Words & Deeds

Knitting Factory Concert House in Boise installs new sound system

Big sounds now come in smaller packages at the Knitting Factory.
Big sounds now come in smaller packages at the Knitting Factory.

Working at the Knitting Factory Concert House lately, general manager Gary Pike has been overcome by the urge to stop and listen.

“I’m a music lover,” Pike explains. “That’s why I’m in this business.”

Pike is feeling like the rest of the staff at 416 S. 9th St. in Boise: Enraptured by a new sound system.

In late July, workers gutted the Knit’s old equipment and replaced it with a d&b audiotechnik Y-Series: amps, speakers, wiring.

To a concertgoer, it won’t look like much. The hanging speakers are approximately one-sixth the size of the old setup.

But it’s a significant improvement. Snappy. Crisp. I checked it out at a concert by New Orleans jam-funk band Galactic.

“During sound check, I’ll just stand in the middle of the room and close my eyes and hear the dynamics,” Pike says. “Where before, you just didn’t get the separation of the instruments like you do now.”

Pike already is hearing fewer complaints about volume.

Still, that doesn’t mean the subwoofers hidden under the stage don’t pack a wallop.

“We really went with some real upgraded subwoofers on it,” Pike says, “for the EDM stuff and the hip-hop stuff — even the country stuff has that low-end bass. We’ve never really had an issue with it not being loud enough. But it was just the clarity; now we can get some of these artists in here that it really shows off the vocals and even some of the guitar work that I’ve heard already. The notes are just so much cleaner.”

A side benefit of a smaller system is a better line of sight from the second-floor VIP area. “You don’t have those gigantic speakers hanging down,” Pike says.

Two new speakers on a slight delay also have been placed in the balcony.

Knitting Factory won’t say how much this new sound system cost. More than a Bose Wave Radio, I assume.

Whatever the case, it’s the sort of investment that music fans should take the time to appreciate.

Michael Deeds: 208-377-6407, @michaeldeeds