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Merchants Exchange Uses CODA Audio

San Francisco's Merchants Exchange chose CODA Audio for the building's Julia Morgan Ballroom and the Merchants Exchange Club.

The Merchants Exchange operations team sought to source and purchase a complete AV package to execute the 250+ events it stages each year. Walter Ryan, head of production, consulted with Some More Sound of Concord, CA to determine the audio solution that would work best. In terms of the audio aspect of the brief, the discussions identified four aspects – quality, reliability, flexibility, and aesthetic suitability – as being key to a successful outcome. 

In terms of quality, the client wanted high performance equipment that would achieve great sonic results across a range of applications with minimal effort and easily mitigate difficult amplification situations, such as lavalier microphones. The flexible nature of the venue demanded that loudspeakers, console, and wireless receivers could be set up and used on an "anywhere/anytime" basis, while appearing as sleek and unobtrusive as possible in order to satisfy aesthetic expectations. A combination of CODA Audio speakers, supplied by Some More Sound, was chosen to meet the diverse needs of the facilities.

The initial investment comprised 4 x CODA Audio CoRAY4, 4 x CODA Audio HOPS8, 2 x CODA Audio G15-SUB and 3 x CODA Audio LINUS 10C loudspeaker management power amplifiers. The Merchants Exchange consists of multiple principal spaces, each boasting architecture that can be individually configured to match customer requirements. The Julia Morgan Ballroom hosts a range of corporate events, banquets, and weddings in its 4,500 square feet of unimpeded event space. The Club is a more challenging venue with a lower ceiling and a flexible configuration, offering multiple seating plans. The Club’s Moya del Pino Bar and Lounge, elevated slightly above the lower banquet hall, is a genuine artistic treasure, where presentational considerations are fundamental to any audio system in use.

Within the events packages offered at the Club, AV systems are sold as bespoke value-adds and the flexible modularity of the CODA Audio systems assists Ryon’s team in providing the right pieces to perfectly match the needs of each event. For example, where a CoRAY main system might be configured on the long side of the Ballroom, a HOPS8 speech system could be in use in the Club’s Great Hall. Alternatively, the CORAY system might find itself used for mains and delays in the Hall while the HOPS8 delivers background music in the Del Pino Bar and Lounge. As events at the Merchants Exchange Club scale up, Ryon anticipates further investment in the shape of a CODA Audio APS system to cater for larger full-band or DJ sets.

“From the first event we noticed a huge improvement in sound quality over the systems formerly rented in," said Ryon. "The modular packages that Some More Sound supplied are making setups faster and quality more consistent. Every time we bring up the faders, the equipment combinations just sound great! We don’t have to spend a lot of time ‘ringing out’. We are getting frequent compliments from our most discerning customers and that creates repeat business and referrals.”

Project lead for CODA Audio USA, technical director Michael Creason, said: “Walter wanted quality combined with sleekness and a scalability that could be easily achieved with CODA products. We’re so proud that the Merchants Exchange is delighted with their forward-thinking investment!”

Keir Moorhead of Some More Sound added: “From the first listening, Some More Sound has been in the CODA camp. Having a next-generation level of headroom available with no distortion and a super-low noise floor gives a platform from which any operator – experienced or not – can succeed with. Setup is fast and easy and the systems sound superb!”