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STEVE WILLIAMS SOUND JUNKIES, U.K.

"I BUILD MY OWN SYSTEMS USING NOTHING BUT FAITALPRO"

"We at Sound Junkies are located in an area called "The Black Country", so called, because of the iron and steel industries which used to flourish close to this vicinity. The Black Country is also known for music, since Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant and Deep Purple's Glenn Hughes are from here, along with many other famous performers.
We are bang in the middle of the country, some 30 minutes from Birmingham, right in the Midlands, in the heart of England."

These words are Steve Williams', the owner of Sound Junkies, who is also a sound engineer, therefore both a user of pro audio equipment, and a manufacturer of pro audio sound systems.
He was so kind to answer some questions posed by Andrew Richardson AREA/OEM Sales Pro-Audio Division of FaitalPRO.

 

Andrew Richardson FaitalPRO: "Can you describe yourself and what is the business model for Sound Junkies?"

Steve Williams Sound Junkies: "Basically I started business as a PA hire company.
Being a sound engineer I have been working with so many bands and companies over the years, but seven years ago I decided to start my own business.
I bought myself a PA system and after a couple of years of use I involved a couple of people in the design of new active speakers and PA cabinets.
At that time, a guy called Andrew Richardson helped me choose among many manufacturers' drivers and loudspeakers and I started producing a point source systems that we still use today.
My systems were initially composed of HF top boxes and a twin 15" box underneath (FaitalPRO 15FX560).
I took them out on the road using amplification modules and built in DSP.
The results were amazing, they threw the sound like a line array even though they were just a point source, producing a very detailed sound with an even sound diffusion wherever you were in the room or space.
I am still very happy with the original design and what I use to this day is a derivative of the original system, simply made bigger and bigger.
Today the biggest system in use is three times the original and is comprised of 3 top boxes and 3 twin 15" subs.
For bigger venues I just added two 18" boxes that go underneath (FaitalPRO 18HW1070).
So now the usual configuration is made of a twin 18", two twin 15" and 2 top boxes per side."

 

AR: "Can you describe your customer base?"
SW: "We have many medium size festival customers since the big festival arena is too competitive. Various customers have used my systems such Beverly Knight, Roland Gift (from Fine Young Cannibals), Andy Bennet, Roy Williams (engineer) and several others."

 

AR: "Are your sound systems currently available on the market or are you only using them for public performances?"
SW: "In the near future I'd love to sell my systems because I am sure a lot of people could really appreciate them, but the tough economic situation is definitely not fostering investments at the moment."

 

AR: "So what are your main business activities, and model?"
SW: "Since I started, my main activity is PA hire and the other market we are looking at the moment is installation even though there are a lot of difficulties in order to get certified such as health and safety legislation.
I guess we are among the strictest nations with regard to those requirements making it more difficult to offer more customizable products rather than just off the shelf enclosures.
This would allow us to use several more models of FaitalPRO loudspeakers within our boxes, in order to tune them using different tonalities and sound curves in specific rooms and landscapes.
Actually, the integration and customization through the use of different drivers is exactly one of our main unique selling points."

 

AR: "When did you start using FaitalPRO loudspeakers in your systems?"
SW: "My first test on these incredible loudspeakers was 5 years ago and soon we started using several models but perhaps the first real test was on the compression driver HF144 followed by the 15" and soon afterwards the 18".
The system works very well in this configuration and I have been using it for around 4 years with this combination of drivers. There are no dead spots between frequencies, straight from the highs to the lows as we get a complete and full bandwidth."

 

AR: "Before working with FaitalPRO did you test some other manufacturers drivers?
SW: "Before meeting you we purchased our drivers from shops like Adam Hall and other wholesalers, but looking for some tech advice we went straight to FaitalPRO starting the dialogue and ever since we took a long and winding process but... we got there!"

 

AR: "Are there any new products you would like to see within the catalogue?
SW: "You guys know what you are doing and I don't have any requests.
I feel comfortable with the products you are offering and so far, I've never picked up a product finding it is not suitable.
Everything you make which we look at has a purpose and a reason.
A very good thing about FaitalPRO is that your drivers are very current, tight to the market.
In the past, I've used other some well renowned brands and now I am using only one particular loudspeaker of another brand (because you do not have an equivalent) in only one box, while all the others are FaitalPRO."

 

AR: "What does your reference market say about your professional PA enclosures which use solely FaitalPRO and do you feel the market shows constant appreciation of our typical qualities such as power handling, reliability, continuity and consistence of quality and features? Do you agree with these qualities?"

SW: "Yes, of course, I have to tick all of these boxes here, because reliability comes first to me as a big plus. Actually, the main system of ours has been used for 2,5 years now (adding the 18s" recently) and I've never blown a driver.
We want to install a box on stage in our PA hire and just play music because we don't want to worry about having a tweak in the system because of failures or blowing things. We push a lot of noise through the drivers and they just seem to want more.
There is headroom and scope for power, so again we feel the quality and reliability. I should also say I love the performance they deliver and the sweetness we get from the compression drivers.
Possibly the HF144 is very likely the best driver for its size I've ever heard, since it is a good combination of sound. It is not too harsh; the horn is well designed and fits perfectly with the other components.
In general, reliability, performance and power to weight ratio are the key factors because when you deal with bigger boxes, an extra kilo for the ferrite magnet may be annoying.
Having FaitalPRO within I could go out and assemble the system on my own without the need for additional help."

 

AR: "You sound just like you have the best job in the world!"
SW: "Actually I take pride of what I do as a job, and being a sound engineer, I am both a user and a manufacturer at the same time. So, I know what are the right tools for the job, and I make them myself.
Yes, I do have the best job in the world! I love my job, it's a lot of hard work but it is amazing when it all goes right. Besides, people in general have to choose their PA system whilst trying to buy the best on the market. When I manufacture it on my own, to my own specifications, it will always deliver exactly what I wanted!"

 

 

Sound Junkies

 

Unit B&C, Sandfield Bridge Trading Estate,

Kingswinford,

Dudley DY5 4UG

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