LAS VEGAS, NV-Cherry is the latest in the ever-escalating showy display that is the Las Vegas club scene. The flagship of the 23 bars and lounges that dot the new Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa, Cherry is the newest club venture by entrepreneur/impresario Randy Gerber, who has devised the designs and vibe for Sky Bar, Stone Rose, and the Whiskey (at Green Valley Ranch, Red Rock's sister property in nearby Henderson, NV).
The pool area directly outside Club Cherry at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa, which is the first billion-dollar resort to be built off the Las Vegas Strip.
Cherry features 8,500 square feet of sleek space that flows into the outdoor area with an expansive private pool deck and cabanas, and both the club and pool deck feature private spaces for guests. The club includes VIP areas overlooking the dance floor, while the pool deck has rotating sun beds and individual daybeds nestled in private areas. The large cabanas offer LCD TVs and stereos, as well as refrigerators and private bars.
But it's the sound that makes or breaks a club, and Cherry comes on strong in that department as well. "Randy Gerber, along with Frank and Lorenzo Fratita of Red Rock Stations Casino allowed us a unique opportunity to go above and beyond with our design," said Dean McNaughton, vice president of Sound Investment, which did Cherry's design and install.
At the core of the main music system are the Funktion-One Resolution 4 cabinets, supported by over 50 MC2 Audio T1500, T2000, and E45 amplifiers and controlled by nine XTA Electronics DP6i digital controllers. "The main thing about this system is that the music starts out digitally at the DJ booth and stays that way until the moment it reaches the amplifiers," explained McNaughton. "The music is digital over the CobraNet Cat-5e backbone right into the DP6i, which has AES/EBU inputs that we ordered specially from XTA and which is the crucial last link in the entire digital chain. It has to be perfect when it comes out of the DP6i and it is. There's no system other than the DP6i I've encountered that can stay at a high level of digital from start to finish. Our choice to use the CobraNet technology allowed us to cut down a lot on cabling. We use Cat-5e to distribute the audio to the separate amplifier rooms. The front end of the music system is Pioneer's new 96 kHz/24-bit DJM-1000 mixer that has its own digital output."
McNaughton adds that Sound Investment ran extensive testing of amplifiers before choosing the MC2 amps. "The MC2 amplifiers work better than any amp out there with the Funktion-One cabinets, and that's saying a lot," he explained. "We wanted a good match between amp and speaker and the MC2 amplifiers are exactly that. Definitely a winning combo."
The MC2 amp racks in the machine room at Red Rock's Club Cherry with Group One Ltd. president Jack Kelly. Group One Ltd. is the exclusive U.S. distributor of MC2 as well as XTA, both of which were used extensively at Club Cherry.
But there were challenges. The acoustics in the main dance area were problematic. The décor-a stainless steel dome caps a roomful of highly polished surfaces that extend to the outside areas of the club, which are partially upholstered in tile and stone-meant significant reflection issues.
"Acoustically, the room is highly reflective," explained McNaughton. "There are nothing but hard surfaces with a lot of curves. Todd Konecny, one of our lead designers, managed to make magic. That involved using a SMART system TEF analyzer to identify the trouble spots in the room. Then, the Funktion-One narrow-dispersion cabinets were focused on those areas. High directivity was the solution to overcoming high reflectivity," he said.
Cherry's DJ booth is emblematic of Gerber's desire to have the club be a showplace for design and technology and the install team's ability to execute that mandate. "The entire DJ booth was a collaborative effort," noted McNaughton. "Steve Liebermann of SJ Lighting, who is an award-winning lighting designer, and I designed the layout to fit in with the architects' space allocation. Brett McNoboe of Custom Built Construction then fashioned our concept out of oak. The DJs have been very happy with the ergonomic layout of the equipment as well as the almost unending list of available gear at their fingertips. The lighting position is also an arm's reach away, making it very easy to coordinate the lightshow with the DJ's performance." The lighting position is focused on a GrandMA console and the design includes 2,000 LEDs that map out the ceiling.
The combination of advanced technology and experienced installation by Sound Investment make Cherry the new benchmark in Las Vegas, one likely to spark a round of clubland competition that will further push the envelope on what an audio system can do.