For years, iconic house music club Café D’Anvers struggled to find a sound system that could deliver a powerful sound throughout the venue – without disturbing the neighbours. The team wanted a deep bass on the dancefloor and for the energetic sound to fill the bar areas while allowing customers to talk comfortably. Pioneer Pro Audio and Powersoft designed a system with custom EQ settings, which doesn’t compromise on sound quality or volume and keeps the local residents happy.
At last, after 26 years, we can finally say we have the best sound system. To have this concentration of bass on the dancefloor, and no complaints from the neighbours. Everyone’s happy.Pim de Rhoodes Owner Café D'Anvers
A true club sound with no compromise
“The dancefloor must be almost overwhelming; you want to feel it’s just you and the music. At the bar, you want to be able to talk, but you still want to be in the music, the club, to be tempted to dance.”
Pim de Rhoodes Owner Café D’Anvers
Café D’Anvers opened its doors in 1989 and has been a mecca for savvy clubbers ever since. Occupying a 16th century church in the heart of Antwerp’s built-up red light district, the 1000 capacity club has two rooms – the main room and a balcony dancefloor – with regular DJ slots from Luciano, Nic Fanciulli and veteran Sven Vath.
But Café D’Anvers had a long-standing problem: finding a sound system that could deliver a true club sound without disturbing the venue’s many neighbours. As owner Pim de Rhoodes explains:“We had to limit the volume and bass, which wasn’t great for the atmosphere. We couldn’t do too much soundproofing because these old walls are part of the special character of the place.
The team wanted a sound system that would bathe customers in music throughout the venue. They wanted a powerful bass and exhilarating highs on the dancefloor. And they wanted that sound quality to continue in the bar, letting people talk comfortably and galvanising them to dance.
In the quest for the best, the team flew to Ibiza to experience Pioneer Pro Audio and Powersoft’s flagship set-up at Booom! Impressed by the system, they commissioned the team to design a sound system for Café D’Anvers. However, after 26 years and numerous sound systems, de Rhoodes was still sceptical.
“I thought: it’s an amazing sound system, but we can’t make that much bass here, with our neighbours. Or can we?”
A powerful partnership
“The combination of the GS-WAVE extension horn and the Armonia Pro EQ settings means we could create a powerful club sound and keep the neighbours happy too.”
Alex Barrand Manager Pioneer Pro Audio
Pioneer Pro Audio teamed up with Powersoft to design a sound system that met Café D’Anver’s needs. In the main room, they installed two three-metre GS-WAVE stacks at the front, four GS-WAVE tweeter pods overhead, and four XY-122 PA speakers and four XY-215S subwoofers at the rear. This configuration ensures a warm, powerful sound on the dancefloor and a clear line of sight from the bar.
The GS-WAVE stacks’ extension horn adds another five dB at 50 Hz and also concentrates the bass on to the dancefloor rather than the surrounding area – enabling Café D’Anvers to play the system very loud without upsetting the neighbours.
In-fill is provided by four XY-81s in dual array clusters, and the bar area has two XY-101s. The DJ booth has two XY-122s and an XY-115S reflex loaded subwoofer. Upstairs the team installed four XY-122s and two XY-118S subwoofers, and two XY-81s in the booth. Throughout the club, the XY Series speakers have gold grilles to complement the GS-WAVE’s design.
The whole system is powered by Powersoft’s compact, high-performance amps with built-in DSP and Pioneer pre- sets. The main room is driven by three K6s, two K2s and one M30 for the GS-WAVE stacks, three K2s for the in-fills, and a K2 and M30 for the booth. Upstairs has one K3, one K2 and an M30. The amps use Powersoft’s pioneering switch mode technology to provide incredible power with the highest efficiency – intelligently managing the power supply to work at very low impedance and deliver a natural, crystal clear sound.
The team used Powersoft’s Armonía Pro Audio software to define EQ settings for the room and to stop some problem frequencies leaving the building. The software also enables the club’s manager to wirelessly control the whole system and easily adjust the sound; for example turning it up when there are more people to absorb the sound, and gradually turning it down as people leave the venue.
A powerful club sound that stays in the club
“It’s amazing, it really is. The sound is 100 per cent better. It’s like you’re inside the music. It’s not just the deep bass; you’ve got all the sounds surrounding you.”
Pim de Rhoodes Owner Café D’Anvers
The GS-WAVE and XY Series work in harmony to create an immersive sound with a deep bass concentrated on the dancefloor. The energy continues into the bar area to draw clubbers into the main floor, but lets them hold a comfortable conversation too.
The Armonía Pro software gives the club full control of the system from a laptop or tablet, so the manager can adjust the volume or EQ settings throughout the night – which helps contain the sound as necessary.
Owner de Rhoodes’ concerns about installing such a powerful system have now disappeared. “Alex and the team knew exactly what they were doing. They measured all the frequencies and made it work. Now the music is through the roof and the neighbours aren’t complaining,” he says.