JBL SRX900 Series: Making Waves with Signals

Wollongong’s Signals has purchased a JBL SRX system and can’t get enough.

It’s the oldest sales trick in the book: leave the new PA in the hands of a would-be customer for a week and – a bit like a lost puppy following you home – the unwanted/unnecessary becomes an indispensable part of the family. But in this case, Andrew West wasn’t having a bar of it.

“CMI helped us out with a JBL SRX rig for the Lalala Stage at the Yours & Owls Festival last year but I was totally upfront with them – ‘I don’t need another system even if I could afford another system’… I just wasn’t in the market.”

You know what’s coming… After the weekend of the festival Andrew somewhat sheepishly rang back – “There’s been a change in the situation.”

Yours & Owls’ Lalala Stage with a JBL SRX system in place: 6 x SRX910LA aside, 2 x SRX928S subs a side and a centre cluster of 4 x SRX918S subs.

As the owner of Signals Systems (a supplier of audio production to the Wollongong area since 1990), Andrew West found SRX compelling: “I didn’t know anything about SRX until the Yours & Owls festival but the way it performed was amazing. We had 17 bands through each of the two days, with the Lalala Stage maxed out at around 3000 people and that PA (six mid/high SRX910LA boxes aside, two double-18 SRX928S subs aside and a ground-stacked centre cluster of four single-18 SRX918S subs) breezed through it. We were absolutely blown away."

“You would expect that from a Tier 1 PA but SRX isn’t a Tier 1 PA, it’s a mid-level, well priced system. So as an owner, that’s gold. I bought the PA because of that performance and affordability combination. More of our clients can now afford great sound.”


Signals’ JBL SRX rig calls Waves home. Waves is a Wollongong live music institution and Signals has been looking after its production requirements for 34-odd years. Waves plays host to some big-time touring acts as they come through Wollongong. The capacity is around 1500 and is covered by either four or five of the JBL mid/high SRX910LA boxes aside, stacked on three of the SRX928S subs aside.

“I sometimes find I’m still pinching myself,” continues Andrew West. “When Amity Affliction came through, and I’m seeing just those five top boxes and three subs each side of stage, I kept asking myself ‘surely that’s not enough PA for this kind of band?’. Each SRX box packs a couple of 10-inch drivers; they’re only 27kg each with amps on board; and there wasn’t any backline on stage to help us along. But sure enough, the SRX rig took it all in its stride. It was a full house but it was the right amount of PA and everyone was delighted. I went home thinking ‘that PA is amazing!’.”

Chillinit plays Waves, Wollongong, with the JBL SRX PA from Signals Systems.


When the SRX system isn’t taking care of Waves’ audio requirements, it’s out and about servicing Signals’ other clients in various capacities, from a carpark rave for 2000 at the university, to one-man comedy shows, to an outdoor folk music gig. Effectively, its James Suckling’s baby. James is Signals’ Operations Manager and has been equally impressed by SRX: it’s ease of deployment, versatility and performance.

“We had Travis Taylor from CMI (the Australian distributor) help us with the system at the Your & Owls festival. I was immediately impressed how it sounded straight out of the box. After we purchased the system, CMI came back to help us set the PA up at Waves – the support has been amazing actually.

“Since then I’ve been working with the JBL software. Initially with the LAC (Line Array Calculator) and more recently with Venue Synthesis, which is the more sophisticated 3D modelling software. Once you’ve got the calculations it all goes into the Performance software, which is literally a system processor. The whole SRX system is networked and connects to Performance for all the system settings. It also allows you to perform live tuning. It’s a good workflow.”


With a total inventory of 12 x SRX910LA tops and eight SRX928S subs, Signals has a system that covers just about every eventuality up to around a 3000 audience. But Andrew West is looking to go bigger. “Everyone who works with the system and mixes on the system raves about it. And because of the price, more of my clients can afford to rent it. So that’s why I’m looking to buy more.

CMI has made it easy. I’ve been doing this for 34 years and I’ve not experienced service and support like what I’ve been getting from CMI. They’ve been amazing.”

Signals Systems: 

By Audio Technology

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