With the launch of the new SD5 console earlier this year, DiGiCo U.S. distributor, Group One Limited, initiated a limited-time trade up program within the United States to get the new system into as many hands and inventories as possible. The premise of the program is that Group One will take back any make or model large-format analog or digital desk with a credit towards the purchase of a new SD5. The trade up program not only offers a financial benefit, but is also an easy way to stay on the leading edge of technology and upgrade to current technology. The advantages, in particular for a black box theatre or house of worship, is that it would allow them to put in a request for funding and once approved, the venue could swap out the old for the new seamlessly without any downtime, or having to worry about hassling with resale. Several large production companies took immediate advantage of the offer including Alford Media, Clearwing Productions, Hi-Tec Audio, and Beach Sound.
Alford Media Services is a nationally recognized event technology support company providing audio, video, lighting and show coordination services for a wide range of clientele from corporate to concerts worldwide. With two of each D1s and D5s in service since 2003, they took advantage of trading up the two D5s for two SD5s with an additional purchase of two 56x32 SD-racks, as well as a pair each of SD9's and SD11's and six DRacks. "For our needs, the SD5's offer the advanced feature sets that our engineers need and tour riders request but don't cost what the SD7 does," says John Caswell, Manager of Audio Services. "Upon taking delivery, we did a week in Dallas for Ambit Energy, followed by another event for Sam's Club in Kansas City and one of our SD5's was at FOH for both events. That same console was also used at the California Women's Conference in Long Beach."
Clearwing Productions, a key resource for audio, video, and lighting, traded up a Soundcraft digital console for an SD5 and also purchased an additional SD9 for its inventory. "We went for one of each for versatility," explains president Gregg Brunclik, "and planning ahead, the next purchase will be another one of each as we usually buy pairs of each desk. We had an upcoming tour (Bob Dylan) that was interested in using the SD5 so the timing seemed right. We like to make cutting-edge purchases that position us as a primary resource and with the pending tour that ended up taking the SD5 there was instant ROI. We've found great success being early adopters with L-Acoustics (we were one of the first five US companies to adopt the K1) and Vari-Lite, and we rolled the same dice on the SD5. DiGiCo's pioneering new technology sets the bar that other manufacturers must meet. Similar to L-Acoustics pioneering the line array (and since- it's improvements) you are the barometer by which all others get judged. We've come to find that we realize much greater ROI's on products when we are very early to adopt. It's a gamble, but when we're right it really pays off. So far, so good on the SD5."
Industry mainstay Hi-Tec Audio saw the success with the D5 and took advantage of the program to buy into DiGiCo's newest technology by trading up six of their D5 inventory for the new SD5s. "For us, this was a no brainer," mused owner Louis Adamo. "At Hi-Tec we like to look forward and for that reason it was obvious for us to move all our inventory into the new DiGiCo SD series—and we were an early adopter of that technology. In fact, we bought one of the first SD8s when it was introduced. Over the last year, we've been adding SD racks and accessories like crazy and our inventory is well over 24-25 SD racks, which is well over half-million dollars. We have a few customers that have been loyal D5 customers and they'll be the first obvious ones to migrate to the SD5s. It also serves to fill a niche between the SD10 and SD7. The SD5 offers the technical requirements of the SD10 with the surface of the SD7 at a fraction of the cost. DiGiCo has built a very powerful and flexible platform, has done its part by putting the console in the hands of lots of engineers, and are making strides in the live sound market with its consoles. There's a model that fits every shoe size. We have confidence in the technology and we have a definite market for them."
Beachsound also felt the trade up program was a fantastic way to move out old capital and replace it with new and exciting technology. They traded up a Yamaha PM5D for an SD5 and purchased an additional SD9… for now. "We felt we needed a higher caliber showcase console to fit the bill of our needs/demands," explains company president Andre Serafini. "We find the console's flexible I/O, sonic quality and the ergonomics make it top tier and we are very pleased to have one in house. DiGiCo's dynamic EQ feature has been a big hit and the DiGiTube technology has been a real pleasure getting to know. We have the SD5 set up to be on a few high profile events in the near future, including a televised mega church event."