Meyer Sound installs new audio system debuts at Buddy Guy’s Legends Club – rAVe [PUBS]
Buddy Guy has been an enduring Chicago blues icon for more than half a century, and the octogenarian guitar virtuoso maintains a full touring schedule of around 140 shows a year. However, each January he returns to Buddy Guy’s Legends, his personal and family blues club where he holds court for sixteen shows. This year, its annual return got a sonic upgrade with the recent installation of new Meyer Sound ULTRA-X Series home speakers and MJF-210 stage monitors for performers.
“The new Meyer Sound system is a lot clearer than what we had before,” notes Greg Guy, Buddy Guy’s son and the club’s regular chief engineer as well as an accomplished guitarist in his own right. “It’s the same number of speakers as before, and although the new ones are much smaller, they actually sound bigger. Buddy’s touring sound engineer came in, walked around the room while listening, and was very happy.
The previous system was installed when Buddy Guy’s Legends moved from its original location on the same block to the current larger accommodations in 2010. “It was a good system for its time, and it still worked,” says Charlotte Guy Nunn, Buddy’s daughter and director of operations of the family business. “But it was time to upgrade to the latest technology to enjoy better performance and improved reliability. And, of course, Buddy must like the way it sounds, and so far he likes what he hears.
The new system features four ULTRA-X40 speakers for the main front and stage side coverage with a low-profile ULTRA-X20 compact speaker for the center fill. Powerful bass is delivered by two 900-LFC low-frequency control elements, with a dedicated GALAXY 408 network platform for driving and optimizing the system. The upgrade also included four new MJF-210 stage monitors. The new system was designed, supplied and optimized by DBS Audio Systems of Coatesville, Pennsylvania under the supervision of Dave Brotman.
Prior to Buddy Guy’s month-long residency, the system was honed by other Chicago-based and touring blues bands, with Greg Guy behind the mixing desk for most shows.
“The improvements to the house system have really been noticed,” says Guy. “I had the lead singer of a band come back to the console and say, ‘What did you do? It sounds so good coming home I barely need the monitors. I specify that we have new speakers!
Guy also appreciates the power and flat response of the new MJF-210 monitors thanks to his dual role as FOH mixer and on-stage guitarist.
“The new monitors didn’t arrive until the second week of my dad’s four week race,” Guy recalled, “so at that point we switched monitors borrowed from his touring package to the Meyers. My dad noticed the difference. He said he could hear better now, and maybe they should think about taking these new guys on the road.
The sound upgrade also included a new Yamaha CL3 digital mixing console with an RIO 3224 stage box.
Buddy Guy was co-owner of the famous Checkerboard Lounge in Chicago’s South End before opening Legends. True to its name, the new club hosted a who’s-who of blues and rock musicians ranging from Willie Dixon, Otis Rush and BB King to Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones and David Bowie. Almost as much a museum as a nightclub, Buddy Guy’s Legends features the owner’s 34 Blues Music Awards (most for any artist) as well as his Kennedy Center Honors induction trophy, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, gloves donated by Muhammad Ali and a personal guitar donated by Keith Richards.