The conversion of the former CM20 music bar in Harlow, Essex, England, to Twenty One––a late night venue on two levels––was the brainchild of leisure entrepreneur/owner Paul Mapp of Greedy Boys Ltd. He contacted local audio company Clarity in Sound, Light & Vision, which recommended a new Martin AQ system to be distributed throughout the venue, run in conjunction with some of the existing equipment.
"Everything here revolves around quality," Mapp says. "We like to invest in quality equipment, and the Martin Audio system is highly versatile, sounding superb whatever we put through it. DJs tend to drive the equipment hard, so we needed something we could depend on. And as Clarity had put Martin Audio Blackline F10s in upstairs last year, we were already impressed by the quality of the output for the size of enclosure."
The ground floor is divided into split zones, the sound routed via a Cloud zoner, so the raw energy can be focused over the dancefloor while the system can be run at low level on the periphery, where ample seating is provided.
Clarity's Stuart Graham, who also worked closely with interior designer James Hall to install Pulsar Chroma LED lighting in the bar areas, said the decision to choose Martin Audio was a no-brainer. "Paul Mapp wanted to move his venue more up-market and wanted stylish-looking loudspeakers that could be fed from the DJ on weekend nights or deliver a transparent background sound from CD sources," Hall says. As a result he installed Martin Audio Blackline F10s upstairs and Pulsar Chroma panels in the ceiling grid, with bottle washers and Aero tubes highlighting the bar.
While he had used similar lighting effects downstairs, Graham has considerably beefed up the volume, with a pair of flown AQ10s proving more than adequate for a venue with a maximum capacity (over two floors) of 320. A powerful AQ212 (2x12 inches) takes care of the low frequencies, while around the periphery, four AQ8s provide ambient-level sound with the benefit of being managed by a pair of Martin Audio's dedicated AQX controllers.