Mayfair’s legendary Zeta Bar at the Park Lane Hilton — already outfitted with JBL loudspeakers by the Sound Division Group (SDG) four years ago — has now transformed into ‘Whisky Mist at Zeta’. Thishas given the same installation company the opportunity to add a further generation of Harman Professional sound reinforcement products to the existing infrastructure, from the catalogue of UK distributors Sound Technology.
The new bar and club, which has already revolutionised the Mayfair nightlife scene, is a joint collaboration between the Hilton, two of London’s most successful nightlife pioneers — Nick House and Piers Adam — as well as Jacobi Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe and Marc Burton.
Open from 5pm every evening, with last entry at 2am, SDG’s managing director David Graham knew instinctively how to transfigure the sound system in this sophisticated venue to optimum effect, having previously collaborated at the über-chic Mahiki for House and Adam.
Working alongside Tim Mutton and Jayne Furniss, from interior designers Blacksheep, SDG have injected a new momentum, while at the same time servicing and upgrading some of the existing audio system.
The main dancefloor sound has been built around six flown JBL Control 29 AVs and a ground-stacked JBL AL6125 2x 15 sub, powered by Crown XTi4000, XTi2000 and XTi1000 amplification. Further Control 29AV’s can be seen in the bar area, retrofitted into the existing sound system, with Crown amplification again providing the power.
SDG have reused existing JBL Control 28’s for the VIP Lounge, adding low frequency extension, and similarly, they have overhauled the existing JBL Control 25’s, which continue to provide the background sound in the main reception area. To power this they have reassigned the existing Crown XLS 402 and XS500 amplifiers.
Music playback also assumes high priority at Whisky Mist and SDG have specified the DJ booth with industry-standard devices, while at the same time reinforcing the existing set-up and providing a plug-in point in the VIP Bar to accommodate either a portable DJ flight case or a karaoke system.
The VIP Bar is one of three zones (the dancefloor and main bar being the others) which are under the control of the existing BSS Soundweb DSP network, built around SW9088 and SW9010 ‘Jellyfish’ wall remote, and this has been reprogrammed accordingly.
Finally Sound Division Group, whose installation project team was led by Elliot Patterson and Dean Osborne of Intense Audio, have designed some inspired LED lighting FX into Blacksheep’s interior scheme.
Commented David Graham, “In order to keep costs to a premium we stripped out, serviced and overhauled all the equipment before we began. We then retrofitted new JBL loudspeakers into the existing system to provide an environment that a bar with Zeta’s pedigree deserves. We are delighted to have extended our close relationship with Piers and Nick, after working with them so successfully at Mahiki.”
Footnote: For those not willing to retire at closing time, the operators have arranged some ‘after hours’ indulgencies, ranging from a suite in the hotel above, or a helicopter straight to the airport to meet a fully stocked private jet. Once on the jet the Whisky Mist experience can be continued with a private shooting party in the Highlands, lunch in the Eiffel Tower and personal shopping at Chanel or breakfast on Table Top Mountain in South Africa.
With the influence and connections of the clubs founders at the disposal of their most valued patrons, a night out at Whisky Mist can end almost anywhere in the world.