A record store like no other, the Record Archive has been a revered institution of all things related to music since it first opened its doors in Rochester, New York in 1975. Since then, it has moved and expanded several times, settling a decade ago into a 13,000 square-foot space that co-owners Alayna Alderman and Richard Storms have built out into a music-lover’s paradise. In addition to 250,000 records, 1,000s of DVDs, and respectable and enduring collections of CDs, cassette tapes, 8-track tapes, and VHS tapes, the Record Archive sells new and used stereo equipment and novelty gifts.
Four years ago, it opened the Backroom Lounge where local and regional bands perform to up to 150 patrons, and it recently complemented its live music and incredible shopping with New York state’s first record store tavern license. Even more recently, the Record Archive upgraded its Backroom Lounge sound system with nearby Webster, New York-based Ashly Audio DSP/amplifiers and Rochester-based Fulcrum loudspeakers/subs.
“Our goal is not only to give our patrons a great musical experience, but also to give the musicians who perform at the Backroom Lounge a great experience, and sound quality is obviously a critical part of that,” explained Alderman. “Fulcrum Acoustic designed and installed the sound system for us, and they recommended Ashly Audio – another local pro audio manufacturer with national and international reach – for the system’s amplification and DSP.”
“We absolutely love the new system, and we’ve been boasting that it’s the best sound system in Rochester, at least for a venue of this size, said Jones
The Backroom Lounge already had a well-functioning console so Fulcrum technicians added an Ashly nXp8004 and an Ashly nXp8002. Both units deliver 800 Watts per channel and include Ashly’s Protea DSP, which allowed the technicians to condition input signals, to tune the room, and to provide all of the necessary speaker crossovers and dynamics protection.
The Ashly nXp8002’s two channels power the mains: a stereo pair of Fulcrum CX 1295 full-range loudspeakers. The Ashly nXp8004’s four channels power three Fulcrum FX 896 high-fidelity wedges and a single Fulcrum SUB118 subwoofer, which is placed to the side of the stage near a full-scale Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton and a respectable collection of velvet Elvis paintings!
“Sometimes I get credit for the great sound, but it’s not really me; it’s the gear. It’s simple and reliable, and I don’t have to worry about it.” said Deb Jones, events manager at Record Archive and the de facto sound engineer. I’m confident with my mixes now, and the system sounds great whether we have it really loud for rock acts or quiet for simple acoustic sets. The Backroom Lounge empties into the rest of the store via three arches so customers shopping the records can enjoy the show too while they sip on their beer or wine.”