MINNEAPOLIS—When Top Hat Lounge in Missoula, Mont., remodeled, a state-of-the-art sound system and optimized acoustics were critical requirements. Top Hat selected pinta acoustic’s products, which are instrumental in creating an environment where live events can be recorded with studio-quality results.
One of the goals of Top Hat’s new owner, Nick Checota, was to become the Northwest’s premier live-music venue and attract a wide range of national and local musicians. In addition to enlarging the space for more capacity, Checota contracted with certificated audio engineer and classically trained cellist, Charles G. (Skip) Kahane from PGS/Broadcast Media Services. A patron who has performed at Top Hat, Kahane recommended pinta acoustic’s HARMONI ceiling tiles, willtec® panels and FABRITEC Wall Panels for Top Hat Lounge.
Top Hat installed 340 HARMONI Ceiling Tiles with a black HPC coating over the seating in the performance area directly in front of the stage. To minimize equal-angle reflections from the windows by the entrance, 2-foot by 4-foot, 1-3/4-inch- thick willtec® panels were glued to the ceiling using acouSTIC adhesive. Additional 2-inch-thick Class 1 fire-rated willtec panels were cut to size on-site and adhered to the ceiling between the exposed roof joists. The installer also fitted the rear wall of the Top Hat stage with 10 black fabric-wrapped FABRITEC Wall Panels. A brick wall was removed to expand the interior space, and another wall was sandblasted to remove the plaster and reveal the old brick.
The original space contained a tin ceiling, a large mirror behind the bar, wood surfaces and sizable windows in the front of the building. These reflective surfaces contributed to an undesirable reverberation time of 10.26 seconds. After remodeling and installation of pinta acoustics products Top Hat’s reverberation time was 0.57 seconds, slightly better than anticipated.
“The building in which Top Hat is located is on the National Register of Historic Places. It was constructed in the early 1900s and has been home to a saloon, speakeasy, restaurant, automobile supply store and pawnshop,” explains Checota. “I wanted to retain its charm and history while creating an environment ideal for live music, family-friendly events, film festivals and other entertainment.”
HARMONI Ceiling Tiles are made of Class 1 fire-rated, lightweight willtec foam. Easy to install in a standard ceiling grid system, these tiles offer excellent sound absorption across all frequencies. HARMONI is available in two styles, each with a tegular edge. The VISTA pattern offers a smooth surface for a clean look while the TARTAN style provides a softly sculpted design. HARMONI tiles are HPC coated in white, black, light grey or almond for easy cleaning and durability.
willtec foam is Class 1 fire-rated and available in natural white or light grey with an optional HPC coating in standard and custom colors. Panel sizes can be any dimension up to 48 inches by 96 inches, and typical thicknesses range between 2 and 3 inches. Custom shapes, colors and sizes are available.
Made of pinta’s willtec foam core, FABRITEC Wall Panels offer outstanding acoustical performance, absorbing up to 85 percent of the sound directed toward them. Available in custom and standard sizes, FABRITEC panels are impact resistant and have a tackable surface. Select from hundreds of fashionable fabrics, including Guilford, Maharam and others. FABRITEC Wall Panels are lightweight, making them easy to install with adhesive and/or hook and loop.
To download “The Science of Better Acoustics” white paper, go to www.pintaacoustic.net/acoustic-information. To learn more about pinta acoustic and its product line, visit www.pinta-acoustic.com or call 1.800.662.0032 or +1 612.355.4200.
Top Hat Lounge
Established in 1952, the Top Hat Lounge is the premier venue for the Northwest’s music scene. Located in the heart of downtown Missoula, Top Hat entertains diverse audiences with live music across all genres, films, comedy and family-friendly events. With a capacity of approximately 700 people, Top Hat hosts Montana-based artists and national touring musicians. In addition to great entertainment, Top Hat offers a unique dining experience centered on a tapas-style menu. www.tophatlounge.com
PGS/Broadcast Media Services | Charles G. (Skip) Kahane, CAE
PGS/Broadcast Media Services provides architectural acoustic services, including design and installation of architectural-grade sound reinforcement systems for performance venues. A classically trained musician, Kahane has performed at various locations worldwide. This has presented him with the opportunity to study the acoustic signatures of different facilities. Kahane has also provided expert witness testimony in construction liability litigation.