Suffolk-based technical event management company, W1 Productions, has invested in HARMAN’s next generation JBL technology, with the acquisition of a new JBL VTX A8 compact line array system.
Based on JBL Professional's flagship VTX A-Series loudspeaker technology, it forms part of a turnkey package including Crown I-Tech HD tour-grade amplifiers, comprehensive accessories pack, and dedicated system configuration and control software. The order was placed by W1 Productions’ owner Stuart Turvill with Sound Technology Ltd, the HARMAN Professional distributors for the UK and Ireland.
Photo : [L-R] Joe East, Jacob Marshall, Stuart Turvill, Alan Beck, Lawrence Chichon, Stuart Strachan
W1 Productions are a full service production house originally established in London’s Wardour Street (The Swiss Centre) in 2000 to service music TV and rock n’ roll touring. Since those early days W1 has moved further east geographically and further into corporate in terms of workload, now servicing a mix of corporate, music and dry hire work from their purpose built facility in Suffolk.
Explaining the investment, W1 Productions’ operations manager Alan Beck said, “There is a tendency these days to be more brand diverse — customers like it if you can present options. We had been approached by Sound Technology about the new JBL VTX A8 system - they said it would stand up to anything we were using, so we went up to [their Letchworth HQ] for a listen.”
The W1 Productions team could see that this was a neat, well thought-out package.
“We like the way the rigging system works and the Performance Manager software is very simple and intuitive—very accessible from the word go. The difference is that everything is geared from the point of view of getting it into a gig quickly. It’s also IP55 rated so will be used on open air events. As for the subs, the cardioid configuration is very effective and there are NL4 connectors front and back to keep deployment easy and tidy.
“But for me the outstanding feature is the top end, it’s very nice and smooth, with exceptional detail. It has a presence but doesn’t bark like some systems. “
Stuart Strachan, Application Engineer, Sound Technology Ltd explains, “The key to VTX A8’s HF performance is in JBL’s industry-leading ring radiator technology, which JBL has been pioneering since the 1950’s. The HF driver in A8 builds on this rich heritage, to produce an incredible detailed top end. The stereo image and clarity are outstanding - it’s like listening to a huge pair of high end studio monitors.”
Alan Beck explains the purchase of sixteen VTX A8 line-array elements and eight VTX B18 single 18” subwoofers gives his company several options for small to mid-sized application deployment.
“With the quantities we have purchased, a hang of eight each side will cover a reasonably large room but can be split into multiple smaller configurations to cater for the varied work we do.” However, he anticipated expanding the system in the future.
“With the VTX A-Series having already enjoyed rapid success in theatre and music venue installations, and a highly favourable reaction amongst engineers, we are very proud to have W1 as the first VTX A8 rental partner in the UK to join the VTX global network.” says Joe East, Business Development Manager, Sound Technology Ltd. “Its form-factor, range of accessories and ease of deployment make it an ideal system for a busy rental company with a diverse client base, and this suits the profile of W1 Productions perfectly.”
The system is powered by two Crown VRACK touring amp racks, with each VRACK featuring three Crown i-Tech HD 4x3500 4-channel amplifiers plus distro. One of the most technologically advanced professional touring amplifiers, each channel features a complete complement of OMNIDRIVE HD™ processing, including the acclaimed LevelMAX™ Limiter Suite, and support for linear phase FIR filters as used in the latest JBL V5 loudspeaker tunings.
Configuration and control of the entire system is handled by the latest JBL Performance Manager and Line Array Calculator software, with the Array Link mobile companion app assisting technicians to deploy systems on-site.
Alan Beck concludes, “With the A-Series, JBL is now shaking things up. We think it will give us a certain uniqueness, as well as a possibility of picking up tours from the US and Canada where the brand is huge. A purchase like this will create interest across our client base, while opening up new avenues. It shows we are open for business across a vast range of event opportunities.”