Tucked away in the small city of Carmel-by-the-Sea on the Californian coast, Barmel is a historic bar and music venue with an ambience based on the authenticity of old-time saloons, the warmth and elegance of 1940s San Francisco, and the bohemian style of Carmel’s renowned artistic community. Recently an Alcons Audio (opens in new tab) pro-ribbon system has added an extra touch of class to Barmel’s live music evenings.
Originally opened in the 1890s, the bar’s unique identity is maintained by the personal touches of owner Gabe Georis and his family's musical roots. With development in Carmel tightly controlled to maintain its character and environment, Barmel is the city’s only bar with a performance stage and PA, ensuring that thrice-weekly acoustic performances attract audiences from a wide area.
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When Georis set out to find a new sound system, he did a lot of homework because he wanted the very best sound for a small venue which attracts a lot of people.
“We wanted a system which sounded musical, transparent, and very pleasant to listen to, so we auditioned systems from many different manufacturers,” he said. “We chose an Alcons pro-ribbon solution for several reasons. One was that David Rahn of Alcons Audio USA brought a system to us, so we could hear it in our room. This was a big factor in feeling we were going to get a system that worked in our space.
“But a bigger reason was the sound quality, especially the high end. The Alcons sounded more open, airy, and clear in the high frequencies without feeling harsh at all. The lower frequencies were as good as anything else we listened to.”
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Barmel chose a system comprising two VR12 two-way 12-inch mid-size versatile monitors, featuring the patented RBN601 pro-ribbon driver, and two BF151 15-inch compact subwoofers, all flown from the bar’s ceiling. The VR12 is ideal for applications where high output, high quality sound reinforcement is needed, with the subwoofers delivering tight, accurate bass response.
Georis is very happy with the Alcons pro-ribbon solution, as well as appreciating Rahn’s help with the final placement and system tuning. As the bar’s owner he listens to it every day and reports that artists and audiences alike are very pleased with it.
“The overall sound of the Alcons system is the best we’ve heard anywhere. The transparency, clarity and fidelity from a good audio source make the hairs on your arms stand up,” he said. “The high end is its biggest strength, nothing else we listened to sounds as open, clear and pleasant to listen to for long periods of time.”