Sponsored content from Blaze Audio
Outfitting commercial environments with full-fledged audio systems often follows a piecemeal approach. Amps, speakers, and controllers of diverse brands must be integrated and configured to function as one cohesive unit—an often complex and time-consuming endeavor. Blaze Audio has addressed this common pain point by launching a new systems-based approach to commercial audio. They didn’t have to dig too far. With roots in the global pro audio market, Blaze Audio draws from the build quality and credibility of its legacy amplifier electronics to scale and engineer a complete, fully matrixed system that’s dramatically simpler for systems integrators to set up and install, and for their clientele to use. Blaze Audio may be a new brand name to many, but their innovative line of commercial products solves an age-old problem of overly complex, labor-intensive, and costly configuration practices. SCN spoke recently with Kevin Wilkin, Executive Sales Director and Business Unit Manager for Blaze Audio in the Americas, to learn more about the recent launch of Blaze Audio’s PowerZone Connect series throughout North America:
SCN: What was the impetus for creating and launching Blaze Audio? What void in the commercial audio industry does it address?
Kevin Wilkin: To answer that question we need to first understand our company’s DNA. Blaze Audio is a brand of Pascal, the premier OEM/ODM manufacturer of amplifier technology for the global pro audio market, powering speakers, rack amps, and studio monitors for the past 15 years. Blaze Audio extends this commitment to quality to the systems integration community with a new systems-based approach to commercial audio deployments. While other manufacturers outsource components to build a complete solution, Blaze Audio designs and builds its own products and solutions from the ground up, ensuring seamlessly integrated, pre-configured, unified commercial audio systems that can be quickly and easily configured and deployed.
SCN: What makes Blaze Audio different from other commercial audio companies as a business?
KW: One of the things I love about being in the entrepreneurial phase of establishing Blaze Audio’s footprint in the Americas is the opportunity to establish a vibrant, fun, and healthy company culture. We are applying many of the core values of our Danish parent company Pascal A/S, such as extending high trust, accepting high accountability, leading with honesty and directness, acknowledging weakness as a sign of strength, working hard but playing harder, working as a team, and valuing everyone’s input and perspective. If we expect to be true partners with our customers, these values, especially high trust, are critical to building and maintaining a strong and active dealer base. Part of this trust means stocking a healthy inventory so dealers can complete projects on time and without squeezing their cash flow.
SCN: What makes Blaze Audio different from other commercial audio companies in terms of products and technologies? What benefits do you bring to commercial integrators? End users?
KW: We start with exceptionally high build and performance quality. Many people don’t realize that some of the best studio monitors are powered by our parent company Pascal; Blaze Audio is applying this same technology to its commercial audio products. We know that it takes more than great products to make a difference in a systems integrator’s bottom line, so we’ve further engineered our solutions to be remarkably intuitive and simple to configure—something that’s unique to the commercial audio market. Flexibility is another important differentiating feature. One product in our line can be easily configured to perform tasks that might otherwise require three separate products from another manufacturer. This means a dealer can carry fewer skus from Blaze Audio, knowing those products will support multiple applications for a higher degree of profitability. We are also rewriting the book on speaker performance, focusing our energy on solving problems end-users may not even know exist.
SCN: What types of products are you leading with? What will be added to round out the line?
KW: Blaze Audio has recently added four high-powered amplifiers to its PowerZone Connect series of smart DSP matrix amps, extending total power across eight models from 120W up to 3000W. Mic/line balanced inputs and an assortment of digital and analog I/Os combined with powerful DSP and routing enables PowerZone Connect amplifiers to support speaker presets from any speaker manufacturer to form a complete, standalone system. Our PowerZone Connect products also play well with leading control systems from Q-SYS, Crestron, Control 4, and RTI, with additional drivers under development. Soon, we will be launching our own Wall-S1 controller to provide end-users with an intuitive interface for source selection and volume control. Systems integrators can program the interface in minutes via the PowerZone Control web app via a Wi-Fi connection or network port.
SCN: What steps are you taking to support dealers?
KW: Just because a product is flexible and intuitive, doesn’t mean there aren’t many variables to consider when selecting the right solution for the job. Our technical sales manager makes sure our dealers understand the options and follows up by offering commissioning on qualifying systems, as well as system design and proposal service, including EASE Focus plots for speakers. Need to try and buy? Our dealer program offers this, as well. Every Blaze Audio amplifier comes with a 5-year warranty which we back up with advanced replacements for the duration of that warranty. We want to be the best possible partner we can be to system integrators, and this includes ongoing service and support.
Blaze Audio’s debut of its innovative PowerZone Connect series of fully matrixed, DSP loaded, networked power amplifier products sets a solid foundation for complete, turnkey commercial audio systems, flexible and powerful enough to serve the smallest to the largest of settings. To learn more about their comprehensive line of products, please visit https://blaze-audio.com/
About Blaze Audio
Headquartered in Greensboro, NC, Blaze Audio is a subsidiary of Pascal A/S of Copenhagen, Denmark—the leading supplier of amplifier electronics for the global AV market. Drawing upon the vast resources of its parent company, Blaze Audio is on a mission to create commercial simplicity through product flexibility at competitive pricing. The company ensures commercial simplicity by way of efficient operations and by innovative product designs that enable fewer products to cover more fixed install applications. To learn more about Blaze Audio, visit the company online at https://blaze-audio.com/ or call 1-888-500-0109.