Ever since starting out back in 2012, production company Sussex Events (SEL) had been running exclusively point source loudspeaker systems in its rental inventory.
But by January 2017 popular demand was suggesting that it should switch its attention to a line array solution. “Our point source systems were starting to be pushed to their limits,” admitted co-founder Robert Watson. “Therefore we needed something that would cover the upgrade and also fit within our budget, enabling us to tap into a bigger market by taking on work to that we couldn't have delivered without the new system.”
So after a long search, guided by dealers Leisuretec, the Hailsham based company chose a new Martin Audio scalable resolution Wavefront Precision Compact (WPC), SEL had set some stringent criteria. “We wanted a system without compromise on either audio or build quality, expandable coverage for 2,500 people upwards, prediction software, local support — and ideally designed and manufactured in the UK,” Watson continued.
While Leisuretec advised on issues such as pricing of competitive systems, Sussex Events’ technical team attended different manufacturers’ demo days, including Martin Audio, while the SEL man himself started paying more attention when mixing for other companies on different systems.
Eventually he gave the nod to Martin Audio. “The brand has always been close to our hearts,” he said, qualifying the decision. “We had run with W2 boxes since starting the company and one of the main theatres that we work at is all Martin Audio. Their systems have always hit the spot with us whereas other brands have fallen short. And the Demo Day certainly helped us see that the system would do what we wanted.”
As a confessed fan of Martin Audio’s award-winning MLA, he knew that his company was not of sufficient size to support that level of PA. “But the WPC system brought all the benefits of scalable resolution at a cost that suited our budget, fulfilling the specification that we required,” Watson acknowledged.
Thus the company placed the order for eight WPC tops and four SX218 (2 x 18) subwoofers with Leisuretec, along with some Martin Audio Blackline X8 as front fill. “The plan is to double this in the coming years, but if the demand continues to grow then we will look at taking it to 12 boxes a side with 12 subwoofers.”
The sale was also a triumph for Leisuretec’s External Sales Manager, Rob Davies. He recalls, “The choice had come down to three brands, but this only included Martin Audio once the Wavefront had been announced.”
The new WPC went straight out on one of SEL’s original clients, the nearby Elderflower Fields Festival at Uckfield, which was itself having a refresh, with new main stage and lighting design. “So we wanted to do the same by delivering a new sound rig,” said the SEL director.
Following Elderflower Fields, the system wasted no time in reinforcing several other outdoor summer events “We’ve had around 12 engineers work on the system now and there's not been a bad word said. After the software setup the system needs very little tuning and gives you all the power you need.
“We always knew that Martin Audio would perform for us but until the delivery we didn’t quite anticipate how well,” said Robert Watson said in conclusion. “The box blows many out the water from a sound engineers point of view, and gives our customers the level of quality that they have come to expect from us.”