Merchants Exchange Club


Merchants Exchange Club

San Francisco, USA

CODA Audio

Some More Sound

Some More Sound

Project Submitted By:
CODA Audio


The Julia Morgan Ballroom and the Merchants Exchange Club are two of the most coveted events venues in San Francisco, both located in the landmark Merchants Exchange. The 15th floor Ballroom combines a timeless interior with superior modern amenities, whilst the Club is a stylish plug-and-play venue. Together, they offer more than 15,000 square feet of exhibit and event space, including breakout rooms, bar and lounge area.

Merchants Exchange sought an audio package to execute the 250+ events it stages each year. Head of Production, Walter Ryon consulted with Some More Sound of Concord, CA over the brief. Their discussions identified – quality, reliability, flexibility and aesthetic suitability – as being key to a successful outcome. 

The team chose CODA Audio. The client wanted high performance equipment to achieve great results across a wide range of applications, with minimal effort and easily mitigate difficult amplification situations, such as lavalier microphones. The flexible nature of the venue demanded that loudspeakers, console and wireless receivers could be set up and used on an ‘anywhere/anytime’ basis, whilst appearing as sleek and unobtrusive as possible. 

The system comprised 4 x CODA Audio CoRAY4, 4 x CODA Audio HOPS8, 2 x CODA Audio G15-SUB and 3 x CODA Audio LINUS 10C loudspeaker management power amplifiers. The Merchants Exchange consists of multiple principal spaces, individually configured to match customer requirements. The Ballroom hosts a range of events in its 4,500 square feet of space. The Club is more challenging with a lower ceiling and a flexible configuration, offering multiple seating plans. The Club’s Bar and Lounge are elevated slightly above the lower banquet hall, where presentational considerations are fundamental to any audio system in use.

The main challenges surrounded the delivery of excellent audio as unobtrusively as possible in ‘high end’ settings. The systems selected needed to be modular and highly flexible to cope with the demands of a very varied programme taking place in contrasting spaces. 

The systems met the challenge perfectly – flexible enough to provide the right match for the needs of each event. For example, where a CoRAY main system might be configured on the long side of the Ballroom, a HOPS8 speech system could be in use in the Club’s Great Hall. Alternatively, the CORAY system might find itself used for mains and delays in the Hall whilst the HOPS8 delivers background music in the Bar and Lounge.

The endorsement of the head of production speaks volumes. The return on investment, from Walter Ryon’s point of view, is already high:

“From the first event we noticed a huge improvement in sound quality over the systems formerly rented in. The modular packages are making setups faster and quality more consistent. Every time we bring up the faders, the equipment combinations just sound great! We don’t have to spend a lot of time ‘ringing out’. We are getting frequent compliments from our most discerning customers and that creates repeat business and referrals.”

Keir Moorhead of Some More Sound has the last word:

“From the first listening, Some More Sound has been in the CODA camp. Having a next-generation level of headroom available with no distortion and a super-low noise floor gives a platform from which any operator – experienced or not – can succeed with. Setup is fast and easy and the systems sound superb!”