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Genelec chosen for new ‘Abba bar’ in Stockholm hotel

4000 series array boosts Watson Bar at Benny Andersson owned Hotel Rival

Genelec loudspeakers have been selected for the new Watson’s Bar at Stockholm’s Hotel Rival in the Södermalm district of Stockholm. AV integration specialists, Hages was engaged to design and install a fully integrated sound system capable of delivering a high quality, relaxed music experience during the day as well as high energy DJ sessions for the evening crowd. Hages selected a combination of Genelec 4040 and 4030 loudspeakers supplemented by a 7360 subwoofer for low end reinforcement.

The majority of the loudspeakers are completely hidden, with five 4030s concealed behind grilles over wall-hanging shelves down the sides of the bar, and the 7360 sub neatly hidden in a specially built compartment under a sofa. Four powerful white 4040s grace the upper bar. Zone configuration and DSP is handled by a Bose ControlSpace ESP-880A processor connected to a programmable CC64 interface panel for straightforward, fingertip control of all zones and sources. A DJ output as well as a central music solution is housed in a technical cabinet behind the bar.

“Our challenge was to accomplish a nice, full-bodied sound that would cover the whole of the new Watson’s Bar, from the leafy outdoor terrace through to the bar inside plus the reception and lobby,” explained Hages’ Thomas Axelsson. “Genelec is an ideal choice for this type of installation where sound quality, tonal balance and high reliability are paramount,” continues Axelsson. “Those were the client’s criteria, and Genelec ticks all of those boxes. It’s difficult to beat Genelec sound quality and reliability. Plus there was already an existing Genelec system in the bar upstairs that the client was very happy with, so it made Genelec a very easy choice.

“From our point of view we also wanted the solution to be easy to install, and Genelec 4000 Series loudspeakers are active, which means no external amplifiers to worry about. This is an important point when you’re tight on space – and they also look great in the areas where they are visible. This is always a priority when architects are involved – they don’t like to see big ugly speakers cluttering up their design!”

Renowned as one of the city’s favourite meeting spots, Hotel Rival has remained dedicated to entertainment and hospitality since its beginnings in 1937. In 2002, Benny Andersson of legendary ‘70s supergroup, ABBA, and two associates purchased it, and extensive redevelopment work began to shape the complex into what it is today – a luxury 99-room boutique hotel complete with bars, a bistro and café, modern meeting facilities and a theatre. Watson’s Bar offers food and drinks in a vibrant atmosphere and is named after Benny’s faithful Jack Russell terrier.

Hotel Rival’s CEO Jesper Henryson is enthusiastic about the guests’ reactions to the new venue: “The response we received from guests during our opening week was absolutely fantastic. Both hotel guests and Stockholmers alike seem to have found a common meeting place to relax and enjoy great food and amazing cocktails in an atmosphere of jazz, funk and soul. Welcome to Watson’s Bar!”