Eden (NY) High School graduated its first class in 1899, while a bit more recently, its 1,300-plus-seat gymnasium received a thorougly modern upgrade in the form of a powerful, intelligible sound reinforcement system with an Ashly Audio nX-Series amplifier and a ne-Series processor. The new system was designed and installed by Harvey Electric and Sound of nearby Hamburg, NY.
“The previous system wasn’t particularly old, it just didn’t meet the needs of the space,” explains Greg Harvey, owner of Harvey Electric and Sound. “The Eden All Sports Boosters raised the funds for a replacement because it was so obvious to everyone that a vast improvement was needed. The system couldn’t overcome a cheering crowd, and even when everyone was quiet, it was still difficult to understand what was being said.”
The inputs to the system are simple: a new Shure wireless microphone system, a new Shure announcer microphone, and an auxiliary input. It’s what happens after that point that makes the difference. The inputs feed an Ashly ne4400 4-in x 4-out Protea DSP system processor.
“The old system was a simple mixer-amp, and the Ashly ne4400 is a vast improvement,” says Harvey. “It gave us the ability to shape the sound with compression, limiting, equalization, and filtering. We also gave them feedback suppression modules on the microphone inputs.”
Outputs from the ne4400 feed a 4-channel Ashly nX 1.54 amplifier, which packs four channels of 1500-watt output into just two rack spaces. “This is our first experience with Ashly’s nX-Series amplifiers, and we chose the nX 1.54 for its tremendous output capacity,” Harvey notes. “It sounds great and delivers as promised.”
Right now, only two of the amplifier channels are in use. They power two EAW VFR159i loudspeakers, which will be doubled for the other side of the room once the funds become available. The remaining two channels on the Ashly nX 1.54 will power them.
An Ashly WR-5 wall-mounted remote control gives users simple control over input gains and overall volume. Once the system expands to four cabinets, Harvey will reprogram the WR-5 to allow preset selection for different types of events as well.
“We went with Ashly for a couple of reasons,” he says. “Ashly’s rep firm in the area, Eaton Sales, does a great job. We’ve worked with them for twenty years. Ashly’s pricing is very competitive, but they don’t make a cheap product. The processors and amplifiers sound great and are very functional and rugged. This is the second installation of Ashly Audio products at Eden High School and we are confident that they will have great sound systems for a long, long time.”