Newcomer Beale St. Audio Bringing Blues to CEDIA
Beale Street Audio will launch its product line at the 2014 CEDIA Expo in Denver this September. In an effort to promote the brand, the company will give one attendee a Gibson ES-335 to draw attention its Memphis roots.
There are few cities that can rival the thriving music scene of Memphis, Tenn. Lucky residents of Memphis live in a city with an unparalleled blues scene, and when they are not jamming to the sounds coming from B.B. King’s or the Blues City Café, they are eating some of the country’s best BBQ food.
Joining these world-famous restaurants, clubs, and the iconic guitar company Gibson in Memphis is a new specialty audio manufacturer. Named after the street that marks the epicenter of Memphis’ music scene, Beale Street Audio is set to debut at the 2014 CEDIA Expo.
Unlike many of first-time show exhibitors, Beale Street Audio is not a typical startup. Backed by 108-year-old company that has more than 50 years of experience in the world of audio, Beale Street is coming into the custom installation market with a line of architectural speakers that are built around by a technology called, “Sonic Vortex.”
Leveraging its Environment
Exhibiting in booth number 596, the company plans to promote its products and technologies through the fame of its hometown. Hosting an “open guitar” for CEDIA attendees to walk up and play, Beale Street Audio, says that installers can sit down and noodle on the guitar or enter themselves in its guitar giveaway contest.
To enter the giveaway Beale Street will video contestants for approximately 30 seconds. Installers can play whatever they want, and judges will evaluate the videos. Some of the videos will be posted on the company’s Facebook page to allow social media visitors to choose winners for a group of secondary prizes.
Organized by long-time industry veteran Mark Cichowski, CEO of Clarity AV International, the promotion is designed to appeal to the custom market’s legion of music fans and musicians. Best of all, according to Cichowski is the grand prize, which will be a Gibson ES-335 electric guitar. Used by jazz, blues and rock musicians, including Larry Carlton, Freddie King, T-Bone Walker, Alvin Lee and Lee Ritenour, the 335 is one of Gibson’s most coveted and versatile guitars.
Speakers Incorporate Unique Low Frequency Technologies
Drawing from his background as a custom installer, Jim Murray, founder of Beale Street Audio, developed a bass reproduction technique called Sonic Vortex. Murray explains Sonic Vortex is a means to deliver a live musical experience that captures the vibe of his home city’s music heritage without sacrificing quality.
“Like many manufacturers in our market, I was a custom integrator for many years, so I absolutely look at what we are doing with Beale from an integrators perspective. I wanted to combine an amazing technology that will truly provide dealers with a superior product, along with the welcoming, live music spirit of Beale Street in Memphis, Tenn.—the place where blues married soul and made rock-n-roll,” he says.
“Architectural speakers that do not utilize enclosures inherently have issues, which is not a knock on the actual product. There are real-world situations in play such as poor bass response, sound playing into the next room, dirt and dust getting into the speaker, and no two speakers sounding the same since ceiling/wall cavities vary. Our integrated enclosure with Sonic Vortex solves these issues and adds to the overall performance.”
The company states the technology has some elements similar to transmission line designs, and the Sonic Vortex technology is built into the speakers’ back boxes. Providing more detail, Beale Street Audio points out the speaker is able to produce more bass through a design in which multiple sections or fins are tuned to specific frequencies. The fins compress and move air at high rates of speed without port noise, and are said to also aid in the rigidity of the cabinets.
In addition, Beale Street claims the technology also helps its products to produce a flat frequency response, as well as a 6dB to 9dB boost in the mid-bass region when compared to other sealed enclosure products.
The technology is scalable and enables the manufacturer to design a complete line of products at varying sizes and price points without sacrificing low-frequency performance.
Cichowski says Beale Street Audio is the culmination of creative thinking and enough funding to makes those concepts a reality.
“A lot of great ideas get stuck in the garage since there is often no money and/or personnel to back the idea,” he says. “A major component for the success and ongoing sustainability of Beale Street Audio is that the company is backed not only by a company with the proper resources, but also one that understands the audio business. It is rare when a real technology such as Sonic Vortex comes along that is not smoke and mirrors.
“Ask yourself how many differentiating speaker technologies or features have been released in the past 20 plus years? The pivoting tweeter, the edgeless grill? Sonic Vortex is a game changer that provides a tangible improvement in performance and provides real value.”
At the 2014 CEDIA Expo, the Tenn.-based speaker company Beale Street Audio will give away a Gibson ES-335 guitar to one lucky attendee. Famous players, including “Mr 335” Larry Carlton are famous for their devotion to one of Gibson’s most popular instruments.
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Bob is an audio enthusiast who has written about consumer electronics for various publications within Massachusetts before joining the staff of CE Pro in 2000. Bob is THX Level I certified, and he's also taken classes from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). Bob also serves as the technology editor for CE Pro's sister publication Commercial Integrator. In addition, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass., and he also studies Kyokushin karate at 5 Dragons in Haverhill, Mass. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Robert at firstname.lastname@example.org
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