Club Congress in Tucson, Arizona recently received a massive overhaul of its sound infrastructure with Harman's Soundcraft, JBL and Crown systems, leading to a drastic improvement in its audio offerings.
The club is the main nightlife property at the Hotel Congress, an extraordinary location that, in addition to a being high-end hotel, is famous for being the hotel where American bank robber John Dillinger was captured in 1934, and has hosted a variety of events and banquets since its construction in 1919.
The venue is a small 45ft x 40ft live music venue that is host to many national touring acts and local dance nights. To ensure optimal sound coverage for the stage and audience, the most efficient and powerful loudspeakers from JBL were chosen to provide the best entertainment experience that Club Congress has ever witnessed.
The output system consists of three JBL VRX932LAP powered Constant Curvature loudspeakers per side, two STX828 dual 18in subwoofers, six SRX712M stage monitors, one PRX718XLF subwoofer and one JBL PRX715 loudspeaker. The system is powered with two Crown XTi 6002 amplifiers, one Crown I-Tech 4x3500HD and one I-Tech 9000HD amplifier. Sound is further enhanced by a dbx Driverack PA2 for additional processing power. While also responsible for the integration of the new HARMAN audio solution, head audio engineer Dana Fehr wanted a complete system that is easy to use and void of technical problems.
Thus, Fehr also chose the Si Performer 3 to provide guest DJs and fill-in staff with easy workflow and extensive onboard features to take the music at Club Congress to the next level. “The Si Performer 3 was an immense upgrade in terms of sound quality and user-friendliness, even before we installed the new loudspeakers,” said Fehr, speaking from prior experience with Soundcraft consoles during his 20 years as an audio engineer in live and recording sound. “Having used Vi Series consoles on large-scale events, I have come to appreciate the reliable manufacturing of Soundcraft boards, and their intuitive design and accessibility for operators of all skill levels. Unlike some of the other brands, Soundcraft consoles sound great and their file management is easy to use.”
Features such as Soundcraft FaderGlow make the console easy to operate, while also making it especially suitable for dark club environments, where mood and lighting can be as essential as the music itself. For a venue as small as this live music venue, the console’s form factor means it occupies minimum real estate on the dance floor. Coupled with the JBL VRX932LAP loudspeakers, the new HARMAN system delivers incredible power to all areas of the room.
“I am very happy with the way everything sounds, now that the whole system has been swapped for HARMAN equipment,” said Fehr. “I am glad that my work no longer involves repairing broken equipment, and is more centred on optimising the sound experience for our customers. Every piece of gear from the Crown amplifiers, to the JBL loudspeakers, to the Soundcraft console is the best we’ve ever experienced in this club.”
Photo: Michelle Armstrong