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Phazon sound system

Discussion in 'TRIBE Main Forum' started by todiefor, May 21, 2005.

  1. todiefor

    todiefor TRIBE Promoter

    So I remember the days of everyone raving about how it was the craziest system going and the Guv was one of only three places int he world or something with one and how this technician was payed 25 grand US to come in for one night and tune it up and all.

    has much changed? Personally I think the sound at the Guv is fantaastic, next level shit and I don't like the Guvernment, but is it still an elite sound system or is there something new, and better,. maybe something that I've never even heard of before out there now?
  2. SolChild

    SolChild TRIBE Promoter

    Stereo in Montreal.
    This Guy installed the Sound at Stereo

    or anything by Gary Stewart Audio will rock shit!

    Unfortunately there arent enough Club owners in Toronto that I know of that would hire any companies that specialize in building, installing, and tuning a sound system for a club, and then tuning the room to the system. Instead they try to buy the cheapest possible gear and hire some kid who thinks is a sound engineer to come and tune the system, then by the peak of the night, the system sounds like shit full of distorsion because the "sound engineer" tuned the system while the room is empty and the acoustics different, then he comes to the booth while you are trying to rock and tells you to turn it down and turn down the bass.

    We do have some clubs that sound nice, but compared to some around the world we are still lacking.

    I digress.
  3. billy

    billy TRIBE Member

    shorty is awesome. had a chance to text chat with him. man loves his analog gear.

    phazon is still one of the systems of choice in NYC.
  4. billy

    billy TRIBE Member

    have fun and search for the page that covers the dj booth with hydraulics. that's right....:cool:
  5. SolChild

    SolChild TRIBE Promoter

    I dont know if anybody remembers Jai Bar?.....anyway, I had a chance to play there a few times......they had a full digital Apogee sound system worth a fortune.....it sounded great! but a little low on warmth, it was almost like you could hear the "digital" in it....but overall it sounded great!
  6. octo

    octo TRIBE Member

    The sound at Jai was awesome some nights. I think it's reopening as Kabin. Hawtin is playing there June 1st.

    With respect to sound in this city...I guess you haven't heard of BOA? or the amount of thought they put in to room acoustics?

    edit: the sound at the Guv used to be tight on a consistent basis. One of the last times I was there the main room sound was so shit even Charles was standing there with a "what the shit is going on here" look on his face.
    Last edited: May 21, 2005
  7. todiefor

    todiefor TRIBE Promoter

    I actually have heard of BOA - what do you think I've had my fucking head int he sand for the last two years - but it doesn't really enter into my question unless you are saying that the dynacord supercedes the Phazon.
  8. octo

    octo TRIBE Member

    my post was directed at Solchild
    YOU asked
    is it still an elite sound system? of course it is, when it's properly tuned.

    is there something new and better? well there's something new. dynacord. you made no mention of it in your post, neither did solchild, so i brough it up.

    is it better? that's debatable. you'd have to put a comparable system up against the phazon in the same room. it's also a matter of personal preference. just like some people prefer the sound of certain speaker/amp combos over others.
  9. billy

    billy TRIBE Member

    it's sort of like cds vs. turntables. each have their merits but when it comes down to it, it's really just ones personal flavour. analog vs. digital. they both sound great and have proven that in various top canadian venues. the dynacord is one quality system but we shouldn't limit our opinions just because there are 4 of them here (boa, docks, system and some sports bar apparently).

    some club mags will tell you that digital is the way to go due to the whole interactive control you have over all parts of the system. on the other side, people like shorty will attest that good ole analog with those big badass bass bins provide far more rich sound.

    it's taken a while, but the fact that we can bitch about which is better means that toronto clubs have finally (minus guv who gets respect for doing it early) paid some attention to sound and forked out some big cash.
  10. SolChild

    SolChild TRIBE Promoter

    actually I have never heard Boa's sound system, but I have heard that its pretty impressive.....havent gone out much lately ( I got a 9 month old)

    You're right about the whole digital/analog thing, it is personal preference I would love to hear a mixed system.......I didnt mean to shit on Toronto venues , its getting better, its just that as a deejay the only times when I've been able to play on a system and push it without anyone telling me to turn the bass down is when I've played in the states. Its just frustrating at times.

    Now if I could just get a gig at BOA!!!

  11. billy

    billy TRIBE Member

    i was chatting with some new yorkers yesterday that are here for danny. they were saying that phazon is still the system of choice there.
  12. why not

    why not TRIBE Member

    those same new yorkers would probably say that no phazon has ever touched the best RLA systems, but those days are long gone.

    on a related note, i believe that shorty used to work for steve dash (phazon)
  13. SolChild

    SolChild TRIBE Promoter

    Yeah I think he did work for Steve Dash, but I think he also worked for GSA NY which was part of the Richard Long & Associates crew back in the Paradise Garage days........

