Located on NYC’s Lower East Side and opened in late 2015, the Hotel Indigo offers patrons a combination of sleek modern design and local flavour with an eye – and ear – to providing them with a unique experience. Central to that experience is the hotel’s 15th floor, indoor/outdoor, rooftop bar and restaurant, Mr. Purple. 


Created by hospitality industry leader, Gerber Group and designed by Crème Design to capture an artist-loft ambiance, Mr. Purple features an audio system comprised of class-leading TANNOY loudspeakers and LAB GRUPPEN C Series amplifiers.

Although Ernie Lake of EL Media Group designed the audio system, Scott Gerber, Principle and Chief Executive Officer of Gerber Group drove the choice of TANNOY and LAB GRUPPEN. “We have a relationship with Scott because we did the Viceroy Hotel and consulted on other projects for him, and maintain some of his other bars. We’ve used TANNOY and LAB GRUPPEN in other venues and they work well for him, so it was an easy sell,” Lake says.

“It’s great that EL Media use TANNOY and LAB GRUPPEN in so many installs, and it’s really cool when the products gets called out by the end user,” says Sam Spennacchio of Audio Associates Ltd., who represent TANNOY and LAB GRUPPEN in NYC. “That doesn’t happen very often.”

In all, 8 TANNOY VX 8.2s, powered by 2 LAB GRUPPEN C28:4s, are deployed in Mr. Purple. Another C28:4 is deployed for the restaurant/bar’s third party subs. Additionally, 4 TANNOY VX 5.2s are used as fill speakers, located in a bookshelf in the bar.

For the outdoor decks and pool adjacent to Mr. Purple, Lake opted for TANNOYAMS Series loudspeakers. In all, 14 AMS 5DCs and 4 AMS 6DCs driven by LAB GRUPPEN C20:8s. TANNOY AMS 5DCs, also powered by LAB GRUPPEN amps, were deployed in the hotel’s entryway.

“About two years ago we opened up a restaurant called Kingside Restaurant at the Viceroy Hotel,” Gerber says. “We used the same equipment there and were very, very pleased. So when this came up we, and EL Media, were comfortable with it.”

The AMS were chosen, in part, for their weatherproofing, Lake says: “But the AMS is also a speaker you can easily hide. They obviously wanted good sound, but didn’t want to see any speakers on the terraces. Scott also wanted to contain the sound, so we placed the AMS 5DCs low on the perimeter of the outdoor deck. They’re small, but give us more than enough sound and coverage.”

As for the LAB GRUPPEN amps, Lake adds: “We love the fact that they are easy to set up, have the option for 70 Volt applications and we know they’re reliable; they’re a workhorse.”

Some areas of the bar required acoustic treatment, Lake continues, owing to reflections from windows and hard surfaces. There are many spaces, he says, whose owners give little thought to audio beyond covering the space with painfully loud, sound that’s intelligible, only to the point that you know you’re listening to music, but wish you weren’t.

“That’s a big problem because audio is always last because, often, the client is dealing with an electrician who might not understand what good audio is,” Lake says. “But we’re seeing a change in the industry, where people want companies like ours to come in early, and explain to the client that, if they want to achieve good sound, this is what they need to do.”

Typically speaking, in challenging environments requiring highly intelligible, but unobtrusive audio, TANNOY is often EL Media’s go to product. “Particularly multiple zone venues. They’re perfect for background and foreground. Sometimes, with a high-powered speaker, it’s tough to get it to perform at a lower level. What we get with TANNOY is quality without having to turn it up.”

That’s particularly important for Mr. Purple. “We change the level as the night picks up,” Gerber says, “but we’re going for high quality, clean, crisp music at lower levels. By no means was this meant to be a heart-thumping, club system.”

At Mr. Purple, the comfort of the patrons is first and foremost, Gerber concludes: “This room has very high ceilings so we could have put in much bigger speakers and a much bigger system, but that’s not what we were going for.”