Following the sudden death of its legendary landlord Louis Hayle – more commonly known as Dutty Ken – the future of iconic reggae venue Star & Garter in Montpelier, Bristol, UK was cast into uncertainty,, but it’s not only been saved but has recently re-opened with a new sound reinforcement system driven by Powersoft amplifiers.
Now under the direction of Malcolm Haynes, who stepped in to take ownership of the situation, the venue hired local company Qualitex Sound System (QSS) to carry out an audio overhaul, which was overseen by Linford Bailey, better known within the industry as Kutty Qualitex.
“I only ever recommend Powersoft to QSS customers,” Qualitex notes. “Obviously the size of the job determines which models I’ll specify. I linked up with CUK Audio about seven or eight years ago, and since then, I’ve been able to get access whatever is required, whether that’s T Series or X4L for live gigs or Quattrocanali and Ottocanali for fixed installs.”
The Star & Garter’s new sound system was required to cover a number of rooms, including a lounge, dance floor, the main bar and a “chill-out” area. Although it was a “straightforward install,” according to Qualitex, the requirements for the venue were substantially overestimated. “We were told to order 12 Biamp Community W2-228s (2 x 8-inch loudspeakers), and after installing the first two we realized that 12 was a bit too far. We ended up only using four of them across all of the rooms. It’s usually running at quite a low level but with a very clean sound.”
The team installed one of the loudspeakers and its requisite subwoofer in the bar, with another three and two subs in the dance floor area. These components are driven by one Powersoft Duecanali 4804 and two Quattrocanali 2004 models.
“ArmoníaPlus is the standard software for me these days, and I was a big user of the previous version of Armonía (Pro Audio Suite) before that,” Qualitex states. “The Star & Garter needed a separate outboard control for the system where each speaker could be controlled from behind the bar, but because it hasn’t got DSP capabilities, we just used a Symetrix Jupiter 8 processor.”
He concludes, “I’ve been using their (Powersoft) products and telling people about them for decades, all quite unofficially of course. I went to demo day in London a few years ago and spoke them about different things, but most of my feedback goes to Stuart at CUK Audio, who relays findings back to Powersoft. When the X8 came out and we had so much success with it that I wanted a sub amp; lo and behold the X4L came out. Stuart leant me one and I’ve already told him that he’s not getting it back as I’m more than pleased with it.”