— Guitar Center looks in-house to its professional division, who helped design and install the A/V complement for the new superstore, with the help of GC Pro Affiliate Program member Malvicino Design Group —
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA — Guitar Center recently opened the doors on its new flagship location in New York City’s Times Square with a star-studded opening weekend and a level of spectacle right at home in what is arguably Manhattan’s busiest and most conspicuous district. Guitar Center’s 262nd retail location is an ultra-modern musical instrument and technology center covering over 28,000 square feet. In-store elements include Guitar Center’s Platinum Club (showcasing high-end luxury guitars, along with a live performance venue and control room); a Fender custom shop where unique guitars are featured; a full DJ experience department; a boutique pedal selection in a stunning 360-degree display; and 28,000 square feet of guitars, drums, keys, DJ, recording, live sound and more. The store also now serves as the permanent home to two legendary pieces of rock history: Eric Clapton’s iconic “Blackie” Fender Stratocaster and ES-335.
For the complicated task of helping design, manage and install the A/V components to meet the needs of such a technology-specific space, Guitar Center sought an organization with the right expertise to get the job done, on budget and on time – luckily, they had one in-house: Guitar Center Professional (GC Pro), the outside sales division of Guitar Center that focuses on the needs of professional users. Throughout the project, GC Pro worked with Affiliate Program member Horacio Malvicino and his firm Malvicino Design Group, who designed and installed the detailed A/V setup.
“Guitar Center management asked to have GC Pro involved in order to ensure a proper customer experience from an audio-visual point of view,” stated GC Pro Vice President Rick Plushner. “We were honored and excited to be asked. Times Square is the crossroads of the world, where people from all over the planet come to visit and shop. Horacio came in early on in the project and knew exactly what we were trying to accomplish, and he designed the backbone and the technology infrastructure in a superb way.”
A multi-screen Panasonic video display graces the outside of the building on 44th St., composed of screens sourced through GC Pro. Upon entering, visitors begin to descend an escalator, immersed in the sights and sounds of an excited crowd waiting for their star to take the stage. A complement of QSC speakers and a Q-Sys system, along with a massive LED display screen, helped create this effect. “It’s as if you’re a rock star coming into a stadium to perform, and so we were asked to help create that experience,” stated Plushner.
Within the store is the Platinum Club, which features a live stage and full control room for multi-track A/V recording and production. GC Pro furnished an Avid S3L console and JBL monitors/loudspeakers for the live space, with an Avid S6 console in the control room. “There’s a whole host of digital and analog outboard gear in there as well, with proper monitoring,” added Plushner. “It’s a real control room to do proper recording, and we’re excited about what opportunities that’s going to bring for the company.”
Malvicino stated, “I’ve been lucky to work with GC Pro on several major design and installation jobs over the years, and it has been a great experience for me personally and professionally. This Times Square GC project presented some new opportunities and challenges, and I’m proud to have been able to help bring make their vision a reality.”
For more information, please visit www.gcpro.com.