22 Oct 2020

Wildflower – Premium Audio for Premium Dining

by Jason Allen

It doesn’t get any more premium than Perth’s The Treasury COMO, a 48-room contemporary luxury hotel in the middle of the CBD with commanding views over the Swan River. Taking full advantage of the view is their Wildflower restaurant, perched on the rooftop, with both indoor and outdoor seating options.

Wildflower pays respect to the traditional owners of the land, the Whadjuk Noongar people, and bases its dishes around the indigenous ethos of six seasons, with farmer and forager-driven menus.

Head Chef Matthew Sartori joined Wildflower’s opening team in 2015, having previously worked at some of Western Australia’s most iconic restaurants.


Winner of the Reader’s Choice Award for Fine Dining in the 2020 WA Restaurant Awards held by the Australian Good Food Guide, Wildflower is a premium destination for foodies seeking the best of WA.

Fine dining is as much about the ambience as the food, and Wildflower’s managers recently undertook a renovation of the outside deck and function area. Part of the refit included a new outdoor sound system, and integrators PAV Sales & Installations were brought in to do the job.

The Brief
“Wildflower is just one of several premium hospitality spaces in The Treasury COMO,” illustrates Carl Blewett, Sales Manager at PAV.

“They’re all excellent, but Wildflower is one of not just WA’s, but Australia’s, best restaurants. We were asked to provide a premium quality sound system that was as invisible as possible, while robust enough to weather the elements outside on the deck, which can be totally open when the roof is retracted.”

With PAV totally responsible for system design and product selection, they surveyed all major manufacturers for a loudspeaker solution. “We were looking for a product that was small, subtle, and as premium as the venue. It also needed to be IP rated.

“The view from the outdoor area is very picturesque; you’ve got St Georges Terrace on one side and the Swan River on the other, but you’re seven stories up and exposed to wind and weather.

“The main purpose of the system is for BGM, but as the deck is also an event space, it needed to have the ability to get a bit louder for cocktail parties and the like.”

The Solution
A unique venue required a unique solution. K-Array, headquartered in Florence, Italy, were the brand for the job; their motto is literally ‘Unique Audio Solutions.’

“Our hire department has stock of K-Array’s portable stick systems, and they were the originator of that style of product. They’re still the smallest and best sounding in that sector.

“Our research showed that the K-Array Tornado-KT2 2” surface mount speaker would likely be exactly what we needed at Wildflower. Australian distributor NAS lent us a system for evaluation, which we also took on-site for the client to hear.

“The client himself is quite the audiophile, and he was very happy, so we had a winner!”

Carl and the team installed six Tornado-KT2Ws around the venue, subtly hidden in corners while placed to give complete coverage. Their stainless steel fixings made them easy to screw into the ceiling, while simultaneously protecting from rust and weathering.

The Tornado-KT2’s proprietary 2” high-efficiency drive unit delivers an impressive maximum peak SPL of 107 dB, and reproduces from 150 Hz to 18 kHz with very low distortion.

Augmenting the Tornado-KT2Ws are two very well-hidden Rumble-KU26 subwoofers. Measuring a ridiculously economical 350 x 180 x 118 mm (WxHxD), they’re powered by one 6” neodymium magnet woofer and one 6” passive radiator.

“The Rumble-KU26s are very small, but have a very big impact,” relates Carl. “With their form-factor presenting a bit larger than an A4 piece of paper, I was initially concerned that subs that small could fill the space, but they do it very well.”

The client is quite the audiophile and he was very happy so we had a winner!

The Rumble-KU26 is an extremely powerful bass element engineered for maximum linear excursion and minimum residual noise. The woofer has a dual voice coil (16+16 Ω) for selectable impedance settings (8/32 Ω) allowing users to run up to eight KU26 units on one amplifier channel.

The KU26 is made entirely of stainless steel, giving it an IP rating of IP64.

Powering and processing the whole system is a four channel, 1000W K-Array Kommander-KA14 DSP amplifier. Taking up just 2RU, the KA14 features two XLR and RCA inputs to four fully independent and configurable output channels (4 x 250W @ 4Ω).

The on-board DSP includes a mixer, delay up to 12 ms, and four full parametric IIR filters, all easily controllable from the integrated touch screen.

Array Kommander-KA14 DSP amplifier

Photo Credit: Steve Parkins

CX Magazine – October 2020   

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