Duke Foster, monitor tech/engineer for Sound Explosion, was System Tech for Rogers Bayfest 2007 in Sarnia, ON. Ajax, Ontario (August 22, 2007)–Sound Explosion Productions of Ajax, Ontario recently got its hands on a slew of new FP+ Series amplifiers from Lab.gruppen. By the time the summer festival season rolled around, the Canadian sound hire company was up to full power with 40 FP+ Series FP 13000 amps for FOH arrays plus six FP 10000Q four-channel units for stage wedges. According to company president David Gardner, they’ve been working nonstop all summer.
“We’ve been swamped,” says Gardner. “Since we’ve taken delivery of the Lab.gruppens, they’ve hardly had a chance to cool down.” Gardner says he started looking for new amplifiers after a number of his previous units had failed during performances. “I’d heard that Lab.gruppen had an excellent reputation for reliability,” he says, “so I ordered my first batch of FP 13000s. The performance has been flawless, and they sound phenomenal. My VerTec rig has never sounded better.”
Gardner is using his two dozen FP 13000s to drive the main FOH arrays, which are normally configured as 12 per side VerTec 4889 mid-high boxes and 12 4800 subwoofers. The six four-channel FP 10000Qs drive up to 24 EAW SM15 wedges in a bi-amplified configuration. The 16 remaining FP 13000s are available as needed for fill and delay systems. Gardner is driving his Lab.gruppens with new Dolby Lake Processors, and the amplifier-processor combination has made a remarkable difference, he claims. “It’s added a lot of warmth to the system.�� The mids and highs sound a lot cleaner than they did before. With the high power and headroom of the Lab.gruppens I can run almost twice as many boxes per amplifier as I could with the old amps. We’ve done between 30 and 40 very high-stress shows so far. We’ve pushed them hard and they’ve stood up very well.”
As for headroom reserves, Gardner points out that his three lightweight amplifier racks served up ample power to excite a crowd of 25,000 Aerosmith fans at the Rogers Bayfest near Toronto; other Bayfest headliners were Toby Keith, Def Leppard, and Nickelback. The same system also powered the main stage at the Caribana Festival, Toronto’s annual celebration of Caribbean music and culture.