The limited real estate options on Hong Kong Island can make life challenging for acoustic consultants and systems integrators (see our report on the Pro Audio Market in APAC). Clubs, bars and restaurants need ingenious solutions, not only when it comes to creative interiors but also in providing a sound system for small footprints and low ceilings. And the two often go hand in hand. These systems need to be unobtrusive, blending into the décor while delivering the decibels needed to power up the dance floor or the intelligibility to operate as a sophisticated background in a fine dining environment.
K-array systems are finding increasing applications in such premises, and a recent rash of installations has broken out in some of the island’s newest eateries. Iron Fairies, the latest fantastical creation from Australian designer Ashley Sutton, is one such establishment. Sutton has drawn on his experience in iron ore mining to come up with a unique interior, recreating a Victorian foundry in iron, timber, brick and leather complete with 10,000 preserved butterflies suspended from the ceiling, and some hand-cast iron fairies for good measure.
“The original sound system, intended to reproduce soft lounge music came as part of the design package,” explains K-array’s APAC sales manager, Marc Vincent. “However, the growing popularity of this underground bar has turned it into a club featuring top Hong Kong DJs and live bands.”
This shift in purpose saw the installation of a new K-array system this April into the small venue, to provide the high SPLs at short distances required for DJ and live performances. The installation, carried out by local A/V consultancy V Group, consists of a main L-R system of Axle-KR802 systems per side, each consisting of three Dragon-KX12 coaxial line array elements mounted above a Thunder-KMT218 18-inch subwoofer by mean of an extendable pole and stacking hardware.
“The low ceiling configuration didn’t provide enough space for any vertical arraying,” continues Vincent. “The KRX802 allowed us to mount all six compact KX12 speakers horizontally. The two dual 18-inch active subwoofers were easily hidden under bridges leading to the private rooms. These unobtrusive horizontal arrays are able to fill the Iron Fairies space with a powerful and even coverage.”
Two further KX12s bolster audio levels at the left and right side of the room, while six Turtle-KRM33P low-profile wedge monitors act as passive fills for each of the six private rooms, all powered by a Kommander-KA84 quad amp. On stage, five Frog-Is FP8 8-inch two-way active monitors are being used, four for live acts and one for DJs.
“These unobtrusive horizontal arrays are able to fill the Iron Fairies space with a powerful and even coverage.”
“The discreetness of our speakers really proved crucial to the success of this installation. Not only were the owners incredibly pleased with the results, they even ordered K-array systems for other venues they run that have similar aesthetic concerns,” concluded Vincent.