It's been a really good week. Most enjoyable time I've had working that I can remember. Harley Dear, a Fitzmaurice cab builder from New Zealand, who's become a good friend, came to visit. Then Steve Regier, one of the designers of MVW BigE cabinets came down from Illinois at the same time.
We built cabs, cussed and discussed cab design, shop design, business plans, drank beer, and listened to a LOT of really loud music through MVW cabinets. Harley is the master of production jigs, and production work. His input into my operation will be invaluable. He and Sam spent an entire afternoon figuring out alternate layouts and changes to the shop to speed production and generally make life easier. Then he put a boot up my ass about various aspects of the business that need to be addressed. With that Kiwi accent and his sense of humor, how can you not pay attention.
Steve led Harley into the strange amazing world of MVW cabinets. Layouts, design theory, and what we are going to accomplish with these new cabs. Of course, Harley immediately saw methods for me to speed construction by a pretty good margin. That was after we picked his jaw up off the floor from listening to the cabs.
Thursday night, Doug Hart, his son Tristan and friend Steve drove up from OK. We met at the Parsons Theater at midnight, and installed an entire MVW speaker system in the main theater. The installation of the cabs themselves could not have been any smoother. We merely placed the the GC25 surround model on top of the existing surrounds and fastened them down. The GC46 mains were just placed next to the 2x12's they were replacing. We did pull the 18" ported subs completely and replace them with RachE 18's. The existing cabs were left in place in case we had a problem. It's the peak season for the theater, and I wanted to be sure he was capable of running his house. So we fired it up, and it sounded pretty good, better than the originals, even using the dsp eq settings from the original cabs. So we packed up (5 AM by then) and went to bed. We went back Sunday evening with software in hand to correct the dsp for MVW cabs. Steve had spent quite a bit of time with the software to make sure we didn't screw ANYTHING up in the actual surround processor. All we wanted to touch was the eq portion.
When the original speaker settings were downloaded, they were an abomination. All of what we as sound guys want in a system had been ripped out in favor of intelligibility from those 2x12's with old school huge comp horns. About an hour of tweaking and listening, it was done. Gorgeous is the description. Clear, articulate, rich, atmospheric, at every seat in the house. Everything you'd want in a good ht system. The movie running was not one I would have chosen to watch at all, but the sound was so immersive it drew you into it. It was hard to shut it off and leave. It's better at the theater.
On the development front, something revelatory happened. The GC25 is a fine speaker. The best small cab I'd heard. Steve heard an artifact that I hadn't. He started in on the crossover. And then magic happened. Even he can't explain it completely. The cab went from a truly fine little box to something that has to be heard to be believed. I am convinced it is probably one of the finest cabs on the planet. There is certainly nothing in it's size or price range that can touch it, home audio or pro. Nothing. I kept checking to see if there were subs running. And it's just a cab with 2 5" drivers and a tweeter. It didn't matter where you walked in the room, the sound field image did not change until you got right in front of a cab. When we played "Baba O'Reilly" we both gasped when the piano started, and then again when the drums and bass kicked in. They have to be heard to be believed.
So I've had a very good week. It's been exhausting, and it's not done yet. Providing MVW cabs for the Parsons Music in the Park Thursday and then Saturday going to Sapulpa OK to provide sound for the Route 66 blowout. Time to get these out in the real world, get some feedback. Let everybody hear the difference. The next year is going to be interesting to say the least.