Leading European flightcase manufacturer 5 Star's penchant for imagination and style came to the forefront again in a unique project delivered to UK speaker manufacturer Flare Audio, who are supplying an awesome sound system (PA and monitors) for popular drum 'n' bass duo Nero's current UK tour.
Flare's owner and MD Davies Roberts encouraged project manager Arron Smith to approach 5 Star - initially on their booth at the PLASA exhibition in London in September - as he had memories of the name and reputation for quality dating back to when he worked on film sets with his father.
Smith and 5 Star's Keith Sykes chatted through some thoughts and options based on the need for an innovative casing system to house multiples of Flare's Triwave i10 loudspeakers. They wanted to be able to deploy these quickly and efficiently when flown as main left and right PA arrays once inside a venue.
The resulting case concept was originated by Flare, then adapted by 5 Star and evolved into a highly practical solution for the i10 touring system.
5 Star's Steve Swann worked on the case design with Smith. Firstly a mock up was produced to demonstrate the bespoke centre-section folding system in action. This utilises wide and normal piano hinge on the opposing corners giving a super-smart, virtually flat folding 'tuck-back' effect.
Once this was signed off, the first case was produced to double check the integrity of the mechanics and that the visual appearance was tip-top! It was absolutely bang-on, so 5 Star went ahead and produced the remaining three cases with their characteristic efficient turnaround.
These were finished in black HPL (High Pressure Laminate) and Flare Audio branding applied via 5 Star's in house screen print service.
For the Nero tour, four Triwave i10 cabinets - to make up a total of 8 a side in a set of standard main left and right hangs - are stacked in a ready-to-fly configuration in each of the four cases made by 5 Star.
This allows the PA to be loaded easily and travelled expediently in the truck.
When they arrive at the venue, the cases are positioned below the flying points, the tops are removed along with the middle sections, which are folded in a neat concertina-style and stored. The bottoms are also taken off. The flying cradles are rigged and the first set of four speakers is flown, after which, the next stack of four can be attached below, etc., depending on the size and shape of the venue and the required PA configuration.
The cases can also double up as rapid ground stacked line sources. Simply by removing the lids and unfolding the case ... the ground stacked high-packs are left instantly ready to go.
So far, the design concept is working brilliantly, proving a real time and space saver and Roberts is well impressed with the usability.
Arron Smith says he hopes this will be the first of many case collaborations between Lancing, west Sussex based Flare Audio and 5 Star. Flare is currently upgrading its infrastructure and touring equipment range, so more cases and custom design requirements are in the pipeline.
He says, "The design work and service from 5 Star has been excellent. They have shown that they really understand where we are at and been willing to help and think laterally to ensure we get the right results".
5 Star's Keith Sykes says, "We really enjoy working with ahead-thinking companies like Flare, who have imagination, present new challenges and ideas, whilst offering the opportunity for great teamwork".
For more press info on 5 Star Cases, please call Louise Stickland on +44 (0)1865 202679 or +44 (0)7831 329888 or Email [email protected]'. Contact 5 Star direct on +44 (0)1945 427000 or check www.5star-cases.com.
Photo shows Flare Audio's owner & MD with one of their new Triwave i10 speaker system cases.