The Velvet Note in Alpharetta, Georgia, has been open for four years, and Downbeat magazine recently named it as one of the best jazz clubs in the U.S. It seats 40 patrons and was designed by George Seldon. Visiting jazz artists include Christian McBride, Marcus Printup, Diane Schuur and the late great Lou Soloff, among others. The club features two Danley SM-100 loudspeakers in a stereo configuration with a THmini subwoofer for low-end support. Danley DSLA7500 amplifiers with on-board DSP amply power the SM-100 and the THmini.
“We take a lot of pride in the sound of our room,” says Tamara Fuller, The Velvet Note’s owner. “We call it ‘the acoustic living room,’ and we’ve done everything we can to make it the very best way to experience live music.”
“Until recently, the only thing that wasn’t five stars about The Velvet Note was the P.A. system,” explains Bob Bakert, an Atlanta-based guitarist, vocalist, composer and pro audio veteran who regularly performs on the venue’s stage. “I had heard Danley Sound Labs systems before, and I knew Danley’s fantastic phase-coherence and fidelity could elevate The Velvet Note’s P.A. system to the level of everything else in the venue.”
After consulting with Danley owner Mike Hedden, Bakert helped install the Danley loudspeaker system. The room is about 20 feet wide, so the stereo soundstage created by the SM-100s is said to be more akin to a control room than a live venue. The THmini subwoofer is tucked back behind the piano, and Bakert purposely configured the system so that the subwoofer would not provide unnaturally loud bass. Rather, the subwoofer forms a balanced, low-end extension to the full-range boxes.
“I’m impressed that the THmini subwoofer is so musical all the way down,” Bakert says. “It doesn’t have the resonances of a conventional sub, so you don’t lose pitch or continuity across different bass notes.”
“From the start, I designed The Velvet Note’s sound reinforcement and acoustics to be unobtrusive,” Fuller says. “I want to give my guests the real deal—organic, real sound. The new Danley system has taken things further in that direction. It’s capable of conveying such subtleties; the granular specificity of each note and each instrument is so clear and beautiful. It’s like the difference between talking to someone on the phone and talking to them in person. There’s an intimacy of sound that makes it feel like there’s nothing between you and the music, like the music is reaching its arms around you for an embrace. Of course, I personally benefit the most since I’m there almost every single night!”