The newly-built newly-opened club is located beneath Merchant Square in the heart of Glasgow. Owned by private entrepreneur company Springbrisk, Byblos has the capacity for 900 people, spread out through three lavishly designed rooms, and aims to be the biggest thing on Glasgow's busy club scene.
O'Neill's company Flashlite, is the leading installer of club sound reinforcement in Glasgow, and was contracted to Byblos on the basis of his reputation. O'Neill likes to work with Electro-Voice, and with its UK distributor Shuttlesound, so much so that the equipment list at Byblos reads like an EV catalogue, and features some notable 'firsts' in terms of installation. Chief amongst these is what is becoming known as Flashlite's Dance Array system, a powerful designer ensemble of Electro-Voice XLD, XLC and X-Line components, configured in giant ground-stacks and aimed squarely at giving the clubber maximum atmosphere and the sense of event without loss of clarity at any level.
Using four new XLD281 cabinets on top of 2x XLC215 subs on top of an X-Line XSub, the arrays are actually very compact for their output. "There's a very low ceiling in Byblos," explains O'Neill, "so we could only do this because of the small physical size of the XLD cabinets. All the enclosures have been selected to work in this particular room, and matched with each other to get the best results here."
With grilles sprayed in shocking pink, the imposing stacks are positioned on the wide side of the club's main room. "Instead of just covering the dancefloor, this system lends itself to the whole room, so there are no deadspots," says O'Neill. The results are spectacular; punchy full-range club sound which doesn't sacrifice clarity to the sense of occasion, even though it can be very very loud. Bartenders in the pub upstairs have pointed out that the subbass in the Dance Array is causing quite a few bottles to jump around on the shelves behind the bar!
The Dance Array is powered entirely by Electro-Voice amplifiers, using models from the Compact Precision Series; CP4000s for the subs, two CP3000s for the bass, four CP2200s for the low-hi mids, and two CP1800s for HF. The main club room also features EV ZX1 compact speakers covering a recessed seating area, and the first pair of EV Plasma loudspeakers to be installed in the UK which are used for DJ monitoring.
Separated by acoustic shutters, Byblos' second room has its own PA systems and DJ booth, although either DJ can be played in either of the two rooms. In Room 2 is the first of Electro-Voice's new Phoenix systems to be installed in the UK, designed to offer tremendous SPL and sonic headroom and optimised for rock, pop and dance styles of music. four Phoenix PS2152 are flown from relatively low concrete ceiling beams, four Phoenix 1122s act as fills, and Andy O'Neill has matched them with a pair of X-Subs on the floor for a powerful sub-bass response.
A 120-metre cable run leads to a third room reserved for VIPs, equipped with a simple dancefloor system created from two ZX5s plus RX118 subs, and half a dozen ZX1s for fill.
Flashlite's pioneering spirit doesn't stop with the creative use of loudspeaker enclosures. The systems at Byblos are tied into two of EV's new NetMax N8000 audio processing and matrix units, which handle all DSP and source selection for each room. Yet another scalp for the innovative Andy O'Neill, this is the first club system to deploy fully the power of the NetMax devices.
"Shuttlesound produces the right products - Electro-Voice - at the right price backed up by the right support," says O'Neill. "The EV portfolio is continually developing and breaking new ground, which in turn helps me to design creatively." Flashlite has been using EV for the last seven years, and until recently, its installation at the Classic Grand club was the benchmark on the Glasgow scene. Now, with the first ground-stacked line array installation, the first Phoenix installation and the first Plasmas in the UK, and the first full club application of NetMax, (not to mention the hot-pink livery of the Byblos main system), Flashlite has raised its own bar.