— After their initial sound system just couldn’t cut it, the owners installed six Genelec monitors with a matching subwoofer, and the bar’s regulars noticed the difference immediately —
NATICK, MA, October 5, 2011 — It’s to be expected that a bar might be serious about the drinks that it serves, but The Pony Bar, located at 10th Avenue and 45th Street in Manhattan’s famed Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, takes the quality of its sound system no less seriously. The Pony Bar, which offers some of America’s finest craft brews, also provides beer aficionados with a nightly music soundtrack from artists such as Neil Young, Grateful Dead, Phish and Wilco played back though six Genelec 8030A Bi-Amplified Monitor Speakers and a 7050A Active Subwoofer.
Dan McLaughlin, who opened The Pony Bar with a business partner in mid-April 2009, first experienced Genelec speakers while working at another bar for six years. “It was the best sound I’d ever heard anywhere, just incredible clarity,” he enthuses. But after the first installed sound system at The Pony Bar failed to live up to those expectations, he says, “I said to my business partner, we’ve got to get Genelecs in here; we’ve got to figure out a way to get them.”
The Pony Bar’s beer menu, which features 20 craft brews and two hand-pumped cask ales that change daily, attracts a crowd of regulars. But taming the acoustics in the cozy bar was a challenge, McLaughlin admits: “There’s a lot of exposed wood, hardwood floors, and a lot of exposed brick. It’s a very live room.” After the original contractor talked the partners into installing a different speaker system that completely failed to meet the acoustic challenges, McLaughlin started looking for a way to replace it with Genelec speakers.
A friend of a friend put McLaughlin in touch with Tim Mitchell, a former recording engineer at the now-defunct Clinton Recording Studios, who recommended six Genelec active monitors and a subwoofer and agreed to install and commission the setup. “We close at four in the morning, so Tim would work from four to noon. He spent the first couple of nights just running cable and then he installed the first speaker – and it was amazing. The sound quality coming from that one little studio monitor blew away the other five old speakers combined. The clarity was staggering,” comments McLaughlin.
Once the entire system was installed, the bar’s regulars noticed the difference in sound quality immediately, he reports. “Everyone said the same thing, from the younger kids to the older patrons that come here; everyone said the sound quality is the first thing you notice when you come in. You notice the warmth of the room now, the warmth of the sound. It’s really all-encompassing, not like the thin, tinny, acoustic nightmare that we had. I couldn’t be happier with the Genelecs.”
Having had his original speaker choice vindicated by his experience at the Hell’s Kitchen location, McLaughlin says, “Within the next six months my partner and I hope to be opening a second Pony Bar, and we’ll be using Genelecs in that space. We’re already planning to reach out to Tim Mitchell to redo the sound system there.”