The Irish Times Bar in Prague’s Old Town is among the first venues in the world to be kitted out with a Funktion-One F5 sound system.

With residents all around, including directly above, owner Sean Curran sought an audio system that would deliver top-level performance and contain the sound within the venue, and had tried out seven or eight different systems before calling on Vice Audio, Funktion-One’s distributor for the Czech Republic.

The Irish Times BarDespite significant soundproofing, the result had always the same – sound spilling into the surrounding environment and inevitable complaints from neighbours. For a venue that has live music at the core of its offering, typically hosting three sessions a day, something had to be done.

‘The overspill issue was obviously an important one, but we also want to provide the best experience for our customers,’ says Curran. ‘We run a high-end operation - our customers deserve premium sound to go with the level of service we offer.’

As co-owner of Duplex, Curran was already familiar with Funktion-One sound, albeit in a club environment. When The Irish Times Bar system was being designed, the loudspeaker manufacturer had recently launched its smallest ever speaker in the F5, which provides Funktion-One performance from an extremely compact footprint – an important consideration for a venue with low ceiling height.

Vice Audio’s Alex Limburg designed and programmed the system, which features 12 F5s around the venue, as well as two F1201s for the stage system. This combination means the stage system can run at a relatively low level and even coverage is achieved throughout, with no hotspots or overspill.

The system is controlled by NST Audio’s VMX88 processor (often described as live sound quality in an install product) and three VR1 remote control panels with NST’s proprietary D-Net software, which give the venue a customisable control system that’s easy to use. FFA amplifiers maintain quality throughout the audio chain.

The F5 has earned widespread acclaim since its launch earlier this year: ‘It’s remarkable,’ says Vice Audio’s Kevin Dobson. ‘You just don’t expect that level of performance from such a small speaker. We’re delighted with the result at The Irish Times.’

‘The sound is exceptional – clear and evenly spread,’ Curran reports. ‘You get the same level and quality wherever you are in the venue and it’s contained, meaning no more issues with sound spilling outside the venue. Vice Audio are always great to work with. Despite the disruption caused by lockdown, the process has been very smooth and they’ve been very understanding. They’re always happy to go the extra step to make things exactly right.’

More: www.funktion-one.com

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