CASE STUDY: The Record Archive, Rochester, NY

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The Record Archive has been a revered institution of all things related to music since it opened its doors in Rochester, NY in 1975. Since then, it has moved and expanded several times, finally settling into a 13,000-square-foot space that co-owners Alayna Alderman and Richard Storms have built into a music-lover’s paradise. In addition to 250,000 records, thousands of DVDs, and enduring collections of CDs, cassettes, 8-tracks, and VHS tapes, the Record Archive sells new and used stereo equipment and novelty gifts. It also has a Backroom Lounge, where bands perform for up to 150 patrons. Recently the Record Archive upgraded its Backroom Lounge sound system with Ashly Audio DSP/amplifiers and Fulcrum loudspeakers/subs.

“Our goal is not only to give our patrons a great musical experience, but also to give the musicians who perform at the Backroom Lounge a great experience, and sound quality is obviously a critical part of that,” explained Alderman. “Fulcrum Acoustic designed and installed the sound system for us, and they recommended Ashly Audio— another local pro audio manufacturer with national and international reach—for the system’s amplification and DSP.”

The Backroom Lounge already had a well-functioning console, so Fulcrum technicians added an Ashly nXp8004 and an Ashly nXp8002. Both units deliver 800 Watts per channel and include Ashly’s Protea DSP, which allowed the technicians to condition input signals, to tune the room, and to provide all of the necessary speaker crossovers and dynamics protection.

The Ashly nXp8002’s two channels power the mains: a stereo pair of Fulcrum CX 1295 full-range loudspeakers. The Ashly nXp8004’s four channels power three Fulcrum FX 896 high-fidelity wedges and a single Fulcrum SUB118 subwoofer, which is placed to the side of the stage near a full-scale Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton and a respectable collection of velvet Elvis paintings.

“We absolutely love the new system, and we’ve been boasting that it’s the best sound system in Rochester, at least for a venue of this size,” said Deb Jones, events manager at Record Archive and the de facto sound engineer. “Sometimes I get credit for the great sound, but it’s not really me; it’s the gear. It’s simple and reliable, and I don’t have to worry about it. I’m confident with my mixes now, and the system sounds great whether we have it really loud for rock acts or quiet for simple acoustic sets. The Backroom Lounge empties into the rest of the store via three arches so customers shopping the records can enjoy the show, too, while they sip on their beer or wine.”

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