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-   -   "The 10 Best Soundsystems in America" (http://www.wavemusic.com/community/showthread.php?t=13298)

Pete54 11-13-2012 06:47 AM

"The 10 Best Soundsystems in America"

hmm what do you guys think? No GSA or SBS installs?

Estacy 11-13-2012 10:33 AM

yeah, funktion one as the only proper soundsystem in their eyes. Nice to see Nathan there with the Void system.

and by the way : 'subs in the air to make it a fullrange system'
because when subs are on the ground it isn't full range anymore? ok..

Reticuli 11-13-2012 04:30 PM

I had a revelation the other day when thinking about planars and electrostatics...

By the way, where's the link?

SBS Designs 11-13-2012 06:10 PM

if i was
Nominated alot on this board wld say i or my clients paid to get in, like other times with my systems lol which is a complete joke, so does it really matter

Balaroue 11-14-2012 11:08 AM

Sure seems sponsored by F1 & fulcrum. While I haven't been to most of these, many could make the 10 loudest in america.

Nice to see Nathan sneaking one in there.

charles0322 11-14-2012 11:21 AM

I think all these top # lists are pretty funny

for instance, the djm900 is a decent mixer, not the best sounding.. so if these are the best sounding clubs why wouldnt they be using a better mixer as their front end.. ok the tech rider of today has the 900..

I just think its funny like places like Stereo Montreal didnt make the list, at the leading edge of club sound for 13years lol, they use an original Urei for the most part too..

Funktion 1 eh? thats what it takes to have the best sound. I wont say its bad, because its not, I do know for a fact that a xone92 with WAV sounds very good on F1 and sounds lacklustre with a djm900.. sure there are some techs that no how to go about making the djm sound better.. but the mp3 is very noticeable from an f1 system

but how do all these systems differ from one another if for the most part they all use the same stuff and its not even that good??

Estacy 11-14-2012 01:10 PM

Yeah, they are still going to be used with music that is compressed to hell, a mixer that is clipping, a limiter compressing it even further and *shudder* MP3s.

Reticuli 11-14-2012 01:24 PM

Because hardly anyone is using vinyl anymore and the DACs on the new Pioneers are pretty good, and even this is moot if you're using the SPDIF out to a DSP. A lot of clubs now don't even have Technics in the booth.

I still think Denons have better DACs. Wolfsons tend to sound kind of shouty and glassy in the mids.

I really like the middle mids and upper mids on the Funktion Ones. They have a sort of creamy smooth inner light going down that I dig. I do not think they sparkle in the highs, though. Horns in general just do not wet my willy for shimmer, I don't care if they're loading a titanium tweeter or a soft dome one. I think F1 actually compensates for this somewhat by voicing the tweeter tops to a lower dB sensitivity than the rest of them in the stack. I'm not entirely sure I buy that the soft domes over the titanium is the main reason for the warmer sound. I do like their big cookie-cutter stacks, though. You could do a lot worse with other non-custom ones, and if you give them the space they deserve (including behind) they can make some nice music.

By far and away the most important thing. TURN THE F---ING VOLUME DOWN FOR F--- SAKES. Pardon my language, but sometimes it's appropriate. Anything over around 85dB is distorting the ear/brain system orders of magnitude beyond anything else in the chain. Peaks up to 90dB may be tolerable, but that's seriously pushing it. This is an empirical fact backed up by real data. Get a digital ratshack dB meter and you will realize that even 80dB is very loud when you start from nothing. They keep pushing it to add body sensation dynamics in the midbass and even the midrange due to the lack of low bass and proper room treatments. But it ruins the highs and removes the ability of the ear to appreciate any finesse that the system may be capable of. I also believe this is one of the reasons for a move to more gimmick-oriented music that takes advantage of this and is not harmed by the lack of microdynamics... I won't name any genres.

And if that doesn't convince you, the Chasing the Dragon syndrome that is so common in audiophilia high-end clubland is largely the result of extended exposure to high sound pressures destroying the hearing of your youth and permanently robbing you of the ability to ever have that sound experience again. Many of those old systems sounded so much better simply because your hearing was better back then.

Estacy 11-14-2012 05:25 PM

While I agree on the volume, the fact is, it should be above a certain volume to get the clubbing experience. The biggest problem for me nowadays in terms of club sound systems is that most seem to go cheap and simply boost the 4k range to make it seem louder and go budget on the subs that cannot for the life of them fill the room with low frequencies.

Toni Cogin 11-15-2012 09:46 AM

I'm not a sound guy myself, so I can't really add much to the core of the discussion.

But regarding the huge number of Function One systems, I kind of can't help the feeling that F1 is becoming the "Pioneer" of sound systems...

In many forums (dj forums, that is) you have people talking about F1 systems in the same way many of them are drooling over the latest pioneer gear.

