Turbosound's Aspect Series at the Weinberg Center for the Performing Arts in February 2005
Owner of Virginia-based audio company Soundworks, Steve Payne, and Mike Southard, the owner of Southard Audio (Mt. Crawford, Va.) have collaborated for more than 20 years while serving the regional live sound market. As part of a conscious effort to overlap, they use similar equipment when possible. Both considered improving their sound systems, but were unsure what piece of gear would be turn key for an updated sound.
"After hearing some demos, we both concluded that moving to flyable line array technology would require us to buy too many speakers and move away from the ground-stack method we use in 90 percent of our shows," Southard says. "We quickly realized that while we'd get a marketing boost out of saying we had the capability to do line arrays, they're really made for very specific applications. The problem is a lot of people are trying to put a round peg line array into a square hole. We didn't want to go that route."
Both loved the Turbosound TFL-760Hs Floodlight loudspeakers that they had, despite the fact they were being challenged by ever-larger shows with more complex sound needs. Payne and Southard didn't have to stray too far from their loudspeaker comfort zone to find an answer to the problem: Bring the Turbosound Aspect Series onboard. In January 2005, Southard Audio and Soundworks became the first companies to take possession of the new Aspect loudspeakers.
Employing Turbosound's patented Polyhorn™ technology that allows adjacent cabinets to integrate seamlessly in an array configuration, Aspect Series loudspeakers allow Payne to continue to ground stack while achieving some of the same sound qualities that exist in a traditional flown line array.
"The problem with a traditional ground stack is that when you put multiple speakers together, patterns can converge and the sound can change as you walk through the overlapping patterns," Payne says. "With the Aspect's unique horn design, you can put multiple boxes side-by-side and you get a sound that's extremely smooth, almost as smooth as a line array. These speakers come as close to anything I've heard in duplicating the sound you get in a flown line array."
As they gear up for the start of the long event season ahead, both Payne and Southard are confident they have a loudspeaker that's going to take their business to new heights. The new Turbosound Aspect Series speakers will see virtually every kind of show in a schedule that can include up to 40 shows a month. Payne notes, "These speakers will help us maintain our image as a respected touring sound company. In this business you can't let yourself be perceived as being behind the curve. The Aspects are a quantum leap forward, and our hats go off to Turbosound for coming up with a speaker system that's not just another ‘me too’ line array system."
Southard says the Aspects will give him flexibility, ease of setup and unrivaled sonic capabilities. "They're not only cleverly designed, but they're light weight," he says. "At 130 pounds, they're going to be easy for us to set up. But the big advantage is the sound quality. The Aspects come very close to rivaling line arrays in situations for which line arrays are the best solution, and they far exceed line array quality in the many situations where line arrays aren't the right answer."