Dante network adds flexibility to sports bar
Wednesday, 10 August 2022
matchesMatches Sports Bar in Ashford
UK - The new Matches Sports Bar, located 60 miles south of London, in Elwick Place in Ashford, opened its doors in the summer of 2021, and has been a live sports and entertainment destination hot spot ever since. Critical to the bar's rapid success was a sharp focus on designing and installing a very flexible, high-quality, easy-to-use sound system to deliver audio to Matches' large and small spaces for public and private events. The team developed a comprehensive networked audio system with a set of Dante-connected, multi-channel amplifiers at its core.
Matches owner, Jon Shephard, explained that the concept for the 250-capacity venue is to bring together all the best elements of bars he has visited into a single place, and create the ultimate sports bar experience with excellent AV entertainment that appeals to a wide range of sports enthusiasts. With this goal in mind, audio zoning is a critical factor for the multi-use, multi-space bar, allowing the control across the large central bar area, as well as private and semi-private spaces so the audio from various televised events and shows don’t conflict with each other.
For the main bar, Shephard wants to immerse patrons in a full AV experience with all the excitement of live sports at game time. But then after a match, he wants to turn up the music and keep the party going with excellent, high-quality sound and coverage. For the smaller spaces away from the main bar, Matches employees need complete audio system control to assure customers are part of the excitement but at a lower level, and be able to enjoy their own conversations.
A team from MADE Worldwide AV, out of Wye, England, designed and installed the sound system for Matches. Ashley Bond, Audio Visual & IT Specialist at MADE, was the project's lead designer and point person. Bond explained that they needed to cover all areas of the bar with an easy-to-use system to support a mix of multiple channels and zones for the areas, as well as allow for future expansion.
"We used a set of Dante native Powersoft Mezzo 604AD amps because of the flexibility and the power; we're pushing a lot of power to several zones," said Bond. "With the Dante network, we can mix channels between amps and Power Share on different channels."
The amplifiers, like all audio components at Matches, run back to a central Aruba 24p full PoE switch. Bond explained that the system’s audio path moves from a Sky Q satellite box to the analogue inputs of the first Mezzo Dante connected amplifier. The Dante output channels of the amp are then sent to the second amp, allowing for control of all levels and zones via routing inside the amplifier’s built-in DSP. Dante Controller was used to configure all patching and routing.
At Matches, two Dante-enabled, 4-channel Powersoft Mezzo 604AD 600 watt amplifiers power the entire system. The system is controlled by a single 4.3-inch, wall-mounted Powersoft WM touch screen. The Mezzo amplifiers manage the audio throughout Matches, including in the corridors and washrooms. The system drives a mix of AUDAC loudspeakers, ATEO wall-mounted speakers, CIRA ceiling speakers, and BASO10 and NOBA8 subwoofers.
“I'm delighted with the AV system we have in Matches," added Shephard. “The system is super user-friendly. Plus, the training [from MADE] took just half an hour because it’s so simple to use.”

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