Top Hat Lounge, a renowned live-music venue, gains studio-quality sound with pinta acoustic’s products

MINNEAPOLIS—When Top Hat Top Hat LoungeLounge 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.”

Top Hat LoungeHARMONI 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  To learn more about pinta acoustic and its product line, visit 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.

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.

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SONEX Valueline offers an aesthetic and functional solution for Alchemist shop

SONEXWhile SONEX® Valueline Panels are known to provide effective and affordable sound control, Rene Gonzalez Architect recognized the acoustical panels as much more. SONEX Valueline proved to be the ideal material to provide the insulated atmosphere that the architect envisioned for the new Alchemist shop in Miami Beach, Fla. The product covers 1,945 square feet (180.7 square meters) within the boutique’s 2,500-square foot (232.26 square meters) area. Very important, SONEX meets Miami Beach’s stringent fire code.

Set in the bustling and popular Lincoln Road shopping district, Alchemist caters to an elite audience with a discerning eye toward design. When conceptualizing the ground floor shop, Rene Gonzalez Architect knew they wanted to embrace the energy of the neighborhood and find a distinctive solution for their aesthetic expectations. The architecture firm set to work to create a unique style for the store that invites the lively crowds to enjoy an oasis of tranquility. They also wanted to incorporate a dynamic lighting effect that echoed the Miami Beach skyline and was reminiscent of urban areas in Japan. pinta’s SONEX Valueline met all those requirements while absorbing sound reverberating off glass, acrylic, steel and sealed Chattahoochee stone surfaces.

“The look and texture of SONEX completely fit our design needs for Alchemist,” says Monica Vazquez, associate at Rene Gonzalez Architect. “SONEX was the only suitable material that met Miami Beach’s strict fire code regulations for flame spread and smoke density.”

The panels installed at Alchemist are 2 by 4 feet (610 by 1,219 mm) and 1.5 inches (38 mm) thick. To create lighting reminiscent of the Miami Beach skyline, the contractors hollowed out sections of the panels and installed LED lights, programmed to change colors, vertically on the walls. Lighting from the ceiling also radiates from behind and around the SONEX ceiling clouds. During the day, SONEX Valueline reflects natural light from the large front window throughout the store.

“SONEX cut like butter and at the same time cut clean,” says Kevin Regalado, project director at Rene Gonzalez Architect. “We were able to miter corners, curve the panels for unique display areas, and adhere the product to plywood to create ceiling clouds that are suspended from aluminum studs.”

Regalado explains: “During construction, we noticed how loud it was in the space. There was a world of difference after SONEX was installed. Suddenly everything became peaceful.”

SONEX Valueline Panels are made from Class 1 fire-rated willtec® acoustical material. SONEX offers excellent acoustical control across all frequencies with a noise reduction coefficient (NRC) ranging from 0.75 to 1.05. The panels are especially effective at absorbing excessive sound at the middle frequencies (500 and 1,000 Hz). They have a subtle surface pattern and are available in multiple colors and sizes.

To download “The Science of Better Acoustics” white paper, go to  To learn more about pinta acoustic and its product line, visit or call 1.800.662.0032 or +1 612.355.4200.

About Alchemist

Owned by Roma Cohen and Erika Cohen, Alchemist occupies two spaces in the Miami Beach Lincoln Road parking garage designed by Herzog and de Meuron. The fifth-floor skybox features an eclectic mix of high-fashion styles from well-known designers to emerging brands. The ground floor shop features men’s and women’s upscale fashion, beauty and lifestyle items. Both boutiques were designed by Rene Gonzalez Architect.

About Rene Gonzalez Architect

Founded in 1997 in Miami, Rene Gonzalez Architect (RGA) believes that a building is inexorably linked to the cultural and natural environment beyond its physical footprint. The work intentionally blurs traditional lines and creates an active design conversation with a site’s ambient elements. Detail-oriented and contemporary, the award-winning firm specializes in the design of museum and gallery spaces, hospitality, commercial, retail and residential projects. RGA strives to shift perceptions of design and open a dialogue with the spaces we occupy.

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pinta acoustic’s custom triangle baffles provide a unique look and acoustical control at ESIF

MINNEAPOLIS – When the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colo., designed the Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF), one of its primary goals was to showcase sustainable design and energy efficiency. ESIF’s office wing features open-plan office areas with large windows and a metal ceiling deck, which reflect sound and could make it harder for workers to communicate and concentrate. To extend light reflectancy and reduce noise and echo, without detracting from the décor, the architects selected pinta acoustic’s custom willtec® triangle baffles.

The workstations within the open office spaces have shorter cubical partitions to allow for maximum daylight, thus lowering energy costs. These shorter walls, along with the hard surfaces, allow sound to reverberate throughout the space. pinta acoustic’s willtec triangle baffles are attractive and absorb sound to make these areas more productive environments with greater speech intelligibility.

Seven hundred fifty-four HPC-coated triangle baffles were suspended in work areas with 16-foot-high (4.87 m) ceilings. Installed using pinta acoustic’s wall-to-wall cable system, the baffles are hung at a 45-degree angle to complement the line of the bar joists in the metal roof deck.

pinta acoustic’s custom triangle baffles are created with willtec lightweight foam. willtec is Class 1 fire-rated and available in natural white or light grey with an optional HPC coating in black, white, light blue, almond, ivory, light grey and medium grey colors. Panel sizes can be any dimension up to 48 inches by 96 inches (1,219 x 2,438 mm), and typical thicknesses range between 2 and 3 inches (51 to 76 mm). Custom shapes, colors and sizes are available.

To download “The Science of Better Acoustics” white paper, go to To learn more about pinta acoustic and its product line, visit or call 1.800.662.0032 or +1 612.355.4200.

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pinta’s acoustical products in Religious Projects

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Blue Smoke Restaurant with Metal Ceiling Tiles


Blue Smoke restaurant in Battery Park City, NYC, features pinta acoustic ceiling products

When Blue Smoke opened its second New York City location, the restaurant’s owners wanted a natural-meets-industrial décor evocative of the original site without being directly imitative. The ceiling treatment also needed to provide acoustical control  a vital component in a busy Manhattan restaurant. Blue Smoke selected ceiling products from pinta acoustic  BIOLINE® Organic Wood Ceiling Tiles and SQUARELINE® Metal Ceiling Tiles for the new Battery Park City location.

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