Gearhouse chose to increase their existing L-Acoustic stockholding this year by adding a significant number of K1 and K1-SB enclosures. The K1 was specifically chosen for its increased SPL output levels, the ease with which its captive rigging allows flying / dropping of the arrays, as well as the amount of headroom available when running at full blast! It was also the natural choice because it can seamlessly be incorporated into the existing stock. The K1 and K1-SB use the same amplifiers and it also offers Gearhouse the option of hanging either their older (66x) L-Acoustics DV-Dosc or their newer (24x) L-Acoustics KARA boxes underneath as down fills.

With the latest purchase, Gearhouse, as a group, now owns 105 x L-Acoustics LA8 amplified controllers. This means that everything they own - from the HiQ stage monitors and the stacked SB28 Subs to the new K1 and K1-SB - can be networked together and powered by the same source. This makes it really easy to control/EQ all of the LA8 Amplified Controllers from Front Of House by grouping various elements together, adjusting contour settings in a venue and fine-tuning specific zones using L-Acoustics' Array Morphing facility in LA-Network Manager.

Along with the K1 & K1-SB purchase, Gearhouse increased their capacity and versatility by purchasing 6x Lake LM44 from Lab Gruppen, supplied by Surgesound. The Lake LM44 enables them to keep the audio signal in a digital format until it reaches each LA8 amplifier, increasing signal quality and reducing signal degradation by eliminating extended lengths of copper. The reduction in the amount of Analogue to Digital and Digital to Analogue conversions allows them to receive an AES-EBU signal into a Lake LM44 from the digital console at FOH. The digital signal is then broadcast to their new IP Network with DANTE over 4x 150m Single Mode Neutrik OpticalCon Quad fibre cable (supplied by Wild & Marr), where it then supplies the output side of another Lake LM44's AES-EBU digital signal output directly to each LA8's AES-EBU input. The clarity is exceptional because the only conversion to analogue made on the new return system is made in the LA8s, at the output state from each amplifier to the speakers. Where you want it to take place!

The new network system used to distribute the signal digitally is provided by 6x Extreme Summit X440-10GB switches supplied by Frogfoot Networks. Their excellent customer support enabled Gearhouse' Audio team to meet some pretty tight deadlines on the Red Hot Chili Peppers tour which kicked off on the 2nd of February 2013. The Extreme Summit X440-10G provides excellent bandwidth on the Neutrik OpticalCon fibre network along with its redundant ring topology running EAPS technology, with plenty of room for future expansion.

Senior Audio Technician, Llewellyn Reinecke said, "We have received numerous compliments about the new system, and how it sounded. These are some of the ones which were repeated most often and which pretty much summed it up:

- It's so loud, yet clear!

- It's as if the sound quality went from 2D to 3D.

- This puts us [Gearhouse] in a different league; nobody in SA can compete with us on this level.

RHCP along with Dave Rat at the Mixing console are one of the 1st bands in the world to tour with the L-Acoustics K1, and it's only appropriate that RHCP took the honour of being the 1st band to play on our new PA."

Mar 18, 2013

The Gearhouse Group of Companies