Since opening his 1,000-capacity live performance venue Anthology in Rochester, New York in 2016, owner Phil Fitzsimmons has been committed to providing the best possible experience he can for musicians and their fans. Through an iterative process of PA upgrades and acoustical improvements, Fitzsimmons ultimately chose a Fulcrum Acoustic sound system that meets his high standards and makes perfect economic sense for his venue.
The system needed to deliver exceptional fidelity, vocal clarity and pattern control from compact loudspeakers that wouldn’t interfere with sightlines or detract from the club’s clean, sophisticated aesthetic.
“Sound is the most important element of my business and I wasn’t finding what I was after in the line array-based systems I’d been renting,” explains Fitzsimmons. “Plus, room and PA rentals were adding up to a huge monthly payment. Fulcrum understood my situation and were easy to work with in crafting a smart solution. They helped with acoustical modeling and speaker selection and all but guaranteed they would get my room sounding great.”
Anthology’s stage system consists of a pair of Fulcrum AH65 full-range coaxial horns flown as mains above two S dual 8-inch coaxial speakers on the stage lip. Three TS221 dual 21-inch subwoofers are installed into the front of the stage for low frequency punch.
“As is often the case, the space under the stage was a large void,” recalls Fitzsimmons. “We were concerned about resonances that could result from subwoofers mounted in this void. To help mitigate these factors, Fulcrum recommended adding framing to reinforce the stage and reduce vibration. Concrete block and fiberglass batt insulation was also used to fill the space under the stage.”
Onstage, Fulcrum’s Passive Cardioid Technology™ comes into play with a CSP121 21-inch cardioid sub drum monitor and eight FW15 15-inch coaxial cardioid stage monitors. Two Fulcrum CX1295 12-inch coaxial loudspeakers and an additional set of S dual 8-inch coaxial speakers serve as delay fills to cover the club's elevated bar and VIP area.
“In working closely with Fulcrum on this system, we were very intentional about enhancing the experience of the artists to help them deliver great shows,” relates Fitzsimmons. “Better onstage communication through sophisticated monitoring naturally results in better audience communication in the shared musical experience. Fulcrum had just released the world’s first cardioid coaxial stage monitor, the FW15, and the timing couldn’t have worked out better for Anthology.”
“While in-ear monitors create a better-controlled stage and make mixing easier, they don’t communicate the bass response and visceral impact of traditional floor monitors,” observes Fitzsimmons. “They also can be cost prohibitive for many of our acts. Fulcrum’s FW15 cardioid coaxial stage monitors narrow the acoustical gap between in-ears and floor wedges by minimizing rear low frequency monitor radiation that interferes with stage microphones, front fills and the audience. Musicians coming through have been raving about the FW15’s ability to clean up a noisy stage.”
“Anthology showcases acts ranging from jazz and country to hip hop and heavy metal,” says Fitzsimmons. “Regardless of musical style, it’s really all about melody and vocals. High-fidelity and vocal clarity are absolutely crucial and Fulcrum’s compact point source solution is the only system that got us all the way there.”
“Choosing Fulcrum was a price/value decision based on system cost and performance benefits. Their loudspeakers provide better technology in a smaller footprint, a better experience for performers and audiences, and are easier to mix. I can’t imagine why anyone would use speakers based on old technology. We now have the best sound system I’ve ever heard.”