Third Man Records, London

The Opportunity

Located in London’s Soho district, the new Third Man Records store is the label’s third location and its first international storefront. Downstairs from the main store area, The Blue Basement is a live music venue designed for intimate and exciting shows featuring local and international artists. Label founder and musician Jack White is a well-known audiophile and personally designed the store’s audio systems to meet his high standards.

The Solution

White selected equipment from HARMAN Professional Solutions to deliver high-fidelity background music in the store area and impactful live sound for The Blue Basement.

The upstairs store area features a background music system of JBL AC16 compact loudspeakers and ASB6112 subwoofers, which brings Third Man’s eclectic music roster to life with crystal-clear sound. Crown DCi 8|600DA amplifiers with Dante Networked Audio and DriveCore technology bring exceptional power to the speaker system, and BSS Soundweb Contrio controllers provide staff with intuitive, easy-to-use controls.

Downstairs in The Blue Basement, the stage area features JBL AM7215/95 high-power loudspeakers, which provide audiences with powerful yet detailed sound. AC18 and AC16 loudspeakers are mounted in delayed positions around the venue to ensure vocals sound clear and intelligible for each member of the audience. For bigger, high-capacity shows, like White’s inaugural set, the room also has optional JBL ASB6115 subwoofers for extra low end and impact. The Soundcraft Vi1000 digital mixing console provides intuitive controls for live sound, and both the upstairs and downstairs audio systems implement BSS signal processors for optimal sound distribution.

The Impact

“We’re on a mission for purity, we build spaces where nothing is translated, nothing impersonating something that it’s not,” said White, Co-Founder and Co-Owner, Third Man Records. “Live music venues are like churches, they’re sacred spaces that need to give people what they want, something real. JBL gets that and it’s why they’re obsessed with translating sound in such a pure way.”

Fans lined up early on the morning of September 25, 2021, for the London store’s grand opening to purchase exclusive in-store records by Paul Weller of the Jam, David Ruffin, the Jesus & Mary Chain and other beloved British artists. Later in the day, White played a surprise show in The Blue Basement as well as a rooftop set near the storefront. In addition to a large collection of new releases, vintage reissues and rarities, the store also includes oddities like a music-making phone booth, a token-operated vinyl recording station, and a book vending machine.