The Roxy rocks on with Rat Sound and JBL

Five decades after its founding, The Roxy Theatre sought an audio update, relying on Rat Sound Systems to install a system based on JBL’s VTX A8 three-way line array element.

Musician and Roxy Co-Owner, Cisco Adler, commented: “We asked ourselves how we could bring back the best of the Roxy’s spirit of the last 50 years. We wanted the room to be the preeminent venue in terms of sound for the artist, as well as the audience.”

While it was clear that the new system had to have fidelity, power, and coverage, it could also not impede views from anywhere in the famed theatre, be it floor space or VIP balcony seating. JBL’s A8 offers a wide, 110-degree coverage area and up to 139 dB SPL maximum output yet is only 30 inches (761 mm) wide, thus providing a perfect match to the requirements.

“JBL was involved in the system design, and we put a little spin on things, mostly with the sub-deployment,” said Adam Figueroa, Rat’s Head of Sales and Installations. “The stage is an odd size and requires some unique sub-processing to get the coverage and response we were looking for.”

The final design specified 12 of JBL’s VTX A8 cabinets for the main L/R coverage, four VTX B28 dual 18-inch subwoofers, and a selection of AE Compact speakers for fills. Crown I-Tech 4X3500HDS DriveCoreTM four-channel amplifiers drive the system.

JBL worked closely with Rat to resolve every concern that arose, reported Figueroa: “We appreciated how JBL’s application team helped us along the way, considering this was our first VTX install. We found a rigging issue when we assembled the arrays in our shop for testing, and JBL was able to resolve it for us almost overnight.”

Through cooperative effort, the system went into place smoothly. “Our project lead, Greg Binkard, was able to finesse the hangs into a position that satisfied all the considerations. The VTX rigging hardware was very user-friendly,” Figueroa confirmed.

Adler concluded: “We’re thrilled, first and foremost, with how the system sounds. Beyond that, we are thrilled with the partnership with Rat and JBL, who helped us in keeping the Roxy the best-sounding room in the world. That’s important to us because you don’t come to the Roxy to see a show, you come to be part of the show.’”