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QSC delivered to The Mail Company

9 March 2009 9.44 BST


(Netherlands) - Overlooking a piazza in the Dutch town of Zaandam, with a canal running alongside, The Mail Company couldn’t be more perfectly located.

Situated just 20 minutes outside Amsterdam this large bar/restaurant, which transposes effortlessly into a 600-capacity dance venue on weekend nights, occupies the site of a former post office, which was converted 21 years ago.

Owned by the Hiemstra family for the past 14 years (and fronted by son, Nick), by last year the venue was ready for a major overhaul of its interior infrastructure — including the sound system and multimedia to keep it at the cutting edge.

The venue’s resident turntablist, DJ Frenz (real name Frans Eehoorn) had recommended Milco Merk of Merk Lighting — whose work can be seen regularly both around the clubs and hotels of Amsterdam as well as out of the festival circuit.

Merk, who has been running his company since 1993, has been an advocate of QSC Audio systems for the past decade. As the Californian manufacturer has evolved from being a dedicated amplifier producer to offering complete digital system solutions, so the installer has tracked the company’s every move — purchasing his equipment from AED, QSC’s Benelux distributor.

The Mail Company is divided into two distinct rooms, on either side of the DJ booth, with a separate, low-level café at front of house. Milco Merk knew that the sound system would not only need to be sufficiently versatile but display wide dispersion characteristics that would provide even coverage internally and keep the place rocking with Top 40 and House music until 6am on the weekends.

At the same time containment was an issue in view of its town centre location. Thus careful speaker placement was essential to focus the sound internally.

To maximise this, careful programming of the QSC DSP also became vital and QSC’s popular SC28 DSP was specified to store the EQ/delay and handle routing duties.

But Milco Merk is already in the process of upgrading the club’s DSP. His company will shortly be installing a QSC Basis 914lz through the QSControl.net network, to enable amplifier monitoring over Ethernet, to complement the pre-programmable NAC-100 network audio controllers (sited at the bar and the DJ booth). “It’s important that we can health check the system online and at the same time give the staff local remote access via a simple, custom-created user interface,” he says.

So how did the installer set about designing the sound reinforcement? For his primary system he opted for two compact QSC WideLine 8 line array systems, with hangs of three WL3082’s flown above the booth seating in the main room.

He then turned to QSC’s ModularDesign range, deploying six QSC MD-S215 ( 2 x 15in) subs, stacked in pairs and recessed into the three support columns, spaced along the edge of the restaurant areas. Sitting above, and cleverly set back into the void are two pairs of MD F152/64r loudspeakers, arrayed and bracketed together in trapezoidal ‘wedge’ clusters to provide equally wide coverage.

“These provide enormous power and are perfect for smaller environments,” says Milco, who has manufactured his own custom brackets for the purpose. “We have rotated the 60° horn vertically to give it more spread, and inverted it, with the 12in LF transducer at the top.”

On infill duties ten AD-Ci52ST recessed ceiling speakers are divided between the two rooms in a distributed system, run off a four-channel CX-254.

Stepping down to the front café are five AcousticDesign AD-S82H loudspeakers providing coverage at front-of-house, while further AD-S52’s provide background sound in the hallway and toilets.

Finally, in the highly-specified DJ booth are a pair of AD-S282H (with dual 8in high-powered woofers) providing the DJ’s with generous reference sound.

All the loudspeakers receive separate feeds via series of low impedance two-channel CX amplifiers. These include CX702’s, CX502’s and CX1102’s, while a pair of PowerLight PL380’s run the WideLine 8 LF and a PL325 powers the top end.

Stored away at the rear of the venue, in preparation for the summer, when the Mail Company’s activities can extend outside onto the terrace, are four QSC HPR153’s — a portable system perfect for those big national events such as Queen’s Day.

Nick Hiemstra says the club’s conversion — from grand café to the town’s leading dance venue — is far from finished. The family has already sold the second floor of its premises (which had been trading as a separate club) and next year plans to purchase the remainder of the adjacent post office building; then they will knock through to create an ever larger space.

 

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