I am so happy to have discovered there are, in fact, more than two speaker manufacturers in the world!

By Larry Hall

I am so happy to have discovered there are, in fact, more than two speaker manufacturers in the world! With all of the hype and brilliant marketing of d&b and L-Acoustics, it is refreshing indeed to see choices for the masses of sound company providers and end users!

I was recently confronted by a traveling FOH guy coming into a three-day festival who looked at my Adamson rig and said, “I only mix on d&b or L-Acoustics” and a few things came to mind at that moment that are appropriate to note here.

The very first time I met Pooch (Ken Van Druten) — in my opinion having heard him mix Kid Rock, Linkin Park and System of a Down, one of the top three FOH guys out there — I asked him what PAs he does or doesn’t like. His response? “Its my job within reason to make whatever PA I am handed sound good.”

 Another thought that came blazing through my head was a quote from “Shawshank Redemption” 
”How can you be so obtuse?”

What I actually said? “Well, thank God you got here when you did! I am not sure how many more gigs you can get with such a limited resume of gear! Glad to be the one to help you with this learning curve!”

The point I am TRYING to make is this: I don’t think any legit speaker manufacturer makes a bad product anymore. What it comes down to is the mix engineer and the system engineer. Give me either or both not on their best game, and I will give you a shitty show no matter the PA.  

You can count those manufacturers on ALL of your fingers and maybe even some of your toes. Frankly if YOU are unable or unwilling to use some of these systems then, in the long run, you get what you deserve.

You will go from a spot on a bus, to a van, to some fly dates and — if you’re REALLY lucky — a gig at a regional company working on one of the systems you talked crap about in the first place.

I think Pooch summed up where we as an industry are heading. The days of bullying the local crews and regional sound companies are basically over. Keep it up and with any luck when your resume hits my desk, I will have forgotten about you and maybe, just maybe when you need to eat or make your car payment my “less than desirable” system will be what helps you do so.

Ok. Back to the reason the five of us are still reading this (C’mon Rev., that’s funny shit) THE SHOOT OUT. 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0ALbLIoj_U

WHO WON?

No one. Everyone. I know that sucks for an answer, but when I went into this I wanted to know more about who would fail than who wouldn’t. No one really failed.

• EV’s “old ass” PA rigged and tuned faster than everyone else, sounded really good, covered really well.

• DAS PAs rigged almost as fast as EV, sounded good until the limits hit and covered well.

• RCF rigged slow, but made up for it in great performance, good coverage and good sound.

• VUE… Who are these guys again? Proof you don’t need to be a 25-year-old company to scare the shit out of everyone. Sounded great, covered well, was a little weak in output. JUST A LITTLE, relax Jeff Taylor…

• EAW rigs slow, sounds good, covers well and is really loud for a mid-sized box and a little weak as a full size box

• Turbosound rigs fast, covers well, and is super duper loud.

All sound good or great depending on YOUR personal taste and budget. I would use/buy any of these PAs. If you don’t believe any of this, please refer back to the Pooch statement. I am 10,000% sure he would rock any of these rigs. And as FOH guys, isn’t he one of the rock stars we want to be? So take 5 minutes and add a couple brands to your snobby rider. It will make the world a better place…

So what did I buy? 

Fade to black, final episode of “The Sopranos” style…

Shootout At the Speaker Corral

 

Jimmy Jam’s Good bad and Ugly

 

Geoff Lissaman’s GBU

 

The Devil’s GBU

 

Dave Tennant’s Subbage GBU

 

Larry’s GBU