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Blaydon Selects RCF for New Fat Buddha


Utopian Leisure has opened its second Fat Buddha pan-Asian restaurant on a landmark site in the company’s home city of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

The operators have established many popular brands since being set up by local entrepreneur Bob Senior; Fat Buddha is the latest, and will occupy the site of the former Bar 55 Degrees, The Box and most recently Lineker’s - situated on a roundabout directly under the building occupied by local radio station, Metro Radio.

Paul Dougherty at Blaydon Communications was brought in to provide the sound system at the two-floor venue, and his solution was an end-to-end RCF Media system, which he knew would remain unobtrusive - blending in with the interior design created by Colin Harvey of Belfast-based Barnes Mccrum.

Since the music is designed to be calming and Asian based through the daytime and early evening, moving to great classics spanning the last 30 years later on, the sound system needed to deliver hi-fi clarity from multi-play CD and MP3 sources, while being capable of ramping up the sound on weekend nights featuring a DJ.

Down in the 450-capacity ground floor (with restaurant/bar capable of seating 220) Blaydon have installed 14 RCF wall-mounted Media M601 6.5-inch enclosures, with six RCF floor-standing 4012 12-inch subs, which kick in when the DJ needs LF extension. A feature of the downstairs area is the two private Tatami huts, made of bamboo with a thatched roof - capable of seating ten in each.

Up on the 120-cover mezzanine level, where the décor includes detailed plasterwork, arched ceiling, with five huge windowed domes, are seven further RCF Monitor MR55 speakers, while the two further private Tatami rooms, with traditional Japanese mats, take feeds from RCF Monitor 100V line MR33T speakers.

Said Paul Dougherty: “We needed a compact and low visibility solution without going up to an 8in box, and have always liked RCF’s passive equipment. The new Media series is the right size and the right price - sonically it is more than capable and it also looks the part, meeting the design aesthetic without compromise.”

The music throughout is distributed via a digital routing matrix, and there are strategically placed remote wall panels for local source select and level control.

This is the second (and larger) of the two Fat Buddhas in the Utopian Leisure estate, the first being in Durham. Utopian Leisure founder Bob Senior, confirmed: “The sound system was chosen to be able to give a crisp and substantial depth of sound in all areas, allowing conversation to be dominant but with the ability to 'crank up' without destroying conversational ability.”

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