The Belgian group has made an impressive L-Acoustics purchase and taken a foothold in the UK, writes Marc Maes.
AED Group, Belgium’s pro-audio distribution, sales and rental giant, has opened its first office in the UK. Last month, January, Glenn Mollemans was appointed manager of the new subsidiary located in High Wycombe, while, in Willebroek, the AED HQ took delivery of the first of over 380 items of new
L-Acoustics PA gear. In December, the company also bought eight Soundcraft consoles.
“The idea is to have a basic inventory in each of the countries (Netherlands, France, Germany and the UK) with a main pool in Belgium, standing by to cater for demand from abroad,” says AED Group CEO Glenn Roggeman (pictured). “We invested in L-Acoustics gear to support companies that already work with the brand, we supply the extra equipment and buy the necessary quantities to fulfil that mission on demand.”
“We’re an L-Acoustics-driven company,” confirms Roggeman. “They’re our first choice audio reinforcement system – we have been working with L-Acoustics for over 10 years now, and the brand is found on 90% of all technical riders, making it an internationally accepted standard for live events.”
The full order from the French PA specialist is based around three complete KARA systems, 216 full-range modular line source cabinets in total. “The integrated flying system accessories allow system techs to build up the system in no time – the KARA also has an excellent L-R dispersion,” Roggeman says.
In addition, AED has bought in 72 SB18 subs, 34 LA RAK touring racks, 24 8XT coaxial cabi- nets, 18 LA8 and 22 LA4 amplified controllers. This adds to a total inventory consisting of some 1,300 L-Acoustics line array cabs, plus 1,000 subs, fills, monitors etc.
The company has over 500 dV-DOSC boxes in its rental division, and Roggeman sees the KARA investment as an addition rather than a replacement. “We remain loyal to the dV-DOSC for our client users.”
AED Rent wants to have the substantial amount of speakers ready for the road before summer – subsidiary business AED Cases has already fabricated more than 70 flight cases to pack triplets of cabinets and cables.
Roggeman adds: “The market wanted to have more Soundcraft”, and so in December he invested in eight Soundcraft desks, six Vi1s and two Vi2s.
Meanwhile, for Mollemans and his team of six, a new adventure began in the 30,000sqft (2,790 sqm) warehouse on Knaves Beech industrial estate in High Wycombe on 1 January 2011.
“We were asked to open a UK ware- house to cut transport expenses and to be nearer our clients,” reveals Glenn Roggeman. “The policy will remain the same, we supply what the professional clients want, but we see that, in the UK, companies always want the latest and hottest products on the market – audio may then be evolving slowly, the video and lighting market is continuously adapting new technologies, and that’s what the UK clients want to have for their high-quality productions.”
By opening a UK subsidiary, AED Rent wants to offer identical quality products and service throughout Europe, at an identical rate in all territories. “We want to stabilise the rates, not de-stabilise them,” concludes Roggeman.