Based Upon In-Depth Console Market Research,
Sound Services Chooses APB-DynaSonics Spectra-T
Sound Services, a thriving regional sound company based in Mico, Texas, has recently chosen to invest in a new 48-channel APB-DynaSonics Spectra-T Series mixing console following an in-depth research process that took all viable professional-grade consoles on the market into consideration.
Headed by veteran sound professionals Teri and John Hogan, Sound Services provides complete systems, engineering and support to a diverse range of mission-critical live events, including concerts, festivals and corporate events - to name just a few. Seeking a new lead mixing console to handle all of these needs, the two were immediately attracted to the APB-DynaSonics Spectra Series.
"The people at APB are really smart. It's obvious that they've talked to countless working audio professionals to pinpoint exactly what is really needed in a mid-priced full-feature console," Teri Hogan notes. "The Spectra Series offers every single feature imaginable, and a few others that are a great bonus."
Enlisted to provide input on the APB-DynaSonics development process, Hogan immediately pressed a 32-channel Spectra-T demo unit into service at a large regional festival, putting it side-by-side with a "premium" console for use by 12 engineers. "All 12 - every single one of them - said that hands down they'd take the Spectra over the other console any day of the week," she says, and this highly qualified endorsement combined with their own experiences led to Sound Services acquiring the 48-channel Spectra-T.
"There are just so many things to like about this console that it's hard to know where to start," Hogan explains. "Start with the fact that it's a VCA console, and that it offers 10 aux outputs so you can comfortably mix monitors from front of house. Both of these are absolutely key factors for regional sound companies."
Spectra's inclusion of four stereo inputs is another big plus in Hogan's book: "These are four additional stereo channels in addition to the inputs, and are so valuable in saving your input channels from being taken up by effects returns, CD playback units and so on."
Easily one of the top features is the unique circuit board design and construction methods, she adds. Each input block consists of eight channels with common metalwork, with a single circuit board spanning the length of the module between the top of the panel and the pan control. This circuit board is nearly all passive, with most of the active electronics on additional plug-in circuit boards. These circuit boards are very accessible, they can be easily unplugged from the main board and replaced - swapped out on an individual per-channel basis.
"APB has come up with the exact right solution on this one," Hogan says. "I've always balked at the idea of eight inputs to a module, because if I lose one channel, I actually lose eight channels when it has to be shipped off for repair. With the APB approach, each input is 'plug and play' - if a channel has a problem, we simply plug in a new card. Even if that can't happen until the next day, the other channels continue to perform unaffected."
The Spectra-T EQ design driven by user requests that it be sweepable in all four bands and include shelving/bell switches on both HF and LF bands. "Another great aspect is the EQ section, which has an EQ bypass, so if you're mixing monitors from FOH, you can still use your strip EQ without impacting the monitor mix," she continues. "The EQ section is just plain smart - it's fully sweepable and you can select between shelving or bell-shaped EQ."
With the new Spectra-T already seeing constant use in Sound Services' heavy live event schedule, Hogan offers that everything has worked out even better than anticipated. "There's one other thing that should be noted about this console," she concludes. "It's got its own sound, and it's just as good as anything in the world, at any price point. And the headroom is almost beyond belief. In a nutshell, Spectra Series consoles just have so much versatility, sound so good and are built so well."