‘It sounds better than ever’: The Broadberry welcomes new Martin Audio TORUS system

The Broadberry, one of the most popular live music venues in Richmond, VA, has taken stock of a Martin Audio TORUS system as part of a major audio overhaul.

The system was supplied by local rental partner Soundworks of Virginia, which has been working with the 550-capacity venue, owned by Lucas Fritz and Matt McDonald, since providing sound for their outdoor concerts the Spring of 2021.

Fritz explained that now was the right time for an upgrade, having been making do with the previous system that was in the venue when they took over in 2014.

“We were well overdue for a PA overhaul, especially given the calibre of artists we were continuously bringing to the market,” Fritz said. “We had been working with Soundworks and knew they wouldn’t lead us astray.”

The venue’s production manager Justin Lewis concurred that the previous system had been poorly deployed, and what he wanted as its replacement.

“Due to the shape of our room, I wanted a box with a relatively narrow horizontal pattern. All the line arrays I looked at were too wide and point source didn’t provide the flexibility we wanted in vertical coverage,” he said. “We chose TORUS mainly due to Soundworks’ existing relationship with Martin Audio, and the cardioid feature of the SXC118 was also a positive influence on our decision.”

Soundworks’ CEO, Steve Payne, added: “Their trust in the Martin Audio name, and belief that anything with that badge on it would be a quality solution, was reinforced by the [Wavefront Precision] WPL and WPC systems Soundworks had been routinely providing for their outdoor concerts.”

And though he admits the Wavefront Precision series from Martin Audio remains his “hands down favourite,” for an installation situation he needed to look no further than TORUS. “I think this system, with its variable horizontal coverage and choice between 30° and 15° vertical angle is a better solution than a short hang of WPS,” he stated.

The pair of three-box hangs comprise two T1215 and a single T1230 at the base, to eliminate the need for front fills. The arrays are supported by TORUS fly bars hung from Unitruss, which spans the structural roof girders. Four SXC118, ground stacked in a central cluster under the stage, provide the low-end, and all processing is via the onboard DSP in the Martin Audio iKon multi-channel amplifiers.

“The coverage and sound quality are just about perfect now, and the rig is a vast improvement over our old one,” said Lewis. “Our crew is pleased, and we’ve had generally good responses from guest engineers.”

“We are extremely excited about our new TORUS rig,” Fritz added. “The room sounds better than it ever has.”

You can read Headliner's interview with the senior team at Soundworks about all things live sound and installation here, or listen to an extended version below.