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Stylish UK Sports Bar Opts for Electro-Voice ZX1

Sandwiched between the famous Trent Bridge ground, home to Nottinghamshire‘s county cricket team, and the City Ground, home to Nottingham Forest FC, is the perfectly-placed Southbank Bar. The venue fills to capacity when there‘s a big football or cricket match in progress, and only a zoned Electro-Voice sound reinforcement system can deliver the intelligibility and SPLs to satisfy 300+ sports fans.

Nottingham-based design and installation company OneBigStar has rejuvenated what was once an ordinary pub with sport on the telly, creating for its owners Great Northern Inns a dynamic and popular sports bar that transforms into a well-respected live music club at night.

Although OneBigStar has subsequently provided AV and lighting systems to other venues in the Great Northern Inns portfolio, the Southbank Bar was their first collaboration. An extensive refurbishment at the end of last year has produced an impressive video network of 12 HD plasma screens plus two large drop-down projection screens. The screens are complemented by 12x Electro-Voice ZX1 full-range loudspeakers, balancing light weight with exceptional durability. With an extended frequency response matched by high output capability, ZX1 is the perfect choice for the Southbank‘s demanding environment.

“On a match day, this venue is absolutely packed with people,” explains Simon Taylor of OneBigStar. “However, there‘s an absolute priority for being able to hear the match commentaries. Another important issue was the quality of background music, and the need for speakers with a decent bass response because there are virtually no subs in here. We looked at all sorts of loudspeakers, trying to find a multi-purpose box to do it all, to provide high quality audio at both low and high SPLs, with high intelligibility for the sport. EV‘s ZX1s do everything beautifully, and sound absolutely rocking when there‘s live music going through the system.”

The Southbank Bar claims to have more live music than any other bar in the city of Nottingham, so OneBigStar had to consider the stage PA, providing support for a pair of existing top cabinets. “We put in a single sub on stage, and provided a new mixing console. The venue system of ZX1s was divided into three zones – stage, mid, and back – which gives the performers a chance to balance out the sound in the whole venue. Because we can put the band mix back through the zones, the result is a fuller, warmer sound. Nobody tries to bring their own PA in anymore.”

Thanks to a full high-definition matrix, the Southbank can send any one of five HD video inputs to any one of 12 outputs in any combination. “It is multi-room flexibility in a single venue,” says Simon Taylor. “Often there are two or three different matches being shown, and trying to get sound separation is almost impossible. Usually they choose ‘the big match‘ and this commentary will dominate in audio terms. Its intelligibility was one of our biggest priorities; clarity and volume are especially important when the room is full.”

www.onebigstar.com

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Photos: www.electrovoice.com

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