped us maintain our quest for keeping things simple to use."
The rig was initially tuned by Jan and the Total Audio Visual Systems crew. After their first pass, Richard Shaeer came in and offered his fine-tuning services to even better effect. "It worked out very well all the way around," Jan is happy to report now that the design has established a track record of performing flawlessly for between 16 and 18 hours each day. "We built a turnkey package using almost one supplier, and it really came full circle for us. The system is straightforward, powerful, and reliable, plus it provides the superior sound demanded of the task. From this point on, there's not much to say except enjoy, and bon appetite.."
As seen in "Systems Contractor News"