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Antwerp’s The Jane comes to life with Pioneer

A Pioneer Pro Audio sound system has been provided for The Jane, a restaurant and bar located in Antwerp, Belgium.

Opened in 2014, The Jane serves a mix of dining and music in a relaxed atmosphere, set against the backdrop of a renovated church. It has two areas: downstairs is a restaurant for 75 people, while upstairs is a 38-seater bar area. Co-owners and chefs Sergio Herman and Nick Bril (pictured below) contacted the manufacturer to design a system that could provide a comfortable level of music in the restaurant and an energetic, pre-clubbing vibe in the mezzanine bar.

The team at The Jane had a clear idea of the kind of sound they needed, as Bril explained: “We wanted the music to be like a waterfall – with more intensity upstairs, yet diners downstairs still being able to appreciate the full range of the sound flowing into the restaurant.” The team also needed a system that could be turned up later in the evening – and pushed even harder during special events.”

The vast old church posed a number of acoustic challenges, including high ceilings plus lots of reflective surfaces provided by the tiled floors and stained glass windows. And getting the sound right before the first guests have walked through the door was not going to be easy. 

Pioneer Pro Audio teamed up with The Jane’s local installation partner Discostore to create a system that could deliver full coverage throughout the venue. The waterfall effect was achieved by installing six XY-81 two-way speakers, in white, and one XY-215S quasi-bandpass subwoofer, in black. All the speakers are installed in the upstairs area and positioned to take advantage of the building’s acoustics to help the sound cascade to diners below.

The compact XY-81s were installed horizontally in an array around the bar area, with the constant directivity horns rotated to ensure a wide, even dispersion. The speakers provide a subtle sound across the frequencies during the day and early evening, but are powerful enough to create a pre-clubbing atmosphere in the bar area at night. The XY-215S, with its twin 15-inch low frequency drivers, provides a warm bass upstairs, with a comfortable low frequency sound in the restaurant.

The system is driven by two Powersoft amps – one K3 and one K2 – both with built-in DSP and Pioneer pre-sets. The team used Armonía Pro Audio software, which gives the management and installers remote access to the amps day and night.

“The room EQ options are set for The Jane’s unique acoustics, spreading the sound evenly while reducing noise and echo,” explained Pioneer Pro Audio manager Alex Barrand. “And certain frequency ranges can be eliminated early in the daytime and early evening, to make it more comfortable for people in the restaurant and eating in the bar.”

The XY-81’s constant directivity horns and array configuration deliver a smooth SPL without any hotspots and enable the music to travel to the dining area without loss of sound quality. The positioning of the XY-215S takes full advantage of the building’s unique acoustics, spreading the bass throughout the venue – even at low volumes.

The team was delighted with the quality of the sound in the bar area and the ability to easily adjust the levels for a more powerful sound.

“Downstairs there’s a nice glow throughout the restaurant. It feels smooth whether you are in the middle or the corners of the room. And it’s not disturbing to have a different vibe upstairs in the bar area. It’s perfectly in balance,” remarked Herman.

“In the upper room, you feel the music is all around you; it’s an intense sound but you can still speak with your friends. When we have our special events, we can push the limits a bit further – taking it up to a real pre-clubbing party vibe. It’s amazing,” concluded Bril.


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