The Bellingham Bar & Grill, a popular student gathering place at Western Washington University (Bellingham, WA), recently upgraded its sonic performance with i-Class loudspeakers from VUE Audiotechnik deployed by MZW Productions (McMinnville, OR).
“I’ve been working with this venue for more than 30 years and I’ve overseen three audio updates in that time,” explains MZW president Michael “Woody” Woods. “It’s essentially two older storefronts with the dividing wall removed. One side is a restaurant and bar, while the other side offers seven pool tables, shuffleboard, and two massive flat screens.”
With relatively low ceilings, the long and narrow adjacent rooms offer abundant reflective surfaces. “For this update, the owner wanted lots of output and plenty of bass,” Woods says. “The music selection varies, depending on the time of day, but leans heavily toward EDM during peak student hours. Output was a critical — especially in the low frequencies — but ceiling height was also a concern. We had to hit our SPL goals while keeping hang height to an absolute minimum.”
Woods selected a combination of 16 VUE i-8 two-way systems, with a pair of VUE is-18 subwoofers for low-frequency impact. The subwoofers are located near the bar on the more “rowdy” side of the venue, with the i-8s ceiling mounted using VUE’s standard hardware. Four stereo pairs run the length of each room. QSC PSD series amplifiers provide all audio power and processing, with each stereo pair delayed using the amplifier’s onboard DSP.
“I first heard VUE speakers at a demo a few years ago — I think it was the beryllium h-15 boxes,” Woods notes. “I recall being instantly taken back by their fidelity and range. Eventually, I got a pair of VUE i-8s and set them up in my studio next to my Quested VS2108 reference monitors. I couldn’t believe how great they sounded. I remember thinking ‘wow, these things are so present and so smooth; and they’re an install speaker.”