With three other successful clubs in Chicago’s Wrigleyville and Lincoln Park neighborhoods, the owners of the new John Barleycorn in Schaumburg, a suburb of Chicago, wanted to take it up several notches and offer their patrons the very best of everything.
Local installer Sound & Lighting Designs was provided with a generous budget to equip the large 20,000 square-foot, two-story new build with the latest in audio, video, stage and club lighting, as well as surveillance.
When it came to the critical choice of loudspeakers, owners Sam Sanchez and Michael Gonzalez were very involved. As Timothy Pickett, owner of Sound & Lighting Designs. recalls, “We shopped several brands and went to a Martin Audio demo, and the sound system just blew everybody away. Once the owners heard the loudspeakers, they told me, ‘this is what we want. Buy it.’”
John Barleycorn combines a huge restaurant space and satellite bars on the first floor with a club and live sound venue on the second floor.
The sound system on the first floor is designed to provide high quality audio without overwhelming the patrons. As Pickett describes it, “You come in the main entrance on the first floor and there’s a big bar area on the left with 16 Samsung plasma screens and 8 Martin Audio AQ8 loudspeakers throughout the room, with two (Martin Audio) AQ212 subs in the corners. The levels run a bit higher at the bar, but it sounds great.
“On the right,” Pickett continues, “is the dining area with seating and 16 more Samsung plasmas. We needed clarity and balanced reproduction without a lot of volume, so we put in 16 Martin Audio 8.1T Ceiling Series loudspeakers in four rows of four, along with four AQ112 subs built in under the seating booths.”
Across from the entrance, a large grand staircase leads upstairs. The staircase opens into another large room on the second floor with a 25 feet wide by 12 feet deep stage. Three main bars with seating and booths surround the stage with facilities to host up to 1,000 people.
The stage is used for live performances by national, local bands and DJs on Thursdays and Fridays, with nationally known DJs on Saturdays. According to Tim, “For video DJs, there’s a 150-inch HD screen behind the stage with a 5,000 lumen Eiki projector and 16 more plasmas spread around the room.
As to the sound system, “We have three Martin Audio W8LM line arrays, four each left and right, and three center above the stage, with the right and left stacks tilted out at 30-degree angles and the center array straight at the crowd.
“We chose W8LMs because they have such a wide horizontal throw and the room is a rectangle with the stage at the short end, so we needed something with real wide coverage. There are six WLX subs under the stage side by side coupled together, so there’s a stack for every array.”
The rest of the system consists of Crown amplification, an Allen & Heath GL2800 console, Klark Teknik, dbx and BSS processing, DWR-21 and ER-35 racks from Middle Atlantic Products, and Shure and Sennheiser mics.
“Everybody’s impressed with the sound,” Pickett concludes. “All of the DJs tell us it’s the best system they’ve ever played on. We get great reviews from bands and DJs; they say a lot of good things. They love the clarity and intelligibility of the sound plus the volume we can generate with the Martins.”