The Top 10 Best Club Sound Systems in San Francisco
Matt Seuferer Mighty
The story of Mighty's sound system begins in New York, with a man named Richard Long. Considered by many to be one of the most influential figures in club sound system design, his installations provided the sound at such venues as the Paradise Garage, Studio 54, and the Warehouse. Head to Mighty and a little bit of that history can be heard, as its system was designed by Long as well (with pieces taken directly from the Paradise Garage and a club called The Hippo in Baltimore). With speaker stacks standing tall like four monoliths, listening to music at Mighty is a visceral experience, with crisp highs and a deep bass that comes up through the floor to punch you in the chest. And while that might sound unpleasant, for old school disco and house, there could hardly be a better system in the city.
3. Public Works
Derek Opperman Public Works
It's hard to believe that it's been less than two years since Public Works first opened its doors. In that span of time, the club has become one of the best large venues in San Francisco, a fact we noted when we named it "Best New Venue" last year. Tucked away at the end of Eerie alley, it's a huge former warehouse of a space appointed with a clear Funktion-One sound system that's got just the right amount of low end boom to keep things bouncing until long after last call. It's one of the best places in the city to get lost in music, with regular guest slots by some of the biggest names in house and techno.
2. 222 Hyde
222 Hyde has come a long way since its more modest years in the mid-'00s. A wild party space in the deep Tenderloin, for much of that decade it was defined by a scenester clientele and the lo-def ear-rape of blog-sourced hipster electro. A couple ownership changes later, the venue bears little resemblance to its former self. At the heart of the transformation is an impressive Turbosound sound system and NASA-worthy Allen & Heath rotary mixer. Combine those two together and you've got one of the most gentle systems in the city, the kind of setup where you can lose yourself in the music while still being able to hear your own voice. In 2010 we called it the best sound system in the city, and today it still manages to outdo clubs many times its size. Some of that is due to the room's recently installed lighting rig, which has the entire ceiling painted with a mind-blowing network of computer-controlled LEDs. We swear it makes the already excellent system sound even better.