San Francisco nightclub Ruby Skye, a Victorian-style theater in the heart of San Francisco, regularly hosts world-class DJs. During a recent renovation, the original audio system was scaled down; for this upgrade, co-owner George Karpaty called for an improvement in the low end distortion that has been plaguing DJs and clubgoers alike. Karpaty contacted San Francisco-based JK Sound’s Mike Lacina to help design a new sound system for the club.
Lacina already loved EAW’s Avalon Series, which are specifically designed to handle the high-energy requirements of nightclubs. “I had recently installed Avalons at a nightclub in L.A., Circus Disco, and the result was a physical concussion of low-frequency sound energy hitting you on the dance floor without being too loud. Meanwhile, even the highest highs were strong and clear.”
In order to further enhance the output of its Avalon system, EAW worked with Lacina to customize Ruby Sky's Avalon DC1 boxes with components found in some of their higher output touring systems. As such, the DC1's standard 3-inch titanium driver was replaced with the larger 4-inch titanium driver used in the KF750, and for greater punch in the low/mid frequencies. Meanwhile, the DC1's standard woofers were replaced with those found in the KF650.
“Knowing how much energy these guys pump through the system, I wanted to make sure we erred on the side of more power-handling capacity than we expect the would need. EAW worked with us to make sure the replacement drivers physically fit inside the cabinet, and to tune the cabinet accordingly,” Lacina recalls.
On the main level, Lacina installed four EAW Avalon DC1 speakers, each customized with 15-inch KF Series woofers, and a 4-inch titanium diaphragm high frequency KF Series driver. Four DCT2 supertweeter arrays and 16 DCS2 horn loaded subwoofers rounded out the main floor. The mezzanine was treated to two additional customized DC1s, two DCT2 supertweeters and four additional DCS2 subs, assuring an even sound from top to bottom in the 15,000 square-foot space. Lake Technologies provided four Contour 26s for precise speaker control.
For amplification, Lacina designed a mix of three Lab.gruppen FP2400 Quad amps, three Crest Pro Series 7001s for the mids, three Crest 9001s for the lows and five QSC PL6.0s for the subs, for a total speaker system power handling capacity of 40,700 watts, with available amplifier power of 61,520 watts.
While Lacina is delighted with the system performance, Karpaty is even happier with its impact, saying that: “Getting great word of mouth from world-class DJs ensures that other top talent will make themselves available to our club, which in turn brings in the patrons,” Karpaty said. “Meanwhile, patrons stay longer and have a much better time--because the DJs are in the groove, and because they literally feel the music pounding their bodies, not their ears. After five years of a near-perfect club, the new sound system puts Ruby Skye at a level of perfection that has been our goal all along.”