© 2011 james Plasa Show 2011 Main

Plasa 2011

Plasa 2011

This show is the largest sound and light show for the pro audio market in the UK, so given that Durham Events are always looking for ways to improve the services we can offer our clients it was an important fixture for us to check out in 2011. We are planning on expanding several parts of our business and are aiming to be able to move into new markets in live sound, lighting and straight up PA supply.

 

After the success of our Crastonbury event we sat down and evaluated areas where we could have done better. We have been scrutinising our front of house PA & our monitoring solutions & discussing ways of improving feedback prevention, as well as analysing the performance of our wireless microphone systems. Finally, staging and lighting have been one of the areas we are most keen to try and improve.

 

With these thoughts in mind it is no surprise to find us at Plasa with a few burning questions for the big boys like Martin, Funktion One, Chauvet, Mackie, EAW, JBL, EV, DBX, Klark Technic, Ohm, APG, RCF and friends.

 

Here’s a brief outline of a few things which impressed us the most, starting with main man Tony Andrews (& his wife) + his number 2 John from Funktion One.

Tony Andrews at Plasa 2011

Tony Andrews, Funktion One designer

We spent about an hour and a half in the F1 demo room and were lucky to get away with asking Tony a few straight up questions about configurations, performance and the competition. Anyone who has ever encountered Tony will know the sort of response we got- full of expletives and full of the soul of a man who is completely immersed in his business. Tony tells you answers which are based on years and years of research, field testing and no compromise design, but fortunately does not come across like some of the “greater than thou” salesmen you might encounter on other company stands.

Suffice to say we’ve added 2 Resolution 2 and 2 F218 bass bins to our wishlist, closely followed by some of the new Lab Gruppen amplifiers like these:

Lab Gruppen 2011 amps

Lab Gruppen 2011 amps

Another chance encounter saw us in conversation with APG speakers, a relatively little known French manufacturer with a similar no compromise approach to speaker design to F1, minus all the ‘dance music only’ reputation F1 seem to get.

Xavier from APG

APG stand at Plasa 2011

We knew about APG thanks to having worked with DACS audio in Jarrow a few times who have specified their systems in numerous installations throughout the Apartment Group in and around Newcastle. We have also used an 4 kilowatt APG rig at an dance music event for over 1000 people around 5 years ago. Now they have several newer designs on the market and were very keen to tell me how many improvements had been made to the Electro Acoustic performance of their latest designs- which makes them likely to be sensational pieces of kit.

Chauvet make numerous lights which are cross application suitable, but also make a lot of kit for the DJ market. It was good to be able to see a little more of their larger touring grade kit in person, and their stand looked pretty awesome.

Plasa Show 2011

Chauvet & Phillips at Plasa 2011

Other products which caught our attention included the RCF dual 15” TT series subs and a monster speaker made by EAW with a dual 10” design coupled to a coaxial compression driver design capable of over 140dB peaks! That is loud on a massive scale. It seems that several manufacturers are also looking to give gigging DJs and medium band 4 box configurations a massive amount of power, we saw designs from Ohm, Tannoy, EV, JBL, QSC & FBT which looked like very serious pieces of kit on paper. We will be arranging demo session with several of these manufacturers to assess their real world capabilities.

Allen and Heath have made many pieces of kit which we have bought, sold,  hired and used personally over the years, so no surprises we spent a while on their stand. Interesting products include the Live X and the lovely GSR24 mixer. This last mixer would be our top choice for studio use as it is perfectly designed for fusing analog and digital in an affordable way. It has two valves built in to the desk (which run hot) directly under the large VU meters- too cool for school and sounded brilliant.

Allen & Heath GS R24 mixer

Allen & Heath GS R24 mixer at Plasa 2011

The best light show we saw at Plasa was the demo carried out by Clay Paky. Their touring specific lights were nothing short of amazing, but were beyond anything we have planned in the medium term, and frankly were so bright that they gave us a headache! Still cool to check them out though.

Clay Paky demo at Plasa 2011

Clay Paky demo at Plasa 2011

Finally, one more gadget which caught our eye was the audio and DMX wireless transmitters made by Tri Wi. These things transmit 2 channels of HD audio and DMX instructions over distances of up to 2 kilometres with only 11ms of delay, requiring only line of sight to work. A real problem solving piece of kit to avoid cable runs through crowds.

Tri Wi at Plasa 2011

Tri Wi at Plasa 2011

It is always pretty amazing to visit events in Earls Court as they are always on a massive scale, take for example London Fashion week which is the next major event to move in to the venue, or various photography led shows. It is always pretty mind blowing to think about the people who are hanging around at these shows, and amazing to consider how many of them are making so many people have ‘once in a lifetime experiences’ at events and festivals around the world.

plasa 2011

Stands at Plasa 2011

All in all this was a really useful knowledge building exercise for Durham Events and we look forward to expanding our portfolio with some of the excellent kit on display.

Plasa Show 2011 Main

Plasa Show 2011

 

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