A historic venue awaited the first European installation of JBL’s new Subcompact VerTec line array, which has been deployed to meet the flexible requirements of a converted Grade 1-listed 19th century church in Edinburgh, for new owners, the G1 Group.

Charlie Flett, director of Aberdeen based company CLS, first saw the new VT4886 three-way passive high directivity line array element and VT4883 cardioid-arrayable subwoofer at the PLASA Show in London back in September — and knew immediately that its performance and compact footprint would provide a perfect solution for the building’s spectacular 650-capacity first floor auditorium — converted by G1 Group into the multifunctional Ghillie Dhu.

“I’d been looking for a small array speaker like this for years,” says Stevie Doyle, manager of the sound and lighting departments at the G1 Group. And Charlie adds that when he saw the system on the stand of UK distributors, Sound Technology Ltd at PLASA they were the first production models in Europe. After long discussions with the design team from JBL in America, which gave a better understanding of the target performance of the system and the internal components, we decided to present these boxes to G1 as the solution to the various challenges of this venue.” Both were impressed with the initial performance of the system, straight out of the box.

In particular the two men were impressed with this legacy system’s directivity, with its integrated Mid/High waveguide providing precise vertical wave front control and optimised 110° horizontal dispersion. “The control and directivity are tip-top.” said Stevie, “This is a powerful, compact answer to how to use sound in conjunction with tight design criteria where big boxes won’t work.

”Downstairs in the 350-capacity main bar/restaurant, 16 durable JBL Control 25s on 100V line are distributed to the three separate zones. “You see these constantly working in shopping malls, restaurants and so on — they are very versatile and with mounting hardware that allows us to design around them in almost any situation,” says Charlie Flett. “They are small, easy to use, high-impact boxes — and the orange JBL badge on the front is a great sales point, it gives the customers peace of mind as its such a familiar sight in so many market areas.”

The Ghillie Dhu project also gave CLS the opportunity to introduce an upgrade from the Soundweb Original (SW9088ii) devices to the flexibility of the new-generation, reconfigurable, IP-addressable Soundweb London BLU.

Four networked BLU-160’s form the digital backbone, with local control through a BLU-10 programmable remote at the stage (programmed in House and Stage system modes) and a couple of local BLU-5’s offering further control in the ancillary areas. Feeds come from HD computers, various line devices, DJ and AKG stage mics.Summing up, Charlie Flett says, “Everything had to fit within the classic design image and give the flexibility of a multipurpose room — and the whole concept behind new JBL system has proven to be just what was needed. Its been great to see the ‘orange badge’ come back with such a strong product.”


  • Ghille Dhu, Edinburgh
  • Luxury bar/restaurant in Edinburgh

Project Team

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