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Dynacord Spies in Chicago Bar

Located in downtown Chicago’s bar and club-heavy River North district, Spy Bar ( recently installed a Dynacord Cobra line array system; Audiolines handled the install.

“Spy Bar’s owners chose the Cobra as their new main room system after the DJ booth was renovated earlier this year,” says Eric Dahl of Audiolines. “The Cobra has a small footprint, yet pumps out huge sound into the 50-by-50 foot room. Two stacks of two Cobra Tops and two Cobra PWH subs are ground-stacked on either side of the booth, standing about nine feet high, tucked in nicely under the 12-foot basement ceiling.

“The Cobra is simply a great club system,” he continues, “one that opens up the possibilities for serious sound reinforcement in spaces where you’d usually dismiss the line array option. As the only vertical line array designed specifically for ground-stacking, as well as flying, Cobra is a really versatile problem-solver. At Spy Bar, they have the perfect balance of precise coverage, long throw and full-range definition, with the massive, room-filling low end that a club needs, without the distortion you might expect in a relatively confined high-SPL environment like this. Add the dedicated Cobra-2 amp and processing rack to the equation, and you have easy plug-and-play operation, too.

“The Cobra-2 has the brute force of a system twice its size, yet we’re continuously told it sounds like there are two giant studio monitors in the room. When they see one for the first time, people often say, ‘That’s not enough moving air.’ Then we fire it up, and they say, ‘Wow.’ For small to medium applications like this, this Cobra-2 configuration will simply move the air more efficiently. When you compare the old-school method of sound reinforcement, with piles and piles of big boxes blasting out sound, to the Cobra, it’s like comparing an old big block muscle car from the ‘60s to a modern sports car. Sure, the old car sounds and looks great, but the gas mileage and handling leaves a lot to be desired!

“There’s a long line around the block at Spy Bar every Friday night,” Dahl adds. “Since installing the Cobra in February, their booking has taken off. Purefuture is the big DJ and dance music promoter here in Chicago, and they now hold their Purefuture Friday events at Spy Bar—a real coup in this competitive club scene. Purefuture had previously been booking their big-name DJ nights at a mega-club that held about 3,000. They stopped booking at this larger venue and started booking the 300-capacity Spy Bar simply because of their new sound system. Obviously, that says a lot for the Cobra rig! Now every weekend, there’s a name DJ at Spy Bar, and, like the crowd, they’re never disappointed with how their sets sound.”

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