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Case Study: Nashville Underground, Tennessee

When Nashville Underground first opened its doors on Lower Broadway, the four-level, 40,000-square-foot music venue, restaurant, bar, and event space co-owned by singer-songwriter brothers Joey and Gavin DeGraw added a new and exciting justification for Nashville’s Music City moniker. Boasting the city’s highest and largest rooftop deck—a double-level one—the impressive space is also home to two kitchens, four bars, and three stages plus a DJ booth that host live music seven days a week. Plus a mechanical bull, a fireplace, a green grass roof, over 40 TVs, a DJ booth, and LED video rooftop dance floor.

To bring these performances to life, Nashville Underground invested in a new L-Acoustics A Series system provided by Camarillo, California-based Rat Sound Systems.

“When Nashville Underground Operating Partner Joshua Pemberton called me, he was looking to bring more high-caliber artists into the venue. He needed a powerful, high-fidelity sound system, but also needed it to be easy to set up, since it would be constantly moved between their multiple performance areas,” says Rat Sound’s Dave Rat.

The new L-Acoustics A Series had just been introduced. Rat Sound supplied the venue with pairs of medium-throw A15 Wide enclosures, KS21 subs and LA4X amplification from its own rental inventory, which Pemberton demoed onsite, then immediately called Rat back to order a set. This established Nashville Underground as the first venue on the Broadway strip—aka the “Honky Tonk Highway”—to own an L-Acoustics system. Three days later, the system was delivered, just in time to reinforce a packed DJ event on the rooftop deck.

“The A15 is exciting in that its passive configuration allows extremely efficient usage of amp channels,” Dave Rat says. “It’s a small, portable system, but the sound is powerful and articulate. We’ve sold quite a few A Series systems to rental and production houses here on the West Coast, but with most of the other venues in Nashville still using older sound systems, Nashville Underground has set itself apart with this modern, scalable system.”

Nashville Underground will continue to expand its facilities by taking over two more floors of the former transfer warehouse and converting them into an eight-lane bowling alley, bringing the venue to occupy the entire 55,000 square feet of its historic building.

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