Pretoria-based rental company AJR have decided on the L-Acoustics co-linear Syva system to offer high-end quality audio to their corporate events. In doing so, they have become the first in South Africa to purchase Syva.
Altus van Rensburg is both the owner of AJR as well as a financial broker and adviser at Sanlam, an insurance and financial service provider in the country. He has already seen the benefits of an L-Acoustics ARCS WiFo (Wide and Focus system) investment made back in 2014 and was one of the first in the country to buy into the L-Acoustics X Series with X12 and X8. Contemplating the best way to build on his existing audio system, he came across the Syva at local distributor DWR Distribution and was sold.
“When Syva first came to the country last year, we stood around like excited schoolboys, listening and wondering what magic was coming out of the boxes!” Altus smiles. “We hoped that someone would buy the system first because we wanted to hire it from them and try it out. My initial thought was to expand on our ARCS WiFo system. We currently have six X12, six X8, six ARCS WiFo and eight SB18 subs. The Syva presents a solution to deliver the same audio quality with a one over one, and is ideal for a quick set up by a single crew member.”
AJR’s personal and professional approach has enabled them to consistently grow and provide service to longstanding clients and their marketing is solely due to excellent referrals. Altus knew that for larger events, he could hire in extra gear. For the smaller to medium-sized events, Syva presented something unique to the market and Altus believed this would be a cost-saving to clients and more affordable than flying a full audio system.
“For us, quality has no alternative,” Altus explains. “We want to set up a function and know that we are delivering the best possible product we can. Aesthetically the Syva looks elegant and neat, and our crew are already receiving positive feedback. We always go back to basics, providing the right tools and the right engineers to do the job.”
From a young age, Altus had the self-starting traits and determination of an entrepreneur. After his mom passed away in 2004, his father gave him R7 000 as part of his inheritance and challenged him to start a business of some kind. “I asked my dad to buy me, two speakers,” Altus remembers. “My father is also a broker at Sanlam, and he always jokes that it was his worst investment because it did not include AJR shares!”
In 2006, at the age of fifteen, Altus earned R200 for his very first DJ event, not ever imagining that this would lead to far greater things. Those days his father had to drive him from function to function, never complaining about the late nights on the road.
“I am truly grateful for him believing in me, his help and ongoing support. This laid the foundation, and the rest is history.”
As he moved on to study a B-Com Business Management degree at the University of Pretoria, something that has also assisted him with the running of his business today, Altus focused on weddings and provided the technical solutions for many functions hosted at the university. “In 2012, AJR started blooming,” says Altus. “I had already joined my father at Sanlam as an adviser and ran AJR on the side. In 2012 we had to appoint our first full-time staff member. We are a tight-knit team who believe in what we do. We are privileged to work with a dedicated crew! Without them, we are just a speaker without an amp…”
Altus always remembers his friendship with Pierre Griffioen, owner of Pure Event Gear, who was a mentor to him. “Pierre once told me that if I wanted to see growth in my company, I should invest in professional gear.” Once AJR took the calculated decision to buy equipment like L-Acoustics and Robe lighting fixtures, the market turned around for them.
“I have to mention the service we receive from DWR Distribution,” Altus adds. “Schalk Botha, Marlene Riley and the whole DWR team have given us so many quotes over the years and have been so patient with us. We have never had issues with the products we purchased or the back-up we receive.”
AJR swim upstream when considering the type of equipment a smaller rental company would usually own. “We work really hard, and professional gear has paved the way, allowing us to offer good service at cost-effective prices. You may initially pay a bit more, but the reward is a product that lasts for many years to come,” he ends.
Great things come from small beginnings.