Hollywood’s Catalina Jazz Club completes major QSC upgrade

Catalina Bar & Grill, one of the most renowned venues of the LA jazz scene, has chosen QSC loudspeakers as part of a major audio upgrade.

The new upgraded system features QSC E Series E12 12-inch, two-way passive speakers and E18SW subwoofers together with E10 passive stage monitors, all driven by PLD4.5 power amplifiers.

“I’m a regular performer there and knew the system needed a serious overhaul,” said LA-based musician J. Wayne Linsey, who uses QSC speakers in his keyboard rig. “I like the clarity and footprint of QSC speakers. I thought the company might have something that would fit the needs of the club, so I made the introduction.”

The club’s house engineer, Jeffrey “Woody” Woodruff, provided QSC’s design team with blueprints of the room and the positions of the previously installed system. QSC recommended five of the company’s new E12 speakers — a pair hung above the left and right front corners of the stage plus one above the centre — to cover the main dining section of the supper club.

“This allow us to put a little extra lead vocal or lead instrument into the centre, just to give a little more focus,” said Woodruff. “The E18’s couldn’t be better and just fill in the lows a little bit. And the transition between the E12s and the E18s is very smooth – the combination is great. It’s a very natural sound that just lifts what is coming off the stage. And the delays fill in around in the bar and back towards the booths, so you don’t notice the transition between the zones.”

While Woodruff says the E Series rig offers better clarity and efficiency, it is also more compact than the previous main system speakers. “The old speakers hung down an extra foot or 18 inches and were too close to the musicians and the vocalists, and would cause feedback loops,” he added.

Drummer Dave Weckl, who, like Linsey, uses QSC as part of his regular rig, has played at the Catalina many times and immediately noticed the improvement when he performed with the Mike Stern Quartet in December, after the new E Series rig had been installed. “We were all very pleased with the new system,” he said. “It’s a night and day difference compared to what was there before.”