Wonders Bar & Grill is a newly opened pub, restaurant, sports bar and live music venue in downtown Corpus Christi, Texas, USA. Owners Dayyan and Darren Wonders hired David Rotter, a Systems Integrator at E2I Design, to create a user-friendly system that would enable them to play a wide range of audio sources and manage volume levels in different areas of the bar.
“The owners wanted a state-of-the-art audio system that was very user-friendly, with auto-switching capabilities and independent volume control for different zones in the bar,” said Rotter.
After careful consideration, E2I selected a complete audio solution by HARMAN Professional Solutions made up of dbx controllers, Crown amplification and JBL speakers for their seamless integration, intuitive operation and exceptional sound quality.
The system E2I Design installed at Wonders Bar & Grill includes a dbx ZonePRO 1260m digital zone processor, 4 dbx ZC2 wall-mounted zone controllers, 1 dbx ZC3 wall-mounted zone controller, 1 Crown DCi 4|600 power amplifier, 8 JBL AWC82 loudspeakers and 1 JBL SRX828SP dual self-powered subwoofer system.
Using the ZonePRO processor, E2I Design created four separate audio zones within the bar, including a stage area, a general hangout area, an indoor patio and the actual bar itself. All of the zones play the same audio source and have their own volume controller, which allows the staff to set different volume levels within the same room and enhance the overall experience for customers. For example, the music can be turned up very loud in the back of the room near the pool tables, and set much lower in front of the bar so patrons can easily order drinks and have conversations without shouting over the music. The AWC82 speakers are also highly directional, and E2I installed them to point away from the bar to make the area even quieter.
The system is programmed to automatically switch between multiple audio sources, which can be prioritized using selector switches for different events at the bar. The TV can be set to override the music from the jukebox during a big football game, or a live DJ can override the TV and jukebox during a performance. Finally, the system is designed to sleep until there’s an input source, so there’s no need for the staff to worry about powering the system on or off.
E2I Design hired audio engineer Mike Pena to fine-tune the system and ensure that the audio sounds great anywhere in the room. Using the ZonePRO, Pena was able to program limiters, volume levels and EQ settings for each separate zone and audio source. The seamless integration between the HARMAN solutions made the entire tuning process fast and easy, and the resulting sound quality speaks for itself.
“By partnering with HARMAN, we were able to cover all of our bases for the system—including controllers, amplification and speakers—all from one integrated provider,” said Rotter. “All of the solutions work together seamlessly, and the HARMAN team was extremely helpful in making sure that the system we created met all of the customer’s needs.”
“I’ve had three other bars with sound systems, but I wanted to do something different for this one,” said Dayyan Wonders, owner of Wonders Bar & Grill. “In a lot of bars, it gets so loud that the bartenders can’t hear what the customers are ordering. With the HARMAN system, everyone at the bar can hear what’s going on and customers sitting at tables can actually have conversations. And with auto switching, we don’t have to worry about customers trying to play the jukebox when the rest of the crowd wants to hear the game. This my favorite system I’ve ever had—I couldn’t be any happier.”
“I work with a lot of HARMAN products in touring sound systems, and I got that same level of clarity and detail from this system,” said Pena. “The ZonePRO has the tools we needed to ensure that the system could adapt and deliver amazing sound quality with all of the different audio sources in the bar—from a country song on the jukebox to a basketball game on TV. We were able to get the system sounding great in all of the different sections and zones, and do it quickly. It was almost three-dimensional sounding with the way it was designed and how well the HARMAN solutions interact with each other.”