From 1 March, AED Rent will serve the professional AV business with a vast inventory of L-Acoustics K1 systems – the first ones were delivered to AED’s HQ at press time, reports Marc Maes
When, in 2008, L-Acoustics launched the large format K1 line array range, the company identified some 50 companies worldwide as privileged partners. “Over the years, K1 has evolved to become the world standard in line array systems. Due to the ongoing and growing demand, it made sense for us to allow a trusted partner to cover the market’s needs,” says Han Dohmen, L-Acoustics sales manager Benelux and Northern Europe.
Dohmen underlines that, rather than a change in the K1 exclusivity policy, the decision to include AED Rent in the K1 network was inspired by the fact that AED Rent’s modus operandi of only supplying to professional rental companies fits L-Acoustics' business model. “We only sell K1 to certified production companies, but we made this exception for AED Rent as we felt it would allow them to better fulfil their role as supplier to the industry, especially our existing K1 network.”
Glenn Roggeman, CEO of AED Group is happy to consolidate his long-time working relationship with L-Acoustics with a substantial investment in K1, which follows last year’s investment in 300 KS28 subwoofers. “There are over 8.000 rental and production companies in Europe, and less than 60 K1 partners worldwide,” he says. “Today, L-Acoustics recognises the need to give access to K1 to a wider clientele, through a trusted rental partner.”
Roggeman adds that AED Rent, together with L-Acoustics, established specific K1 rules, identical to those applied with the K1 owners worldwide. “First of all, the production company must meet certain standards and use a K1-engineer or certified K1-technician to handle the system – in addition we require a professional crew and a minimal use of 24 K1 heads and 24 subs, a full system,” he adds.
Today, according to Dohmen, many system techs work with Kara and K2 set-ups, and want to upgrade to K1, joining the 1,300 strong worldwide K1 certified technicians.
“We are setting up specific training sessions for K1,” explains Koen Conaerts, AED Rent account manager and sound engineer. “Initially we organised one training day, but due to the high demand, we now have three K1 training days in the first week of March, with over 40 technicians from all over Europe attending, and a waiting list for another 40 people.”
“This is an ideal opportunity for rental houses to get access to the “Ferrari” of loudspeakers, and a scope to profile themselves on a highly professional level,” echoes Roggeman.
In addition to AED Rent’s investment in the K1 range, Dohmen also sees advantage in the company’s ability to supply on-site technical support and provide certified K1 technicians to companies who want to use K1 systems.
With an impressive inventory of over 1,500 L-Acoustics K-series line arrays (Kiva, Kiva II, Kara, K2, K1 & V-DOSC), more than 1,000 L-Acoustics subwoofers (KS28 and SB28) and over 1,000 wedges in its rental fleet, AED Rent continue their journey with L-Acoustics that started in 2001.
“Both companies have strengthened each other over the years,” concludes Dohmen, “L-Acoustics' emphasis on standardisation to allow cross rental and maximise the use of the systems is a perfect fit with AED Rent’s business model.”
An extra bonus for the rental business is the fact that AED Rent is pioneering, as from March their overnight dispatch service, allowing rental companies to pick up their equipment at night. “Mobility and logistics are becoming a serious issue in Europe, especially between 8.00 and 18.00 hrs,” explains Filip Van Vlem, AED group’s international PR and communications manager. “From now on, we offer our clients to take delivery of their kit after business hours in our Willebroek HQ. We have put in place a coded entry system at one of the gates so that rental companies can avoid peak traffic hours.”
Picture: (L-R) Front: Han Dohmen, L-Acoustics sales manager Benelux & Northern Europe, Steven Mansvelt, managing director AED Rent, Glenn Roggeman, CEO AED group. Top: (L-R) Piet Verstraete and Koen Conaerts, AED Rent Account manager/sound engineers. Photo credit: Mmpress