Located in the centre of Shoreditch, London, Merchants Tavern is an all-day bar and dining room serving modern European cuisine. Overseen by Angela Hartnett – MBE, Michelin-starred chef and one of the most high-profile women in the restaurant world – the restaurant exudes quality and understated excellence.
Priding itself on serving up great music, as well as excellent food and drink, the venue have a long-standing tradition of carefully curated music selections and discerning DJs. Crossover were brought in to install a very special audio system for the bar and DJ area in the Merchants Tavern to provide great sound throughout and meet exacting aesthetic requirements – to make the front end of the sound system a feature piece of the venue, yet perfectly complementing the classic interior design.
The Sound System
Heresy III loudspeakers from renowned and pioneering manufacturer Klipsch combine excellent sound quality and retro-styling and were selected by the client for their warmth and audiophile qualities. Whilst these are intended to be floor-mounted speakers, Merchants Tavern wanted to proudly display the loudspeakers on the walls to become a feature piece of the bar. Crossover liaised with Klipsch directly to work out a custom wall-mounting solution, as the floor-standing speaker's wooden enclosures has no mounting points for a conventional wall-mount bracket. Crossover's solution was to modify the base of the loudspeakers, to provide a safe fixture without compromising the integrity of the enclosures.
The client specified that all speaker cable would be on show, and as such should resemble antique brown fabric-braided telephone cable. Sourcing such cable that could be utilised for high-quality speakers was a challenge - exactly the sort of bespoke requirement Crossover excel in delivering. After gathering samples from a range of cable and wire manufacturers (including cable intended for power, rather than audio!) a dual-core brown braided and insulated cable was put forward, approved by the client and installed in the space.
The audio system is configured in two zones (Bar Area and DJ Area) with the volume level independently adjustable in each, to create an appropriate balance suited to DJ events or simple background music.
A thoroughly modern back-end system was installed discreetly in an equipment rack hidden in the staff cloak room. A powerful DSP (digital signal processing) unit was programmed by Crossover to manage the retro-feel audio system and to sculpt the sound to suit the bar space exactly. Professional-grade amplifiers from MC2 Audio provide a clean and powerful audio signal, with built-in protection circuitry that continuously checks for faults and a signal limiter that protects the expensive loudspeakers from excessive signal peaks.
The Extra Mile
As a good will gesture at the end of the project Crossover reinstalled and serviced the venue’s DJ equipment, to ensure that Merchants Tavern could make full use of the sound system immediately after handover.
All very positive from my side. We are very happy with the service provided for install and set up and the result has exceeded expectations.