Lab.gruppen and Tannoy Create a Storm at The Tempest Inn Brighton


Lab.gruppen and Tannoy Create a Storm at The Tempest Inn Brighton

Brighton is home to some of the highest concentrations of pubs and bars per head of population of any city in the UK outside London – it is said, more than one for every day of the year – and in sharp contrast to the national trend there is something of a pub revival happening on Brighton’s Seafront, which attracts large crowds of locals and visitors especially in the spring and summer months.

Spearheading this revival is a brand new venture with a distinctly nautical flavour, the Tempest Inn. And perfectly complementing this innovative concept is a new TANNOY and LAB.GRUPPEN sound system installation, completed by Brighton based Pro Audio Installation.

In conjunction with Tannoy’s Paul McMullan, PAI’s Alastair Dixon specified a high quality background music system that can also comfortably cater on the weekends for the occasional DJ slot. The sound system consists of TANNOY VX 5.2 dual 5-inch passive wall mount loudspeakers – the majority horizontally mounted due to the limited ceiling height – and Di8 DC architectural loudspeakers plus VSX 8.2 subwoofers, VSX 15DR bass cabinets and LAB.GRUPPEN IPD series amplifiers.

Taking its inspiration from the Shakespearean play of the same name, The Tempest’s formula is right on the money: after a couple of beers on the patio in the warm afternoon sunshine, there’s no need to head for town as the evening cools down – when you can simply move indoors to the dozen or so intimate cave-like snugs, enjoy the chef’s highly regarded meat, fish or vegetarian dishes from the full kitchen, and chill out to the background music or DJ sets.

Opened in March this year but originally started in early 2014, by all accounts the install wasn’t the smoothest in MBI’s history. While workmen were shoring up a fire escape at the nearby Fortune of War pub, they were almost buried by a couple of tons of mud and rubble after removing a bulging plywood panel, leaving a clear view of the underside of the road tarmac. In fact the seafront road had collapsed into the arches, the result of some long ago less than effective road repair. The road didn’t re-open again for almost a further nine months, and as a result PAI’s installation work was considerably complicated by the excessive length of time that had elapsed since the first fix.

With its two discrete 5-inch transducers – one is a two-way Dual Concentric unit while the other is a dedicated bass driver for low-mid extension – the VX 5.2 provides exceptional clarity, precise definition, and balanced response from a footprint small enough to blend successfully and unobtrusively into the Tempest Inn’s cosy snugs. On the ground floor the wall-mounted VX 5.2 units are supplemented by two VSX 8.2 bandpass subwoofers, equipped with dual high efficiency 8-inch bass drivers, to extend system response to below 40Hz and provide solid low frequency support.

As well as the three arches comprising the ground floor, there is a mezzanine level upstairs with a floor-to-ceiling picture window affording incredible views over the sea and the remains of the West Pier. Here additional VX 5.2 units are deployed together with four VSX 15DR bass cabinets – two positioned in the bar arch and two in the middle of the room to provide even low frequency coverage.

Immediately outside, four Tannoy Di8 DC weather-resistant surface mount loudspeakers, grouped in two pairs, cater for the patio area. “The Di8s sound absolutely fantastic,” says Dixon, “and they are very highly rated to an IP64 weather-resistant specification so they are really well protected against the harsh seaside elements.”

Five LAB.GRUPPEN IPD 1200 amplifiers and five LAB.GRUPPEN  IPD 2400 amplifiers power the entire system. Housed in a space saving 1U rack height, both IPD models feature on-board DSP in the form of the software-controlled Speaker Protect Limiter, while the factory presets for the VS 5.2 speakers are quickly accessible from LAB.GRUPPEN’s included LoadLibrary, making the setup of the speaker system very intuitive. “We needed barely two hours to tune the system,” adds Dixon, “such is the simplicity of LAB.GRUPPEN's IntelliDrive Controller software interface.”

“In my view the VX 5.2 is really the only product that would work as well in this environment. Their low profile is physically suited to the low ceilings, and the wide 120 degree by 90 degree dispersion covers the snugs nicely. With the Dual Concentric devices the sound quality is very natural, and really sounds the same wherever you are in the venue,” comments Dixon. “Pound for pound, TANNOY and LAB.GRUPPEN is far and away the best combination of consistent audio, quality construction and intelligent system monitoring for this project.”



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