Since starting their company in 2012, production company Sussex Events (SEL) had been running a point source loudspeaker systems in its rental inventory.
In January 2017 demand was suggesting they should turn their attention to a line array system. “Our point source systems were starting to be pushed to their limits,” said Robert Watson. “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.”
SEL had specific criteria that needed to be met. “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,” Bob commented. After a long search, assisted by dealers Leisuretec, Sussex Events Ltd chose a new Martin Audio Wavefront Precision Compact system (WPC).
While Leisuretec advised on pricing of competitive systems, Sussex Events’ technical team attended different manufacturer demo days, including Martin Audio. While Bob Watson also started paying more attention when mixing for other companies on different systems.
Eventually they gave the job to Martin Audio. “The brand has always been close to our hearts,” he said, justifying the decision by adding. “We had been using 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 self-confessed fan of Martin Audio’s MLA system, 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,” 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.”