LAKE FOREST, Illinois—When TC Furlong started his company as the sole proprietor back in 1973 after graduating high school, he and best friend Tom Danley (as in Danley Labs) developed the Steamer loudspeaker, which is still in use today. “I’ve had a keen interest in making things louder since age 12, states TC Furlong. I was and still am fascinated by the idea of amplifying a sound source faithfully. There are a lot of obstacles in achieving high quality sound reinforcement, so it’s always a worthy challenge. Since the mid 60’s, I’ve built a lot of loudspeaker cabinets in the quest for vivid fidelity or in the case of musical instrument speakers, a lush tone.”
During the mid-seventies to mid-eighties, Furlong both manufactured and played as a professional pedal steel player. He founded a regional country/pop band called Jump in the Saddle, and the band went on to achieve a national Top 15 hit with “The Curly Shuffle”.
Another of Furlong’s earliest audio solutions was the development of a sound isolation helmet that would enable an engineer to mix a live radio broadcast while at the front-of-house mix position. It weighed close to 100 pounds. By the late eighties, Furlong’s design and interest in all things audio led to his full-time focus on professional audio sales and system design. Customers were requesting rental products, requiring his support of live events, box sales of his products and those of manufacturers he represents, and even sound reinforcement installations. In the early years, he represented Shure, Ramsa, Soundcraft, Ashley, and many others. The Company is a leader in the spread of wireless microphone systems, and as such, has been a long-standing Sennheiser, Shure, and Lectrosonics dealer.
“Professional audio products have very much evolved since I first started in 1973,” says Furlong. “Probably the two most dramatic examples are digital mixing consoles and loudspeakers. A live sound mixer can have infinitely more mixing tools and do it with a 90% reduction in size and weight. Loudspeaker manufacturers have developed elegant rigging systems that allow systems to be deployed quickly and safely; nothing like that was available in the 70’s.”
A national company, located in the Chicago, Illinois area, TC Furlong currently employs 12 full-time staff members comprised solely of sound engineers, technicians, and industry veterans—each equipped with the knowledge to design the perfect audio solution for their customers’ audio needs. Jeff Cech, General Manager, who has been with the company for over 24 years (11 years as a freelancer and the past 13 years as GM) said, “TC set the company up for success and that model continues today. The backbone of the operation is a talented staff of engineers and project managers. We’ve always used premium gear and have a culture that insists on doing things the right way. We don’t cut corners—ever—and that filters down to the gear we stock, the jobs we take, and the people we hire. The focus for 40 years has been on better audio by design.”
Now, 40 years later, TC Furlong continues his business as an authorized dealer of over 100 professional audio lines with a vast inventory including Meyer Sound Laboratories, Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Lectrosonics, Sennheiser (including the elite Digital 9000 RF series), Shure (including Axient), and many others. The company provides audio production rental systems, large and small, and continues to thrive in the sound installation market. Furlong’s motto for success is, “It’s not enough to just provide great audio equipment; our real strength is in listening to our clients and designing solutions.”
For more information on TC Furlong, visit www.tcfurlong.com.