There's a big sound coming out of the "Motor City" these days, and it's emanating from the Detroit-area headquarters of Thunder Audio, which was first established in the late '70s by Owner Tony Villarreal thanks to a wisely-invested $1,500 income tax refund. Today, some 30 years later, this regional-turned-international touring sound reinforcement company counts top acts like Garbage, White Stripes, Metallica and Steely Dan on its roster of regular clients, a testimony to the high quality of its engineering team and equipment.
Engineering is one of Thunder Audio's greatest skills. Thunder Audio VP Paul Owen is very sure of what he likes and what works for touring, having served as Metallica's monitor engineer for well over two decades now. "In this day and age, you have to be diverse to attract a wider range of clients yet still accommodate your current ones," says Owen.
Technology and Product Life Expectancy "As we continue to grow at Thunder Audio and the digital world takes over from analog, we increase our inventory according to demand, performance and popularity." Considering that new equipment choices can often have a very real effect on a touring company's bottom line, Owen notes that Thunder Audio's purchases are not made lightly. So we have invested, and fully expect that it will deliver a significant return on our investment."
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