Midlands-based production and rental company, Codex Audio, has recently invested in an Inspired Audio Optima 5 array system, supplied by Inspired Audio UK distributors, LMC Audio.

Dave 'Lofty' Lockhart, owner of Codex Audio, is system technician, tour manager and head sound engineer (amongst others!) for 'The Blockheads' with whom he is deploying the Optima 5 line array.

Inspired Audio Design Director, Chris Scott, comments,

"That Lofty has invested in the system is great news on a number of fronts; firstly he values the scalability of the system in a way that we had hoped the market would and, secondly, having a seasoned engineer of his calibre using the system will give us invaluable feedback at the factory. Lofty carefully chooses every detail and element of the signal chain, so, choosing Inspired Audio for a crucial part of that chain is a big step forward for the brand, and we are delighted to have him on board as part of the Inspired Audio team."

Codex Audio first tried out an Optima 8 system, a medium-format version of the Optima family of line-arrays, during summer 2013 when the system was put through its paces at Cambridge Rock festival. Whilst the system itself passed with flying colours, in follow-up conversation with Lofty, LMC Birmingham's Tim Bamber and James Lawford soon recognised that what Lofty really needed was an ultra compact Optima system for those gigs that required all of Codex's equipment to fit into a 'Sprinter' van. At this point, the focus of the conversation shifted to Optima 5.

Lofty comments,

"When LMC brought Optima 5 over for me to listen to I was very impressed with how well such a small box performed. Scalability, flexibility and sound quality all are excellent features of this system, and along with the support I know I will receive from the LMC team it seemed like a logical step for me to take."

Lofty attended LMC's Inspired Audio listening event at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre in September 2013. Here, he had another opportunity to listen to the capabilities of the system and, importantly, a chance to speak with Chris Scott himself. Scott comments, "After some demo gigs with Codex regulars 'The Blockheads', I met up with Lofty at the listening day. This provided us with a great opportunity to have a play with the kit, demonstrate my take on system design and to understand Lofty's needs."

Bamber, Technical Field Sales at LMC Birmingham, says, "Lofty is an out and out audiophile so we had no qualms with Codex Audio being one of the very first to listen to Inspired Audio. At this premium level, whilst many customers remain fearful of stepping outside of the overly dominant brands, Lofty is confident in being one of the first to step into a new venture with Inspired Audio and LMC. By critically analysing the sound quality that Optima 5 delivers, he has let his ears (and his cheque book) make the decision and to pioneer the Inspired Audio system is a positive move forwards for Codex."

Since taking delivery of the system Lofty has been very happy with the quality of the sound that such a compact box creates, using it for several events at The Mill Arts Centre in Banbury, including audio for film playback and the recent production of Aladdin, as well as a number of 'The Blockheads' shows. Lofty comments,

"With a tiny footprint at both the gig and in the van, plus a wonderfully transparent sound allied to great projection, Inspired Audio really delivers on sound quality and commercial returns. The icing on the cake is that Optima 5 can be scaled up to cover larger shows as well. For me, it ticks all of the boxes."