    Here's an interview with Shorty....

    Montreal's Club Stereo has been nominated 2 years in a row by Club Systems International magazine for the world's Best Sound System category in 2004, and now again in 2005 for the Night Stalker award, which is equivalent to the people's choice award by voting online at www.clubworldawards.com. That recognition came mainly due to the efforts of Shorty, the sound engineer for Stereo nightclub & for David Morales, and we would like to thank him for taking the time off his busy schedule to answer a few of our questions.

    irGO: Hey there SHORTY. I'd like to start with a warm hello from the HouseAddict website team and members. Any chance you can reveal your birth-given name?

    Shorty: it's Craig Bernabeu.

    irGO: Let's just cover some background on you - how did you learn about the trade, how did you get into this business, what were your first projects?

    Shorty: Well I was always around sound systems from when I was a kid - my father and his friend were really into audio. His best friend owned a consumer hi-fi audio shop so they always brought home different products to audition so I was always around when they did this. Then in the mid 80s I worked in a hi-fi shop selling and installing hi-end home sound systems and I built competition car audio systems where I built custom cabinets for cars & built custom passive x-over networks so I could run 28 speakers on 1-2 channel amp that were rated for 25 watts per channel that where just incredible. Then in the mid to late 80s I worked for a pro shop in Newark NJ that serviced some of Richard Long RIP accounts, namely Club Zanzibar and Club 88, so I worked on these systems as well as other clubs. From 1995 - 2001 I worked for Steve Dash for Phazon @ Twilo for 6 yrs as the sound tech. Then in 2001 - present I started SBS. So I was always around audio from one aspect to the other.

    irGO: Is your Company (SBS, aka Systems By Shorty) one that could be considered very unique, or are there many businesses out there that can offer the same passion and hard work that is put into this kind of trade?

    Shorty: I'd like to think we are extremely unique and have different philosophies to any other company in the field and have a lot of passion when it comes to sound. We build sound systems that have a home hi-fi audio / studio monitor reference system type of sound, but with a bottom end that runs thru you like a truck and a top end that has that disco sizzle, where you hear deep into the sound track hearing every inner detail as the producer meant it to be heard and as you're partying you can carry a conversation over the music without yelling to your partner on the floor at levels that are kicking you in the ass, and when leaving the club at the end of the night without your ears fatigued and buzzing and ringing. Our philosophy is use the best products and you get the best results, we hand build all our custom cabinets using the best wood and build the system to each room where no two systems are alike.

    irGO: Readers have noticed in other interviews that you're 'self taught' yourself on a lot of the facets of the sound industry, which is quite an accomplishment. Do you know if there are any formal college courses etc. (other than those for music production) that might help steer people towards this type of career path in the electronic music industry?

    Shorty: Yeah, most of my learning is self taught from trial & error and from the knowledge I have picked up from engineers in conversations throughout the years. I would have to say that there are no schools today that offer the kind of classes to teach audio the way I engineer systems. I gained most of my knowledge in the field & working with and under the right people. I build analog systems where I modify gear to respond the way I need it to respond & there is a lot of electronic trickery and it's voodoo audio being used in the design of my systems. The industry today is supporting building sound systems digitally and if you went to school this is the way you would learn audio design is got to be done, digitally, and they would say it can't be done analog which is completely untrue. Stereo proves that you can still build sound systems analog and it will work and perform better than the best digital technology can offer.

    irGO: We all know that nobody wants to go to a dance club to have their ears blown out. However, people love to be able to hear all the small notes/clips/bings & bangs within the music being played. Can you explain to readers what 'good sound' is, and how it accomplishes the above without people having to put on earplugs? What equipment do you personally use to achieve that?

    Shorty: A good system will not hurt you, but a great system will touch you emotionally and make you forget about your everyday troubles and you will never want the night to end because what you're experiencing is magical & sexual. But when it comes to hearing every inner detail of the sound track in a sound system, a system must be structured properly with proper power equations with the right box, driver, processing & amplifier combinations. For instance Stereo is only a mere 19,000 watts from the top end to the bottom end, that's considered to be a low powered system by today's standards. Most clubs today have more power than that in the sub bass alone, and most clubs today with a room similar in size to Stereo have 2-3 times that power & IMHO the problem with 99% of the systems today is that they are built with concert level power ratios with hi-power drivers so they hold up. This is necessary when you design hi-power sound, you have to use very rugged drivers, and when you use hi-power drivers they are built to handle hi-power and be very rugged, and when you use drivers like this you will loose on the inner details & finesse because you need heavier speaker cones and heavier voice coils because they need to handle the kind of current these hi-power amps are distributing, and with audio when you design a driver one way for hi-power and dependability it will loose on something else and that's usually fidelity. With audio you can't have everything - you design for one thing and other things suffer. Another issue you need to do when you're building a very hi-power system you need to limit and protect the system and this as well will play a roll in the fidelity. With Stereo we have no limiters or compressors so it's straight audio. So to really achieve the finest playback with a sound system you need to use gear that is built for an audiophile playback situation for critical listeners for instance, brands like Bryston or TAD. You can achieve hi-fi playback if you really know what you're doing.

    irGO: We've also read and heard about the incredible work that you and David Morales did with Stereo in Montreal, Quebec. Can you give us an idea of the amount of time you put into this project? Rumours are that there really was no monetary budget, but we're very interested in the duration of this project since you've taken so much pride in this specific one.

