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M2Ds Praised at Blues Fest
When he brought his brand new M2D Compact Curvilinear Array loudspeakers to the Pittsburgh Blues Festival, Steve Raselevich of Northern Sound and Light (McKees Rocks, PA) placed considerable faith in Meyer Sound's reputation for flawless out-of-the-box performance.
"We only unpacked six of the M2Ds — one side of the rig — in the shop for a quick test drive," notes Raslevich. "We actually took the other six out of the shipping boxes right at the festival site. We plugged them in and they worked perfectly, as we expected."
The M2Ds, which offer precise horizontal and vertical pattern control, had arrived just in the nick of time to handle some difficult site acoustics. The festival takes place in Pittsburgh's urban/industrial Lawrenceville district (adjacent to the home of primary sponsor Pittsburgh Brewing Company), and the surrounding brick and concrete structures present reflection hazards for any sounds that stray outside the audience area.
"We have had problems there in the past," notes Raslevich, "so we used Meyer's MAPP Online to model what we could expect. The correlation between the prediction and what we actually got was excellent. Everything was focused exactly where it was supposed to be."
The twelve M2D cabinets were supplemented by a pair of underhung UPA-1P Compact Wide Coverage loudspeakers for front fill and a pair of UPM-1P Ultra-Compact Wide Coverage loudspeakers for stage lip fill. Sub-bass was provided by Northern Sound's own proprietary subwoofers.
The Pittsburgh Blues Festival, held July 19-21, featured headliners Keb' Mo', Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown and John Hammond, along with a number of regional acts.
The M2D's debut proved to be a stunning success, covering the packed crowds (estimated up to 4,500) evenly while holding a solid 106 dB at front-of-house and maintaining coherent sound more than 180 feet from the stage.
"Keb Mo's engineer was very happy to see the M2Ds," notes Raslevich. "He had already mixed on them a couple times, and he said they were becoming his favorite rig. A local radio dj was so impressed by what he heard that he was raving about the festival's sound on the air!"
Raslevich selected the M2D following several months of investigation, a process that revealed the advantages of Meyer Sound's comprehensive approach to turnkey systems.
"With other systems, something always came up short," maintains Raslevich. "For example, I had one manufacturer tell me to go one place for the bumpers and someplace else for the rigging hardware, and they offered no dolly trays." He also admits that his initial fears that a Meyer system would be more expensive proved unfounded. "I checked the actual pricing, deducting what it would cost for amplifiers and crossovers, and I realized that it was all there: I could easily do it within my budget."
Northern Sound and Light had relied primarily on its own proprietary system before investing in the M2D, but following this auspicious debut, Raslevich expresses confidence in his company's first move to a 'name' product. "Right now, Meyer is the top name in the industry, so it's a big step for us. I expect our M2D rig will open a number of new doors for us."