ATHENS, Greece — Public address equipment may form only a subsidiary part of Manos Backline Services’ equipment inventory, but recently the company invested in a HARMAN Soundcraft Vi1â„¢ digital console, placing the order with HARMAN’s Greece distributor, Bon Studio.
“We have a small PA system consisting of JBL SRX Series loudspeakers, as we are 75 percent focused on backline,” says the company’s co-owner, Stamos Vasilakis. “However, for the 25 percent PA dry hire we always try to keep up with the latest quality gear available, as it’s an expanding part of our business.
“The market needed a good quality small format digital mixer at an affordable rental price, and the Soundcraft Vi1 was the perfect product for our clients’ needs. I firmly believe that in times of crisis this product will prove itself a winner.”
Despite the bias towards backline, Manos has invested heavily in digital desks, including the Soundcraft Vi6. Feature wise, Vasilakis knows precisely what he is looking for: “Ease of use and the best possible pre-amps,” he states unequivocally. “I needed a product that would enable an engineer who had never used it before to mix within 30 minutes maximum from setup—and the Vi1 fitted the bill. It is important to have everything in front of you and not be digging through layers or pages to find what you need. That's why Soundcraft is one of my favourite interfaces—and the Vi1’s pre-amps are an absolute bargain. The mixer sounds fresh, crisp and all the instruments have clarity and ‘body’ in the mix.”
Having experienced almost all the available mixers in the Greek market, Vasilakis’ decision to back Soundcraft was based not only on the above attributes, but the increasing demand for this platform, and the Vistonics II interface, in the local market.
“The interface really is that easy to use,” he says. “Furthermore, the 24 outputs are a big plus for a small format mixer when your band uses in-ear monitors or if you want to record from the direct outs. The user pages are a great-looking and useful function as well.
“As for demand, in our business you have to go with the flow. If we see an increasing demand on a product we just buy it—and that's what happened with the Vi Series — regardless of the fact that I also happen to think it's a great mixer.”
And the feedback from Vasilakis’ clients matches his own conclusion. “People love it! To be honest, I think I should buy another for next summer—it's so affordable that even low-budget tours can deal with it.”
For more information on Manos Backline Services, please visit
) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets – supported by 15 leading brands including AKGA®, Harman KardonA®, InfinityA®, JBLA®, LexiconA® and Mark LevinsonA®. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 20 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 12,000 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported sales of $3.8 billion for the twelve months ending June 30, 2011.