Lambda Labs professional acoustics

The Tresor Club in Berlin

Thinking outside the box is Lambda Labs’ key asset

As Berlin’s first Techno Club the ‘Tresor’ has been counted among the most renowned and magical locations within the international scene since 1991. With the relocation of its premises into an abandoned heating power plant in 2007, the Tresor may have lost its original site, but not the incomparable vibe of this exceptional club. Its 25th anniversary saw the introduction of the Plus4Bar, a new floor boasting a unique acoustic concept.

Old industrial buildings are usually not constructed in favour of musical performances: an elongated concrete cube was to be the Plus4Bar’s future site and as such presented a rather difficult acoustic situation to begin with. Pronounced reflections, room modes and feedbacks resulted in a highly questionable listening experience.

In order to meet the high acoustic demands of both the Tresor’s audience and its proprietors, Lambda Labs, together with Audiophil Berlin and Ron Schneider, the Tresor’s Head of Sound, developed an extraordinary and extremely effective acoustic concept.

The requirements were clear: providing homogenous sound distribution, uncompromising impulse response and immense headroom while maintaining an extremely high resolution across the entire frequency range at every listening position! The floor’s previous sound installation - made by an English manufacturer - had to go, since the sound quality and technological implementation of the materials used was not up to the split test and precluded any potential for significant improvement.

At first, the acoustic conditions were exactly analysed using a complex numerical simulation, the so called “Boundary Element Method” or short BEM. This very time consuming yet effective procedure takes into account not only the individual speakers’ directional characteristic, but also incorporates a physically correct calculation of the absorption factors of the different surface elements of the room. Thus provides valuable data for the exact positioning of the absorption material. Our choice fell on 18 pieces of the new Lambda Labs Wideband FRP absorbers. These special broadband absorbers ensures an extremely high absorption factor even in the low frequency range, below 30 Hz. This optimized acoustics blends perfectly into the club interior.

The bass setup particularly required an outside of the box solution and had to go beyond the conventional L-R positioning: two vertical bass arrays each comprising two Lambda Labs DH-18 providing pressure and sonic precision from 30 to 100 Hz. Installed in Directivity Mode, they take up almost the entire height of the room. The distance between the Arrays was defined to allow a constructive overlay of the individual sources thus creating a cylindrical source with an even power and pressure distribution. This minimizes room modes between floor and ceiling which achieves significant improvement on the turntable’s feedback immunity. The positioning on the wall increases the radiation impedance that results higher efficiency.

At 100 Hz the flown TX-3A 3 way high end main speaker takes over. The nominal dispersion of 50°x50° focused perfectly to the dance-floor provides an extremely powerful and dynamic sound experience.

Being a high priority, the DJ monitoring was also fully incorporated into the acoustic concept. Lambda Labs CX-2A monitor boxes take care of the High-End-Sound and an impressive SPL even behind the decks.

The initial start-up not only revealed immediately perceptible and audible changes, but also brought new challenges to the dance-floor that recently was open only occasionally. While the bar was usually closed at 6 a.m., the Tresor staff had to go out hunting for replacement DJs who would serve the crowded floor even after 10 a.m. …

Technical Details

What TX-3A Main speakers, DH-18 Subwoofers, CX-2A Monitors in harmony with Lambda Labs’ Broadband Absorbers
Where Köpenicker Str. 70, 10179 Berlin, Germany
Distributed by Audiophil Berlin
Installed by Audiophil Berlin, Ron Schneider
System setup by Lambda Labs