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QSC, Rock-Ola Team to Power New Jukeboxes.

To paraphrase Joan Jett, “Put a GX3 in the jukebox, baby.”

L to R: Glenn Streeter, Rock-Ola President and Alexander Walder-Smith, Rock-Ola CEO.
L to R: Glenn Streeter, Rock-Ola President and Alexander Walder-Smith, Rock-Ola CEO.

Torrance, CA (February 28, 2020)—QSC’s GX3 amplifiers are often used for DJ rigs or installations, and now they’re being used for something that combines both fields—Rock-Ola jukeboxes. Named after founder David Cullen Rockola, who founded the brand in 1927, the company’s iconic music playback machines harken to decades gone by, and are still being manufactured and sold today. While it may have a traditional look, the modern jukebox has to have likewise-modern features like Bluetooth, and current-day audio components, which is how QSC GX Series power amplifiers wound up inside the machines.

60 Seconds with Anna Csontos of QSC

Rock-Ola owner Alexander Walder-Smith bought the company just over a year ago, and notes, “I had been a customer of Rock-Ola for about 20 years, supplying their jukeboxes to the market in the United Kingdom. I was very aware of their reputation as an American brand and American story. When I took ownership, I first and foremost wanted to ensure that as many components of our jukeboxes as possible told a similar story. QSC fit very well with that. They’re an American company that started out small with (founder) Pat Quilter’s vision, and have grown tremendously over the years because they remained committed to quality.”

The addition of the GX3 is a relatively new change, however. “When I wanted to upgrade our amplifiers, our senior vice president of engineering tested a lot of them over the summer,” recalls Walder-Smith. “He determined that the GX3 was the best fit. It’s well made and sounds absolutely brilliant with the drivers we use. It’s compact and light, fitting right into our cabinet with room to spare. It can play very loud but always sounds clean.”

Given that a jukebox can see constant use for 12 or more hours a day in a commercial setting, the GX Series’ GuardRail protection maintains that sound, automatically reducing gain to counteract overdrive or excessive heat without causing the jukebox to shut down.

A jukebox inevitably draws on the past in its look and features, and the company has a new jukebox that does just that—the Vinyl 45 line, comprising three models that play 45rpm records in addition to digital sources. “Vinyl records have made a comeback, of course,” notes Brinklow, “so we think the Vinyl 45 puts us in the right space at the right time. We designed a custom tube preamp for it in-house, to deliver the signal from the tone arm to the GX3 amplifier. The pairing of the two works exceptionally well.”

Rock-Ola •