HARMAN Professional Solutions, a global leader in audio, video, lighting and control systems, including networked AV, today announced that Jack White’s Third Man Records, one of the top independent record labels in the US, selected JBL Professional, Martin, BSS, and Soundcraft solutions for its new store and venue in London.
Located in London’s Soho district, the new Third Man Records store is the label’s third location and its first international storefront. Downstairs from the main store area, The Blue Basement is a live music venue designed for intimate and exciting shows featuring local and international artists. Label founder and musician Jack White, best known for The White Stripes, is renowned as an audiophile and personally designed the store’s audio systems to meet his high standards. White selected equipment from HARMAN Professional Solutions to deliver high-fidelity background music in the store area and impactful live sound for The Blue Basement.
“We’re on a mission for purity, we build spaces where nothing is translated, nothing impersonating something that it’s not,” said White, co-founder and co-owner, Third Man Records. “Live music venues are like churches, they’re sacred spaces that need to give people what they want, something real. JBL gets that and it’s why they’re obsessed with translating sound in such a pure way.”
The upstairs store area features a background music system of JBL AC16 compact loudspeakers and ASB6112 subwoofers, which brings Third Man’s eclectic music roster to life with crystal-clear sound. Crown DCi 8|600DA amplifiers with Dante Networked Audio and DriveCore technology bring exceptional power to the speaker system, and BSS Soundweb Contrio controllers provide staff with intuitive, easy-to-use controls.
Downstairs in The Blue Basement, the stage area features JBL AM7215/95 high-power loudspeakers. AC18 and AC16 loudspeakers are mounted in delayed positions around the venue to ensure vocals sound clear and intelligible for each member of the audience. For bigger, high-capacity shows, like White’s inaugural set, the room also has optional JBL ASB6115 subwoofers for extra low end and impact. The Soundcraft Vi1000 digital mixing console provides intuitive controls for live sound, and both the upstairs and downstairs audio systems implement BSS signal processors for optimal sound distribution.
“It was great to see how important the quality of the sound was to the team from Third Man and how much they valued the audio equipment that we put into the project,” explained Ed Jackson, manager, applications team, EMEA, HARMAN Professional Solutions. “They’ve got a really interesting shop and it deserves a great sound system. The engineer who worked on Jack’s opening show said, ‘It’s the best sounding small venue in London,’ and I agree with him – the way the equipment and the room have come together sounds amazing. It combines the sound quality of a recording studio with the energy of a live stage. Everyone I’ve shown it to has been blown away.”
Fans lined up early on the morning of September 25, 2021, for the London store’s grand opening to purchase exclusive in-store records by Paul Weller of the Jam, David Ruffin, the Jesus & Mary Chain and other beloved British artists. Later in the day, White played a surprise show in The Blue Basement as well as a rooftop set near the storefront. In addition to a large collection of new releases, vintage reissues and rarities, the store also includes oddities like a music-making phone booth, a token-operated vinyl recording station, and a book vending machine.
Founded in 2001, the Third Man brand now includes music mastering, book publishing, photography, audio hardware and upholstery branches alongside the record label. The first Third Man location opened in Nashville in 2009 as a record store, live music venue and label headquarters, followed by a Detroit branch in 2015 and a vinyl pressing plant at that location two years later. These locations also feature world-class sound systems with industry-leading HARMAN Professional solutions, personally selected by White.