Professional Sound - October 2017 - Page 21

PROFILE Jon Jukes By Andrew King “W hat ever happened to the easy pace of retail?” jokes Jon Jukes, comparing his current touch-and- go schedule as an acoustician to the far more predictable one he enjoyed during his almost 40 years in music retail. Just a few years ago, in 2013, Jukes re- signed from his post as manager of Long & McQuade’s Waterloo, ON store and jumped into acoustics full time with his own com- pany, CS Acoustics, a design, consultancy, and manufacturing firm that specializes in custom large-room treatments and instal- lations. The company’s name is a nod to his family’s history in music and retail. Jukes grew up on a small farm outside of New Hamburg, ON, a short drive from Kitchener-Waterloo. His parents opened The Carpenter Shop in nearby Stratford, ON in 1973 – a full-line music store and Christian bookstore. “My mother would sell guitars and Bibles, usually to two different clienteles, but in the same shop,” Jukes explains. “When I was nine, I started working in the store, mostly cleaning where I could be hidden from the customers. By the time I was 12, I was full-time in summers and on weekends during school. I learned to love the customers and the gear and really enjoyed selling.” As a teenager, he started mixing live sound for his father’s singing group on gear that “wasn’t exactly state of the art.” That gave him a solid understanding of signal path, EQ, and the other dynamics involved in a good mix, “So even at a young age,” he adds, “I was interested in live audio and some recording.” The Carpenter Shop expanded into Waterloo, ON in 1996 and Jukes stayed in the family business while keeping busy with various audio-related side projects. In 2003, Long & McQuade acquired the two stores – the chain’s 23 rd and 24 th in Canada – and Jukes stayed on as the store manager in Waterloo. Through the subsequent years, he did a number of sound system installs, particu- larly in churches, which planted the seeds for his future career change. “I always felt there was a need for the acoustics to be clearer, but I didn’t understand much about the art,” he says. “I ran into Joe De Buglio, who was a Tannoy rep at the time, and questioned him a lot about room acoustics and the behaviour of sound and so on.” Jukes delved into the science and was soon working on projects alongside De Buglio. His first acoustics job was a demo room for A.C. Simmonds & Sons, which at the time was distributing audio brands like Shure and Galaxy Audio. “They had taken on Bag End speakers and needed help in the space, particularly with the bass and low mids. We did the job and it worked out great.” When he and his wife, Elizabeth, wel- comed their two sons, Jukes took a break from acoustics, but in 2009, he “got the itch again.” He and De Buglio once again col- laborated to treat a gymnasium that had been used as a worship space for about 800 people. Achieving a 20dB reduction down to 100 Hz, needless to say, Jukes was pretty jazzed. “By 2013, it was pretty much 40 years since I had been working around the MI retail floor and I was ready for a change. I resigned from L&M and launched into acoustics full-time with my own company.” CS Acoustics maintains a focus on custom, large room installations, including a host of houses of worship, and has also started manufacturing treatment products that ship to other provinces and states for clients to self-install. “Two years ago, I went searching for a plastic-based component for some of the diffusers we manufacture,” Jukes begins. “I found plastic recycling technology that was unique and had potential not only as a standalone business, but to allow us to manufacture more of the components for our acoustic products, so we decided to start this plastics recycling factory that, to be honest, turned out to be tougher than I thought.” The factory runs 24 hours per day, six days a week, and Jukes admits it’s been the source of some long days and many challenges; however, after two years of de- velopment, his two businesses are begin- ning to dovetail. “CS Acoustics is presently working on a large club and good-sized church, incorporating our recycled plastic components in acoustical products. It’s going to be awhile until this is all seamless, but it’s exciting to bring these two incred- ibly diverse worlds together.” He reiterates that the ebb and flow of his schedule remains an ongoing chal- lenge; things can go from sluggish to hectic at the snap of a finger. “This is not for the faint of heart,” he says, noting 2018 will be a busy year; however, he’s working on bringing a balance back into his life to spend more time with his family. “When I left retail, it took me two years to figure out what a Saturday was for,” he jokes. “Right now, it’s a little too busy,” and yet it’s clear he’s passionate about his work. “I love taking a room and transform- ing it into a cool-sounding space. It’s crazy when you start installing a job and you have to yell at each other to communicate, but by the time we’re on the last wall, you can talk in a normal voice across the same distance. I get to create an acoustic signa- ture of a room that should last for 50 to 100 years. Now how cool is that?” Andrew King is the Editor-in-Chief of Professional Sound. PROFESSIONAL SOUND 21