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Martin Audio system for legendary London venue

Paddy Baker 4 August 2010

A technical upgrade at The Clapham Grand has entailed the specification of a Martin Audio W8LC Compact Line Array, reinforced with Martin Audio AQ loudspeakers. The refit at the 1,250-capacity, 100-year-old listed Victorian theatre was undertaken by Matt Bate from F1:Sound Company.

Designed with the assistance of Martin Audio’s proprietary DISPLAY predictive software, the new system is based around a total of eight W8LC elements, with low extension provided by six groundstacked WS218X subs. Audio for the three-floor venue is also supplied by 14 ultra-compact AQ5s: six for the upper two tiers of the middle balcony and eight for under-balcony on the ground floor, where additional power is provided by two AQ10s near the bar.

The resulting installation is said to have been a resounding success, and has already been utilised by performers including Jamie Cullum.

Matt Bate said that the venue’s live music and promotions manager, Richard Beck, "had wanted a PA that would maximise sightlines to the stage. He always favoured Martin Audio as he knew this was a good system."

The Clapham Grand’s technical manager, Dan Huxley, added: "We wanted an industry-standard system that was recognised by incoming productions, so that they had the confidence to play through the house rig. But at the same time the system needed to be multipurpose as we are still utilising the venue for club and DJ nights – and this produces a thumping dance sound."

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