KV2 raises the bar Above Dubai
SL series speakers from Czech manufacturer KV2 Audio have been installed alongside the existing system at Above, the rooftop bar at the Sofitel Hotel in downtown Dubai. The original distributed system serving the club was built upon an analogue infrastructure that over time was hampering audio quality. The hotel enlisted the help of KV2 Audio Middle East’s Pablo Nofri, who selected a pair of SL412 main loudspeakers alongside ES2.6 subwoofers.
‘We wanted to upgrade the audio system as the existing system was no longer enough for the number of guests we have in here,’ explained Above club manager, Mr Helme. ‘The sound was not clear anymore – the bass was full of humming and noise. With the new KV2 speakers installed, we still kept the old system to support it when necessary, although not all of the old speakers are still in use.’
For Mr Nofri, the project started with a call from his friend and DJ at Above. ‘A friend of mine was performing here and he had some trouble with the sound,’ he recalled. ‘The existing system simply didn’t offer enough – he wanted punch and he wanted quality. There was also a very tight timeframe for delivery; he wanted the system in one week, ready. You know, bring the system, cable it, install it, run it, clean it, tune it – not something that is really doable in one week. But we did it. We also had to ship in the SLs because all of our stock was out.’
The DJ booth looks out across the room laterally, which meant that the new KV2 system required an ultra-wide dispersion. This resulted in Mr Nofri specifying the manufacturer’s 110-degree dispersion SL412 enclosures. ‘I used to get a lot of complaints from guests tucked away in the corner of the room that would want the volume turned up,’ Mr Helme recalled. ‘With the wide angle of the new cabinets, the sound is clear right to the edge of the room.’
In addition to the rise in audio quality achieved by the new enclosures, the switch to digital signal distribution between the DJ area and existing audio amplifiers, located in a control room approximately 80 m away, has also given the system a new lease of life. ‘We had a lot of acoustical problems to begin with,’ offered Mr Nofri. ‘To fix these we installed a processor to adjust/cut frequencies and also to handle the previous speakers they have as well. We either had to decide that the previous system was not up to standard and therefore get rid of it, or get it to sound how I wanted it. I ended up using used a BSS Audio Soundweb processor to extend eight outputs through a redundant network cable using Blu-Link to the control room, where the amplifiers for the existing loudspeakers reside. Changing the cabling to digital made the existing system sound about 40 per cent better and removed all of the hum and other artefacts.’
While the quality of reinforcement is obviously the most important attribute for any installation of this type, for Mr Helme the man in charge of making it happen was equally as pivotal. ‘Tools you can buy from anyone, but there are some people that are on top of their business – anything you require they will find it for you,’ the club manager tells Pro Audio MEA. ‘I can always rely on him to be available when I need him, and that’s the most important thing for a quick project like this.’