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Yamaha system strikes a balance at Stockholm nightclub

Swedish AV specialists Watt & Volt has completed an audio redesign of Stockholm’s Underbara nightclub, opting for a Yamaha DXR/DXS loudspeaker system to balance the demands of clubbers and neighbours.

Underbara is located in a former cinema in the basement of a block of flats in the SoFo district of Stockholm. In the past it was subject to regular complaints about noise levels, but a comprehensive renovation and audio redesign has allowed the venue to maximise both the club experience while not disturbing the neighbours.

“Due to the previous complaints, acoustic measurements had been performed in several of the surrounding apartments. So we knew what we needed to achieve in terms of noise reduction,” said Jonas Hamrin, Watt & Volt chief technical officer. “The revamped venue featured three bars, a VIP area and a major dancefloor, plus the entrance area, so it was a case of getting high quality, even audio coverage throughout the venue, while keeping levels down anywhere beyond them.”

On entering Underbara, there are several Yamaha VXS5 full-range loudspeakers, powered by a compact PA2030 power amplifier, covering the venue up to the main dancefloor. From here the main audio system comprises four DXR12 and four DXS15 powered loudspeakers, managed by an MTX3 matrix processor and controlled by a pair of wall-mounted DCP1V4S panels.

“We arranged the DXR12s in the main system as a centre cluster, ensuring that vibrations were channelled down to the concrete floor instead of towards the walls,” added Hamrin. “This configuration also delivers very even coverage, with the dispersion of the DXR12s perfectly fitting the height of the venue and focusing the loudest volume on the dance areas in front of the centre bar.

“The DXS15 subwoofers are mounted on vibration dampers and placed apart from each other acoustically, which cancels the most problematic frequencies. Thanks to the MTX3, limiting, room EQ and delay were all very easy to program. It also meant that the VXS5s in the entrance could be delayed to match the main system.”

Another benefit of the Yamaha system was that the controls can be ‘locked’ on the MTX3, meaning any unauthorised tampering with the DCP1V4S panels has no effect.

“The owners of Underbara were very concerned about improving relations with people in the surrounding apartments,” said Hamrin. “They are very pleased that the Yamaha system is tamper-proof, allowed only the club manager to adjust the main volume. This ensures that the neighbours above can enjoy a good night’s sleep, while customers can dance through until the early hours.”