Legendary amp-maker Marshall recently constructed a world-class recording studio – boasting a 273 sq m. live room and a 40-channel vintage Neve 8048 mixer – next to its Milton Keynes factory in the UK. The control room has been upgraded with a Quested monitoring system at its heart.
It was like fitting that last piece into a jigsaw, or getting the right key for a lock. The Quested Q212FS monitors are just perfect for the room, and for the type of music we record. The imaging is absolutely spot on, you can accurately pinpoint everything throughout the stereo field, said Marshall studio manager Adam Beer.
The Q212FS design is based on one of Quested’s most popular main monitor enclosures. The free-standing system has been adapted to allow for the Q212 element to sit on top of the QSB118 sub-bass, and be at a perfect height for most mixing consoles, with the acoustic centre at approximately 1.4m.
The Q212 element is a three-way monitor utilising dual twelve-inch radial chassis drivers, a custom soft-dome 3” mid driver, coupling with a soft-dome HF. “Because the monitor system is four-way, rather than a three-way, you can hear the different elements of sub bass, you don't just get the kick and bass lines blending into each other”, explains Beer.
The QSB118FS is designed to operate as a true subwoofer with extension to below 20Hz and employs radial chassis technology to reduce the effects of thermal compression the drive may experience when operating at high output volume. Quested APD2000-4 and APS1000-4 remote DSP amplification provide power, with the rig being set-up in situ for Marshall by Quested technical wizard Ollie Shortland. “The customer service element from Quested has been stunning”, confirms Beer, “Ollie set the monitors up exactly as we wanted”.
Rock duo Nova Twins tracked their Mercury-nominated album Supernova on the Quested monitors, and British Blues Award-winner Laurence Jones has recently been in the studio mixing his new album for Marshall Records. Indie-rock four-piece King Nun have just recorded a new adrenaline-fuelled album on the Questeds with Adam Beer engineering, and producer Chris Sheldon (Foo Fighters, Garbage, Feeder) says: “I love the new Marshall studio, it’s a fantastic room!”
Quested director Stuart Down agrees, saying he rates the low-end performance of the Marshall control room as very good.
It is such a privilege for us to now be a part of the fabric of the Marshall studio. Visiting this studio for the first time was an eye-opening event. The level of investment in this truly world class studio is breath taking. The facility has been built with such passion; no corners have been cut.
As well as Hans Zimmer, notable Quested studio customers include Trevor Horn, who has been a loyal user for many years. Systems have been purchased by Abbey Road and Hansa Studios, and London’s award-winning RAK Studios has also recently installed the Q212FS large format free-standing monitors. Other happy customers come from the international broadcast community including NHK in Japan, South African Broadcast, RTL in Luxembourg, and Singapore Media Corp.
The ability to create a space of such scale which still feels intimate is testament to the shared creative vision of the Marshall management team. The Marshall commitment to deliver powerful performance to all its customers is as much reflected in the studio as with everything else the company does. It is so exciting to hear the work already coming out of this amazing creative environment which Marshall has invested in, with not only the tools but most importantly, the people, adds Down.
A no-compromise ‘1% better’ audio fidelity methodology applies to every equipment decision at Marshall, and studio manager Beer maintains that, to experience the full benefit of this attention to detail, the ultimate benchmark of main monitoring needs to be without reproach. “Despite being big main monitors, the translation on them is incredible. I was completely blown away from the start. I really found that they were they were perfect for us”, Beer explains. “I said to my boss, we've got to get these Questeds, I don't want to let them leave! So we bought the pair they gave us to demo – because I couldn't bear to let them go”.