Obstacle Number 5 -
Getting Several Free System Designs


Every terrible sounding system started out with a free system design.

It takes hours of time, expenses, and talented people to design a great sounding system. Talented people don’t work for free. Let’s think about this.

Dont assume your project will be taken seriously in a free design. Most likely there will be some quick thought put into it but no one is going to spend hours making sure you’re getting exactly what you need and do it for free. A similar quote will be pulled up, updated to your project, and spit out in a hurry in the hopes of getting the job.

The key reason that arenas, theatres, and convention centers usually have good sound systems is because they never get free quotes. A system designer is paid several thousand dollars to design the system they need to get the sound and features they want. Then the project is sub’d out to installers to put it in.

When buyers shop around for "bids" on their sound system, several problems snowball that practically guarantees a poor purchase.

1. When several proposals are gathered from different "sound contractors" you are in effect getting several different DESIGN opinions none of which may be what you need to get the sound you want. If you get 3 bids, you are comparing 3 different design ideas. Just this fact alone lessens your chance of getting the right thing to practically zero.

2. After you get those bids, who on your buying comittee has the experience and technical expertise to pick out the best fit design? For a layperson or sound novice to review 3 designs and choose the right one, if any of them are, is impossible. That is why it almost always comes down to price, brand, or some other "good feeling" to pick the final bid instead of a real world performance standard. In effect, whoever on your side of the table picks the final bid has proclaimed themselves as an expert in sound system engineering.

It takes me at least 20 hours or so to thoughtfully design and quote a small system. It means on site visits, interviewing people, doing acoustic tests, travel time, engineering time, and all sorts of expenses in time and money to give you a quote guaranteed to get the sound you are going to expect. I’m not in a rush to get a commission check, to close the sale, to sell a certain amount of a brand of equipment to keep the line, or to see how I can beat the other guy in price. I’m after one thing and one thing only – to get the sound that makes your ministries sound their very best.

I bill for my time and designs. I’m happy to make a one time visit, sit behind your console, and talk to your techs and look things over. But I do bill for any serious quote. I’m serious about my work and doing the best I can for you.



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