The Entertainers

The Entertainers
  • CLIFTON PARK, NY--SAVI began its life as Specialized Audio, a late-1960s company that primarily served as support for the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) upon its opening. Still thought of as innovators today, SAVi has not strayed from the entertainment market that has made it a big name in the industry.
  • When Specialized Audio began working with SPAC the company was run by Stan Hanna. Michael Weirich,

SAVI integrated a system into the SoundBoard night club. general manager of SAVI recalls how the company grew to prominence. “With the advent of that PAC, we began to develop staff and equipment. We grew into doing local regional shows from there. In the mid-1980s, the company was bought by one of its employees, Michael Cusick, around 1985. It had changed clientele by then and, under Cusick’s tutelage, the company began doing different endeavors. There was a long run with the Miss America Pageant and the Billy Graham Crusades. Those shows got the company moving into a larger direction.”

At this point SAVI saw the need for a bigger facility and looked to move, as Weirich noted. “The company changed its facility to the current one in Clifton Park, NJ in 1988. Some time in the early 1990s, we began doing an inroad with a Las Vegas show at the Hilton called ‘Starlight Express.’ That really began to launch SAVI into doing large-scale, higher profile dealings with clientele and facilities, and it opened up the Vegas and touring market for us. Since then it’s grown into what it is today. We’ve now had a long-standing relationship with touring companies and the Vegas side, from either a design or installation standpoint. We’ve gotten into showrooms up and down the strip.”

SAVi has found that technology is the key to success in this industry, as Weirich explained. “We’re relied upon as being innovators, especially from the design standpoint. We research what’s coming up in the next five, 10, or 20 years heavily. Whatever’s relevant today needs to be so in the long term. Our clients need the comfort to know that whatever they put in now will be a long-term solution, even as surface technologies change. We spend a lot of time on R&D for the integration of the products.”

SAVI integrated a system into the Motor City Casino in Detroit, MI. reputation for its service in that sector. Weirich said, “Our main markets are entertainment venues, casinos, theaters, and theater production, but we approach everything from a design-build perspective. We’ve established an excellent client base and we seek out the type of client that wants a solution from the beginning to the end. We want to be there from an engineering/design, installation, training, and future service standpoint. We try to cater mostly to that total package. To be able to give a client a foolproof solution to renovate their system and be able to fit into everyone’s budgets while staying on a state-of-the-art playing field is our goal.”SAVI has integrated manufacturer training into its post-installation service for its clients, as Weirich explained. “We looking into relationships we have with manufacturers, to keep current with the training offered in any groundbreaking technologies. We utilized a lot of web seminars offered by manufacturers for training, which has helped clients not just rely on us for training. For clients, that’s turned out to be very positive. We provide a combination of our training managers and manufacturer training, and it’s a cohesive package that focuses on an individual system. It’s all a part of the service package that SAVI offers. The customer needs to understand that the technology they’re getting is not commonplace, and they need commit the time to make sure they’re comfortable with the emerging technology five years down the road when they need to integrate something else into their system. We want them to feel secure about the future as well as the present.”