d&b gets cute with Baby Face Beijing

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In a land where superlatives are exceeded on an almost daily basis, the rapid shift of China's newly enfranchised young professionals to the social mores of the western world is a phenomenon built of its own momentum. That's not to say these people aren't discerning; hot on the heels of acquiring the musical lingua franca of serious clubbing, from hip-hop to dance and trance, they are now in a compressed version of club land evolution. Where once the music was everything, just give us a venue and pack in some lights and PA; there is now a strong movement towards high quality sound and lighting. Particularly in the career of leading DJ Jimmy Li, and the astonishing success of his Face Entertainment Co Ltd (FE) empire.

In its ten year history FE has grown from the Face Café in Guangzhou, to a corporation toting four leading club brands, BabyFace, Richy, Face Café, and Baby K. Two new venues will be opening this December (07). The informal, 'dance where you sit', lounge style of Baby Face clubs (currently to be found in ten major cities) has proved so successful it is the only Chinese club to feature in the World's top 50 of DJMag. The Richy brand, meanwhile, is building a strong reputation for hip-hop.

It was this burgeoning success that caused Mr Li to re-appraise his approach to audio in 2005, "We felt our existing systems just didn't meet our clients' expectations." An extensive period of research saw FE call upon the skills of Johnny Tang from Dragon Studio, which in turn led to a crucial demonstration of a d&b audiotechnik system staged by Daniel Chan and Alex Poon from d&b China. "For the very low subsonic frequencies and punchy sound of hip-hop we found the d&b loudspeakers exceptional," said Tang. "That and the fact there was no loss of clarity in the mids and highs made the decision for us."

To start with, Tang, with support from Poon at d&b, designed a system install based around d&b Ci7-TOPs, with a mix of Ci-SUBs and B2-SUBs for BabyFace Beijing which re-opened in August 06.

Since then d&b systems have been installed in seven FE venues. Without listing them all, BabyFace NingBao opens in December with a d&b audio system. Club Face Cafe in ShenZhen was totally refurbished in November when Ci7-TOPs, Ci-SUBs, B2-SUBs and MAXs for DJ monitors were installed and commissioned.

"I'm totally in love with the overall sound quality of d&b systems," said Tang. "When customers ask me, what is a good sound system? I can tell them, the difference between d&b and other systems is that d&b sounds great whatever music you play; opera, pop, rock and roll and hip-hop. It's just so powerful, with very high clarity and detail."

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