And many of the clubs look like posh bottle service places that would rather book the likes of David Guetta or Avicii and attract the respective crowd, thus dropping names that people know and impression numbers like "more than 100,000 Watts" seems to be the obvious thing to do for the author if he wants to seem relevant to his readers...

tl;dr: wondering why there are no GSA or SBS systems in that ranking is like wondering why david guetta is on #1 in the dj mag top 100.... ;)

shihp001 11-15-2012 10:52 PM

"tl;dr: wondering why there are no GSA or SBS systems in that ranking is like wondering why david guetta is on #1 in the dj mag top 100.... "


Here is more bs article about top 25 dj ranking by the Rolling Stone,

Here is the youtube link I liked very much, interview of Derrick May of what he thinks of EDM! (Fast forward to 7:30)

Laurin 11-16-2012 04:11 AM

Both links are the same. :)

herbalpudding 11-16-2012 10:21 AM

Let's just state the obvious here and point out that Beatport is in no way objective with anything they do, and have no credibility when it comes to something like this. Everything they do is "pay to play."

It's all done in their self-interest to make money. They've done this with the music they promote (hello Deadmau5!). It also extends to gear (hello Native Instruments!) and even clubs (hello Beta!). You think that they don't have a "wink wink" business relationship with Funktion One so that they can build their next franchisee location in San Diego or some other self-proclaimed "clubbing capital" of the USA?

They promote the same crap they sell as if they are the de-facto arbiters of taste, when they are merely dance music charlatans masquerading as experts on dance music.

Beta is owned by Beatport. Period. If Beatport had any point-of-view on what clubs should be, you'd think Beta would be a unique example of what clubland could be. It's not. It's a bland pastiche of clubbing elements thrown together without much thought, targeted at an audience that has no historical reference point for dance music (Denver!).

Let me tell you, I was in Denver for the first time 3 weeks ago, and Beta is an adequate but admittedly cookie cutter club. It looks exactly like old Club Spin (early 2000's) in Miami (which I have seen knocked off in such exotic locales as Cleveland {Moda} ten years ago), right down to the overused, passť cryogenic air jets. The VIP area is as large as the main floor. They hire half dressed, uninterested circus people to walk around on stilts as a distraction, kind of like a Madame Tussaud's version of Burning Man attendees without any of the actual character involved. Never mind that the old Limelight club kids would have scared the living crap out of these folks. Go-go dancers flank either side DJ booth to help fuel the touring-arena-dj-as-god hype machine that Beatport so desperately needs to sustain itself. The place is essentially one big distraction.

Oh yeah, the Funktion One system. It was pretty good but not spectacular. I heard Biz Markie play a mostly hip-hop set off of his laptop. I can't say what the file quality was. But I've heard plenty of F1 systems in London to know that this is not in the same class as other systems like The End and Fabric were like to my ears. Pretty good but not great. The mid-highs were slightly harsh at Beta and it didn't have the shimmer on the super high end. The bass was solid but not like the gut punching awesomeness you get at my favorite SBS/GSA/Steve Dash systems. Volume was thankfully ok.

So then, that pretty much sums up how I feel about Beatport. I have respect for the Funktion One guys but they have to accept the repercussions of getting in bed with Beatport.

The top 10 list basically just makes me feel gross and angry, in other words.

Mistick Krewe 11-16-2012 12:09 PM

beta was a pretty much identically laid out club prior to it's current incarnation....
as an fyi... basically turnkey + decoration/new system

Norad is the new venue here in town, turbosound equipped...

also happening are a fair amt. of more "underground" type one offs,
which is where I go if I make it out..... typically....

Fred Bissnette 11-16-2012 12:23 PM

having a great system is wonderful but in the end its up to the dj/operator to play it right and obey the rules of red means stop green means go.

and almost no one does

herbalpudding 11-16-2012 02:27 PM

That is interesting, thanks for passing along Mistick. I don't know the lay of the land out there in the rockies but i walked in that place and had serious deja vu to those other 2000ish venues I mentioned! It makes more sense that it was a turn-key job.

I'll still be a hater though, because that's what I do!


Originally Posted by Mistick Krewe
beta was a pretty much identically laid out club prior to it's current incarnation....
as an fyi... basically turnkey + decoration/new system

Norad is the new venue here in town, turbosound equipped...

also happening are a fair amt. of more "underground" type one offs,
which is where I go if I make it out..... typically....

shihp001 11-16-2012 03:28 PM

The link is fixed!

Mistick Krewe 11-16-2012 07:25 PM


Originally Posted by herbalpudding
That is interesting, thanks for passing along Mistick. I don't know the lay of the land out there in the rockies but i walked in that place and had serious deja vu to those other 2000ish venues I mentioned! It makes more sense that it was a turn-key job.

