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KV2 Audio delivers sumptuous acoustics in The Libertine



The vaults underneath London’s Royal Exchange have been beautifully transformed into a new drinking and dining destination, The Libertine. In charge of designing, installing and integrating a high-spec audio system into the venue was Middlesex Sound & Lighting (MSL). Faced with challenging architecture and a Grade 1-listed space, MSL Director Darrel Olivier believes the result – which features a wide selection of KV2 Audio loudspeakers – speaks for itself.

“The brief we received from Incipio Group was to provide a high-end, well distributed audio system, which would tackle the acoustic issues presented by the shape of the building and its finish," Olivier explained, adding that the project took around five months to complete. "We had to work in conjunction with the designer, because the client wanted a sound system that could handle loud music on Thursday and Friday nights – with the added diffculty of ensuring the speakers do not compromise the aesthetics created by the designers."

Olivier and his team overcame the acoustic challenges with the careful placement of 25 KV2 Audio ESD25 loudspeakers and four KV2 Audio ESD5 loudspeakers throughout the venue, accompanied by four KV2 ESD1.12 subwoofers in the large bar space and two smaller KV2 ESD1.10 subs in the main dining area.

“We have a good relationship with KV2 Audio; we’ve used their products before on numerous installations and the result has always been really good," said Olivier. "Their speaker boxes are also very aesthetically pleasing, and every speaker in this venue has been finished to match the interior – except the subwoofers, which are integrated into the wood panelling or hidden behind seating. This makes for a nice finish, but also means there is consistent coverage and energy throughout the spaces."

The speakers came from KV2 Audio’s UK offce and Olivier is more than familiar with their equipment. “I’ve been out to visit their factory in Czech Republic and it is a really nice family-led business," he said. "That mirrors us in many ways as my father started Middlesex Sound & Lighting in 1983. What is nice about KV2 Audio is that they haven’t suffered from a lot of the issues that have plagued manufacturers recently with lead times due to supply issues."

The sound design was plotted digitally with 3D renders to check that the sound levels and frequency levels could be achieved.

“When you consider the number of hard, shiny surfaces, and the brick arched ceilings, the sound system does very well. It sounds even better when the restaurant and bar is full of people, because more sound is soaked up as there are fewer reflections and reverberation," Olivier noted, adding that the performance of the amplifiers is another area he’s particularly pleased with. 

To match the interior décor, the speakers were all sprayed with a custom colour, blending them almost seamlessly into the space – both inside the main dining and drinking area and the entrance ‘apothecary’ area, where the walls are a deep forest green.

“It was a tricky install because we couldn’t drill into the bricks to mount the speakers," Olivier revealed. “We were not allowed to touch a lot of the building, and everything had to be approved by the landlord. This meant we were only allowed to drill into the mortar."

One issue that faced all contractors while constructing the venue was the placement of cables and how to connect and link all the electrical, data and AV cables to the rack room. “From a cabling perspective, it was hard to get the infrastructure for everything, but the solution came via a shallow trench, which was dug around the perimeter of the venue," Olivier explained. “All the cables – data, electrical, communications and our AV cables – are down there, and they are neatly covered and hidden from view. This allowed us to place the speakers discreetly where we wanted them, especially in the brick arches along the walls."

The arches underneath London’s Royal Exchange formerly guarded the spices, silks and gold that enriched London in years gone by. Now, it is home to The Libertine – an impressive drinking and dining venue worthy of the modern metropolis.


Head Office KV2 Audio International spol. s r.o.
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Milevsko 399 01
Czech Republic

VAT: CZ26051591
Phone: +420 383 809 320 (English)
E-mail: info@kv2audio.com


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