It’s no coincidence that John Lyons Systems’ division for the designing and installation of audio systems is called Avalon Sound. As the audio designer for dozens of elite clubs, restaurants and lounges across the globe, including TAO and 1-OAK in Las Vegas, Martini Park in Dallas and the Avalon clubs in Boston and New York, the company founder John Lyons is not only one of the best EAW Avalon customers, he’s also one of the series co-developers.
Starting as a hard-working and ambitious bar-back in his teenage years, Lyons quickly rose up to club management status in Boston. Soon he started taking his clubs’ sound system design into his own hands. It occurred to him that on a club’s dancefloor, the sound should be lopsided toward the low-mid information, and not the spectrally balanced sound coming from most loudspeakers. He wanted club-goers who had heard a song thousands of time before to feel it in a way they never had before.
So Lyons began experimenting with prototype sound systems with some local friends he’d met from MIT. However, it wasn’t until talking with EAW’s Ken Berger on a flight that Lyons’ dream of a sound system designed specifically for nightclubs would start to blossom. With EAW onboard as co-developer, the original Avalon loudspeaker system launched in 1997 and redefined a product category. In 2011, Lyons and EAW reunited the band and redesigned the Avalon line from the ground up.
Beyond just the audio, Lyons’ obsesses over the quality of the entire club experience, and the second division of his company, Moonlighting, offers the design and installation of visual systems, with award-winning lighting designer Richard Worboys at the helm. Their A/V teamwork has culminated in nightlife masterpieces such as Light Nightclub in Las Vegas.
“Light is a gigantic club with no expense spared,” Lyons said. “It has a gigantic, impressive visual display of high-resolution video and a highly critically acclaimed audio system with the Avalon series as the base.”
With the opening of a 1-OAK location in Los Angeles, and the reopening of Avalon Hollywood, John Lyons Systems is maintaining that level of experience. Avalon Hollywood’s tried and true original Avalon-series system is being retired for the latest and greatest Avalon cabinets. “There’s never been a single article or quote where anybody had something bad to say about the Avalon Hollywood sound system,” Lyons said. “But what people are going to hear is something that they haven’t really heard before. The visceral feel of this new kind of sub bass can’t be described; it has to be heard.”
As Lyons told Mondo Magazine for a profile, “the big challenge in the nightclub world is to create a place legendary enough that people want to go there as a destination.” More than 15 years on, Lyons’ partnership with EAW continues to create legendary experiences.