It's not common for an audio professional to purchase gear without ever having heard it, particularly for an entire stage setup blasting high profile hard rock and punk bands like Dope, The Misfits and Soil. But long-time live sound pro Jim Roese confidently took this plunge when Bernie's Bar in Nashua, NH hired him to redo their stage setup.
Roese owns a high-end pro audio company called RPM Dynamics and also works as production manager/monitor engineer for Blondie.
Prior to Roese's arrival, bands were having a hard time with the club's mix-and-match stage monitoring setup. Clarity, punch, plenty of headroom and simple durability are paramount factors in outfitting a rock venue. For loud acts like these, stage volume is a primary concern, and the artists weren't happy.
For owner/booker Bernie Goulet, matching price to product was the concern. Working within a budget meant having to find the best stage setup without upsetting bands, fans or the bottom line. Knowing he would need something with quality sound that was also powerful, sturdy and affordable, Roese ordered ten new SRM650s, sight unseen. The next evolution of Mackie's SRM line, the SRM650 packs 1600 W of power into an all-wood frame with an 18-gauge steel grill.
"I've been using Mackie gear for many, many years," Roese said, "including the SRM450 and the DL1608 mixer. The SRM450s in particular always sounded great, and never had a problem. So I was pretty confident the SRM650 would be a quality product."
"I looked at the specs, and saw this all-wood box, with a list price of around $900. Knowing Mackie, I knew it would be built like a tank, and would compete with boxes selling for twice that much. And we were right: Mackie delivered."
In addition to ten SRM650s, Roese added other players in the Mackie line to fill out the setup. "I put in an SRM1850 as a drum sub and a pair of the SRM550s as well." Roese is also working on adding sound treatment, as well as other improvements to further solidify Bernie's as the area's premier rock venue.
"Mackie has always built a great product," Roese said. "Their stuff works, and it sounds great. I wanted Bernie's to get great quality gear that fit their budget, and I placed my confidence in Mackie, knowing that their new products would be as good as they say. So we purchased it, put it in the club, and everyone loves it."