BUSINESS: The announcement follows L-ACOUSTICS' recent decision to alter the way in which it supports its Line Source Array owners, writes David Davies. The manufacturer's new Rental Network replaces the V-DOSC Partnership and is said to offer its agents "a unique opportunity to pool quality values as well as human technical resources, and to benefit from Network synergies."
Meanwhile, Britannia Row and SSE have become the first UK hire companies to join the K1/KUDO pilot scheme.
The new Rental Network platform is based on three working principles: the assurance of worldwide systems availability with inventory thresholds for various rental segments; the establishment of a new 'K' universal standard to ensure performance and compatibility of systems; and the guarantee of qualified technicians to ensure standards of excellence through education.
In addition to simplifying the previous conditions of agreement for rental agents, the new Rental Network provides benefits including international rental guidelines, advanced technical support, and exposure of Rental Network activities through regular communication and inclusion in the official Network Directory.
The new framework is a response to the increasing appeal of line array technology. "L-ACOUSTICS has therefore decided to address the needs for coordination and cooperation within this growing community of owners while keeping the V-DOSC original network quality standards," the manufacturer's marketing director, St_phane Ecalle, tells PSN-e. "The new L-ACOUSTICS Rental Network describes the articulation between legacy V standard system owners (V-DOSC, dV-DOSC) and the new K standard (KUDO and K1) system owners introduced in the second half of 2008."
Entry into the Rental Network starts with a preliminary audit to ensure that the prospective agent's financial goals, technical and human resources match the Network Charter. After the system has been purchased from an authorised representative and staff training carried out, the Rental Network agent is listed in the directory and gets full access to the Network and its privileges.
Meanwhile, the aforementioned K universal system standard - currently including KUDO, K1, associated subwoofers, the new LA-RAK touring rack, and system accessories such as rigging and cabling - is designed to: optimise the performance of L-ACOUSTICS systems; simplify cross-rental, interfacing and pooling of systems; and generate maximum efficiency and safety in the field.
"The standard can right now be applied to all rental products from our compact coaxials to K1," says Ecalle. "We are confident that the benefits of this new approach will be acknowledged and promoted by our rental agents."
The deployment of the K standard is to be accompanied by a new training programme, available in two forms: System Technician, which covers system design, installation and testing/tuning; and highest level qualification K System Engineer (KSE).
The Britannia Row and SSE announcement, meanwhile, sees the companies simultaneously take delivery of 48 K1 line source cabinets, which form their K1/KUDO systems together with K1 SB and SB28 subwoofers, KUDO line source boxes and LA-RAK touring rack fitted with LA8 amplified controllers. SSE and Britannia Row will also be incorporated into the new Rental Network.
"As we're among the first to get the new system, it puts us in a leading position, giving us a whole range of commercial possibilities. It's already attracting lots of interest, and we intend to maximise this by putting the system out on some major festivals this summer, getting it in front of as many people as possible," said SSE MD John Penn, pictured here (right) with Canegreen's Yan Stile, SSE colleague Heather Penn and L-ACOUSTICS' Christian Heil.