Mike West (pictured) is a California-based acoustic guitarist and vocalist who plays more than 200 shows per year. His current solo show, “The Beatles Down To Earth: A Magical History Tour,” is drawing rave reviews and ever-growing audiences. Recently, West upgraded to the Line 6 StageSource loudspeaker system.
“I own an L3t and an L3m and use them as my house P.A. system,” says West. “I’ve found them to be a fantastic addition to my stage. In terms of power, sound quality, and set-up time, they are a big upgrade from the articulated linear array I was using before.”
With the growth of his show leading to more gigs at bigger venues, West began to realize the limitations of his old system. “Basically, it didn’t play well with others,” he says. “Introducing another speaker required all these weird extra connections and adapters. It wasn’t easy. So as my stage show was growing, it became clear that I needed a sound system that could grow with me.
“I had seen [the Line 6 StageSource system] at NAMM and had a friend who owned the L3t model and loved it,” West recalls. “He let me borrow it for a week of shows, and I was quite blown away by it. I found I was able to perform just as well, if not better, no matter what kind of venue I was in.”
It was technology as much as sound that helped convince West to purchase a StageSource system of his own. Prominent among those features is the 12-band feedback suppression system, which detects and automatically eliminates acoustic feedback. This proves particularly useful for West, who performs without a stage monitor system.
West with Line 6 StageSource loudspeaker system
“My Line 6 speakers are up on stands, set to Reference/P.A. mode. I actually stand a bit in front of them so I can hear them directly,” he says. “Any sound engineer will tell you that’s a big no-no, but with the feedback suppression system on board the speakers, I’m able to do it and hear exactly what my audience is hearing. Never a problem. It’s been fantastic for me.”
In addition to his solo acoustic shows, West also finds Line 6 feedback suppression handy at other gigs, which include DJ duties, wedding receptions and corporate events. “There are times when I have to had off the mic to somebody who is not very experienced, who might wander in front of the speakers or point it straight up in the air. And if there’s feedback, it’s me that looks unprofessional,” he says. “But since getting the Line 6 system, that just isn’t a problem anymore.”
For his solo acoustic shows, West acts as his own road crew, packing everything he needs into his car. “They’re 1,400 watts each, so all I need is two of them for audiences of several hundred,” he says. “I can fit both of them, plus speaker stands, guitars, pedal boards, and everything else into my little Honda Insight hybrid. That’s how I roll.”
While his current choice is between using one speaker or two, West is already planning to expand his Line 6 system further. “The show is getting pretty popular, and I love the fact that the Line 6 system is set up to grow with me,” he says. “The system actually recognizes each speaker automatically, so if I add an L2m monitor or maybe a subwoofer, it’s no problem. The L6 Link system lets you expand the system with one simple connection, so there’s no jungle nest of cables, which makes for an attractive stage presentation.”
As his audience expands with the popularity of his “Beatles Down To Earth” show, West says he appreciates his Line 6 StageSource system even more. “Onstage, I always want to make sure that I am represented as professionally as possible,” he says. “A big part of that reputation is built on the tools that I use. The people who book me need to know they can rely on me to sound good, to be consistent and professional. My Line 6 system has become a big part of that.”