    Shorty: It is true that there is no budget with Stereo, in order to achieve the goal that David Morales and I wanted to achieve - building the best sound system at any cost. For the best sonic experience in a club you need to build an audiophile system, and a system the size of Stereo the budget is huge. So budget is the last thing you worry about, but the end result is how it sounds and that is what counts with us, so when you walk thru the doors to dance or listen to the system or if you're the jock playing on that system in Stereo it's gonna be the best sonic experience in a club possible. This project has taken us 2 years to date and we will never be finished with it, we will always upgrade and groom this system to be 5 steps ahead of everyone else. Just when people think it can't get any better & we're finished with it, we are changing and improving it. The first week in April '05 we will be installing & debuting our 1st prototype piece of gear that I designed, which is a custom built vacuum tube Isolator which will take this system sonically to the next level; this piece is that good. I am currently working with a hi-end company designing all kinds of products for nightclubs and DJs, and Stereo is the guinea pig for this product. Then once it's tested and approved after use in Stereo it will eventually be released commercially to the public. The Isolator is the 1st of many products that will be available.
  14. Dr. Grinch

    Dr. Grinch TRIBE Member

    Valve. Sound.
  15. Moe

    Moe TRIBE Member

    I love great sound at clubs... but everyone talks about sound now, or this system or that system, where as no one really gave two shits like 2 years ago... very interesting

    Forget the sound.... which clubs have the hottest chicks:p
  16. T

    T TRIBE Member

    went to Republik last night.. havent been that impressed with a club setup in years..

    Boa is up there, as well as guv, but nothing can touch Republik atm.
  17. why not

    why not TRIBE Member

    i was disappointed with republik the couple times i've been. found the bass mushy and unfocused. no punch, just rumble.

    the coverage from the highs and mids was decent, and it was fairly clean, but there wasn't that tight focussed sound that boa or the guvernment have.

    maybe they've tuned it since then, or added some tweeter boxes.
  18. T

    T TRIBE Member

    that could also stem from the source of the music the DJ is playing.

    i hear ya on the "focused" sound of Boa, very well rounded, but for some reason, Republik really stood out for me in terms of the complete package, A/V.
  19. why not

    why not TRIBE Member

    the visuals were interesting - haven't seen a hydraulic lighting system since the old rave days.

    i should go back again to check out the sound - it was so uncomfortably overcrowded in the main room last time i was there that i didn't last long before hiding in the smoking room.

    still, all i remember were mushy transients and uneven frequency response.
    lots of volume and low bass, but no definition.
    need to spend more time there to make a real decision - it may have been a DJ who was cranking the mixer too much, or misusing the EQ.
  20. billy

    billy TRIBE Member

    it's shorty's birthday today!!!
  21. coleridge

    coleridge TRIBE Member

    When I was at Guvernment a few weeks ago I really noticed how poor the sound was compared to Boa. But granted the room wasn't that full and they had the DJ setup on the stage (I think this causes a big decrease in quality).

    I think Boa has the best sound in this city hands down. And a lot of that has to do with the superior acoustics of the room. The special floor and ceiling tiles contribute significantly.

    Met a guy who played the Guvernment system for the Vinyl Warriors DJ competition and he was blown away by Boa saying it was far superior to his ears.

    My comments on other systems:

    Best sound I've ever heard. The lower-mid range (where all the big riffs live) is like nothing out there. Highs at Stereo sound a little rolled off, lots of crisp definition but not quite as sharp and clear as Boa. Boa's highs are digitaly processed and I think I might actually like them better. It's a tough call.

    Powerful. But ultimately the room is cavernous and echoes play a big problem.

    Been there twice. Both times I found the sound quite good but not at all in the same league as Boa. But I don't think I've heard it turned up loud (but then again I shouldn't if it's a good system)

    Jai Bar aka Kabin:
    OVERPROCESSED. Loud and clear but extremely stale.
  22. coleridge

    coleridge TRIBE Member

    And I must add...

    It's great that we in Toronto can now have this converstation!

    And hats off to Guvernment for caring about their sound way before any other club owners did.

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