A.J. Desmond & Sons Funeral Directors have been serving families in suburban Detroit, Michigan for nearly a century. The family-owned business has maintained a commitment to serving the bereaved and the community as a whole through counseling, grief recovery groups, and other educational programs, earning A.J. Desmond & Sons Funeral Directors multiple Pursuit of Excellence awards from the National Funeral Directors Association and induction into the association’s Hall of Excellence. This is not a firm that operates by half measures, and so the small frustrations that accumulated from their sound system at the Royal Oaks location motivated them to hire Abel Electronics of St. Clair Shores, Michigan to build a state-of-the-art sound reinforcement system with intuitive operator controls. Now, an Ashly Audio ne24.24M matrix processor, a ne4250.70 multi-channel amplifier, and (critically) three WR-5 programmable remote controls give the funeral home robust, easy-to-use sound reinforcement.
“They used to have to go into the equipment closet to select input sources or change the gain for music or microphone inputs,” explained Mark Monarch, owner of Abel Electronics. “Different people would be in there, and none of them were necessarily technically inclined. It was easy for the gain structure to get messed up.” With an improper gain structure, of course, the sound quality wasn’t commensurate with the caliber of service that Desmond is known for. In addition, the sound system was old and ready for replacement. With Ashly’s modern user control solutions, Abel Electronics could robustly and inexpensively supply each of the home’s three visitation rooms with its own customized control.
At its heart, the new system consists of an Ashly ne24.24M processor outfitted with eight inputs and four outputs paired with a four-channel Ashly ne4250.70 amplifier. The amplifier delivers 250W per channel to new 70-volt SoundTube in-ceiling loudspeakers. In addition, a Marantz USB recorder allows loved ones to record a funeral service. Four new AudioTechnica wireless microphones (two handheld and two lavalier) join two existing CD players and two auxiliary inputs (suitable for iPods and the like) on the input side. Perhaps the most important improvement from the user’s perspective is the addition of three Ashly WR-5 programmable remote controls – one for each sub-dividable space. Monarch programmed them to allow appropriate selection of inputs, input volumes, and output volumes. In addition, they allow simple room combining functionality.
“We love working with Ashly equipment,” said Monarch. “It’s easy to use, easy to program, and we have zero problems with it. We have no customer call backs on account of Ashly gear. Once it’s set, it’s set, and the sound quality is excellent. Desmond loves the new user control because no one has to go into the equipment closet anymore. The closet is now under lock and key! They understand the WR-5 and are happy to have all of the relevant controls so accessible.”