The Arcadia Hotel, located on the corner of Punt and Toorak Rd in South Yarra, is one of Melbourne’s oldest hotels. A favourite with university students, the Hotel has been rocking with live bands and huge, faithful crowds for many years. Its home to some great cover bands and local DJs, and features live music five nights a week.
Three years ago the venue received a renovation that unfortunately included a cheap sound system in the main ground floor venue as well as upstairs in the function room.
“Basically I didn’t have the money to put in something better and at the time I hadn’t heard of Nexo gear,” said Ken Nichols, owner of the Arcadia. “By chance I went to a concert at a hotel that used a Nexo Alpha system and the sound really impressed me. I paid great attention throughout the concert and the sound was just superb. I followed up from there and we initially put Nexo into our other venue The Pool Room at Ferntree Gully. Initially the guys at Group Technologies, the Australian Nexo distributor, tried to talk me into using smaller boxes but I was adamant that I wanted the boxes that I’d heard. I’m glad that I made the decision to go with them even though they were bigger than I needed for this venue. The sound we get out of them is amazing.”
Despite the admitted overkill on the PA speakers the sound is very comfortable. Determined to get it right this time, Ken opted to install a Nexo PS8 delay system in the main venue.
“Not many people would install a delay speaker system that is time delayed to the main PA for the engineer to mix off,” commented Mark Ladewig of Group Technologies. “It means that the sound engineer gets a very good impression of what’s happening down on the floor without having to pump the PA too hard.”
“Even when you’re driving it at medium volume, it feels like it’s loud but it’s not uncomfortable,” added Ken. “It’s clean, crisp and detailed. We’re getting a lot of musicians wanting to work here because we have, in my opinion, the best PA in a live venue in Melbourne. In fact musicians clamour to work at this venue.
“Having such a clean sound I find that we don’t have much of a problem with sound going out of the venue. We always did with the cheaper system, which was being over driven and distorted. The bass seemed to penetrate the walls and go outside and that never happens with the Nexo PA.”
The Arcadia Hotel system comprises of a double Nexo Alpha E system powered by Vortex 6 amplifiers, with Nexo PS15 speakers on monitors as well as PS15 bass speaker for extension for drum fill. Plus there is the Nexo PS8 delay ring. The system is driven by a Nexo NX242 TDcontroller, a proprietary advanced digital processor, and includes a Drawmer speaker protector.
The upstairs function room has also had a Nexo install even though it is only used a couple of nights per week.
“Initially I wasn’t going to pay the costs to install Nexo for a room that’s used so seldom,” said Ken. “But we started getting busier up here on a Saturday night when patrons overflow into the space from downstairs and the sound quality was so different we just had to change it. We’ve put Nexo PS15 speakers over the dance floor area and Nexo PS10 fill speakers in the lounge area. It’s made a big difference the amenity of the room and its popularity as a place to listen to the music late at night.”
Just before Christmas Ken opened up his new Lounge Bar, an exclusive area situated downstairs with full bar and DJ facilities. With an array of funky furniture to match the curved ceiling, curved bar and brilliant décor the Lounge Bar also features a plasma screen, dance floor and, of course, Nexo PS10 speakers.
Ken’s other venue, The Pool Room, also has a double Nexo Alpha E split system running off Camco Vortex 6 amplifiers with Nexo PS15 monitors and bass extension for drum fill. It’s a huge venue, close to 2000 m2 with 56 pool tables, a bar, lounge, dance floor and a stage.
“The sound system in The Pool Room has made a huge difference and everybody comments on how good it is,” said Ken.