When Marco Porro, of Soundcraft’s Italian distributors, Audio Equipment, opened up his stand at the SIB expo in Rimini recently, the prior feedback he had received suggested that heavy orders would be placed for the British company’s multi-mode MH3 and MH4 consoles.
But even he had no idea how many this would amount to before the month of March had run its course. And by the time he arrived at Pro Light+Sound in Frankfurt three weeks later, he was able to requisition a staggering 27 consoles, divided between the MH3 and MH4.
Marco attributed this to the fact that many of his customers had wanted to suspend their buying decisions until they were in a position to make like-for-like comparisons. And where better than a trade show – with all the industry’s proprietary analogue desks lined up alongside each other?
“The season starts at the end of April and I knew SIB would be an important show for us,” said Marco. “While I knew some orders had been promised, other rental companies decided to check out the features on competitive desks … but in every case they came back to us.”
The positive feedback — according to the Monza-based company — was based on the superior VCA’s and improved EQ of the MH3/MH4 along with the microphone input stages and general ergonomics and styling of the desks.
One such company was Rome-based Madema, long-time Soundcraft fans, with SM20’s and Series 5 in their rental fleets, which they run alongside a JBL VerTec system. Notably they handle all the rental equipment for the mighty Rome Auditorium — a task now made easier via the acquisition of two new MH4’s.
Over in Milan, rental company DFC have invested in an MH3 and MH4 to accompany their own VerTec, for touring commitments with bands from Italy’s Top of the Pops show.
Other dealers who have jumped on board the gravy train include rental company and MI dealers, Musical Box of Verona (with an MH3) and major Sicilian firm, Arte Sicilia, who have extended their inventory to two MH4’s and three MH3’s.
Thus it was a delighted Marco Porro, who is seen being congratulated by Soundcraft President, Andy Trott (left) and European Sales Manager, Karl Chapman on the Soundcraft stand at Frankfurt.