We visited the new listening bar to hear about the mixer's design.
The mixer at Spiritland, a listening bar in King's Cross that opened in 2016, was developed over a two-year period in collaboration with Isonoe's Justin Greenslade, Felix de Pass and Pentagram. It is distinguished by a 20kg, 10mm-thick brass front panel that slowly decays under the acids of each DJ's fingers, meaning "everyone that plays will leave their mark." De Pass designed the knobs from scratch, which were then built at a facility that constructs parts found in the engines of Formula One racing cars. There are a total of 12 inputs across four rotary channels, with a two-band EQ and a pair of auxiliary sends on each.
Greensdale, who has built custom mixers for the likes of Floating Points and Dixon, designed the signal path made with hand-sourced components, such as Lundahl output transformers. Unlike most mixers, the Spiritland mixer is actually silent at high master output levels thanks to its 120dB of "offness"—high-end mixers tend to hover below the 90dB mark, meaning cued audio can leak out of the system even when the fader is down.
The mixer's technical specifications appear to defy the laws of science: it's total harmonic distortion reading is under 0.0003% at +22dBm, a level so low that it cannot be measured on many analysers. According to Spiritland, "it is impossible to distort." The mixer weighs 50kg.