I'll still be a hater though, because that's what I do!

it's all good, the kids out here hate on the clubs in Denver too....

around here, outdoor events - in the woods - in fair weather, rule....
still need coats, etc. in the summer at night for the mountain parries,
due to the elevation....

gallery nights probably run a close second IMO....

the sound is normally better at the outdoor parties,
no room to fight......

NathanShort 12-03-2012 08:56 PM

I actually got very lucky on this install in that the owner of OHM records books the talent himself and attends most big nights. He keeps the volume reasonable when people get heavy handed.

From what I hear this is mostly feedback from top selling beatport artists and their top DJ's telling them where they like to play.

I was just happy that my meager 30kw Horn Loaded system was there with so many unlimited budget 100kw systems.

Its a small room, but its an absolute joy.

NathanShort 12-03-2012 09:05 PM

Here's a little something I wrote for some members on another forum....

Monarch San Fran is a great room to begin with. Its an odd combination of Very Old Timber ceilings at about 14ft high with lots of pipes and odd angles. Smooth concrete floor, which I begged them to floor with wood, but they did not, more on this later.

So the room actually has a crazy old diffuser for a ceiling naturally. Just the right ammount of liveliness and just enough dispersion. Not too dead, and no standing waves.

We put in a DJ table poured out of concrete and rebar steel, and sunk pilons down into the dirt 2 meters below. The Stasys X actually sit right underneath the DJ Table which is absolutely non resonant and immovable. And polished by machine to shine. Shure White Label Needles and Technics MK52 tables provide an absolutely stunning soundstage and there is no feedback or rumble whatsoever. I was quite surprised that I only had to cut 2.5db at 130Hz to get a little tone arm sympathy feedback out of the tables. Monitors were brand new Air Ten V2 and sound simply amazing. Close proximity to the mains subs negated the need for extra booth sub. All very natural and works together.

The clients after the first night thought that there was not enough sub bass, and they were a bit right and a bit wrong. The neighbors were complaining but when you danced on the concrete the psycho-acoustic effect was missing bone conductance and your brain simply told you "not enough bass" We rushed in a prototype (at that time) Arcline VLF after talking to Rog, and I strapped a 5kw bridged amp on it and put it on the opposite side of the dance floor aimed back at the StasysX and Dj booth. I ran the VLF from 28Hz to 65Hz and the StasysX from 55Hz to 135Hz. The 4 point air motion is not run even NEAR its peak capacity so getting into the 12" at 135Hz is no problem. The New VLF was exactly the extra sub bass we needed to really modulate that floor beneath dancers feat and let your body feel the sub bass.

Remember that this is a very intimate dancefloor , only about 200 people capacity. And the owners own OHM records and the boys from Dirtybird play there regularly. Real audiophile bunch. and we run it that way. Space is at a premium and working with our top line Void we were able to provide the maximum enveloping sound in the smallest footprint possible.

stacks 01-06-2013 07:19 PM

i can attest to #2 as I've played there a handful of times with vinly & digital and on rotary & linear. the local company, ITI, did an outstanding job as where so many others copped out to the funktion one. come down into that basement on a friday night.

Reticuli 01-07-2013 05:13 PM

Well there's the Fletcher-Munson Curve (I almost called it Nelson Munson... HAH HAH!) and then the fact that sub-bass requires a long distance to reproduce the actual waveform.

The further you go above about 85dB, not only do you get more harmonic distortion from the ear/brain system, but you lose sensitivity to the bass. This becomes very abrupt and exaggerated at a certain point due to the stapedius reflex, which just dumps sensitivity to deep lows and good perceived distortion characteristics (surprisingly not so much in the lows) down the toilet… the latter being especially bad in the highs.

Then there's the issue that it takes almost 60ft to produce an undistorted 20hz waveform to begin with – hence the reason the neighbors had no problems hearing deep bass. Putting a sub-bass driver on the opposite end of the club will definitely increase deep bass for those congregating near the front of the booth.

I assume you tested with pink noise, calibrated mic, and at different points in the room? After that, you can also use the F-M curve to spoof or cheat things a bit for the volumes you're going for.

Still, the data indicates it's deminishing returns for the most part to go much over 85dB peaking (rms should be at least 10dB lower... that sounds louder than you think, unless you've just been "exposed" to louder), not to mention the futile efforts to achieve low distortion at these ever-higher volumes. However, with the more gimmicky types of EDM (ahum... cough... dub step) permeating the scene that sort of need these newer sound systems that are being driven so hard, it's a self-perpetuating feed-back (metaphorically speaking) cycle at this point.

darrylfunk 01-08-2013 07:06 AM

very wise ret....happy new year by the way.

not sure why there is still so much funktion one hating here...odd.

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