Performance Audio of Salt Lake City recently installed a new Electro-Voice XLC sound system at Energy Solutions Arena.
The 20,500 seat arena is home to the NBA’s Utah Jazz, and is the region’s major concert venue—Reba McIntire and Kelly Clarkson were the first to perform alongside the new system.
“This was a team effort,” says Craig Hylton of Performance Audio; “we worked closely with Monte Wise, Dave Larsen, George Georgallis, and Robert Deyarmond of EV every step of the way to really raise the bar for stadium sound with this install. Robert Deyarmond’s (Tech Support Engineer, EV) EASE model for the arena, George Georgallis’ technical and software support, Dave Larsen’s sales support, and Monte Wise’s system design and tuning expertise added up to provide Energy Solutions with a system that is not only far more effective than their previous system, it was delivered at a lower price than the other designs submitted.”
Comprising 52 XLC 127DVX loudspeakers deployed in four arrays (2x 12-box & 2x 14-box), the new system provides seamless coverage to the arena’s upper and lower bowls. FRX+640 loudspeakers were installed beneath the scoreboard for full-court coverage.
The system is powered by 29 P3000RL remote-controlled amplifiers and controlled and supervised via two NetMax N8000 digital matrix controllers running IRIS-Net software with FIR-Drive.
George Georgallis was a key member of the EV team, assisting Craig Hylton in writing the IRIS-Net file using FIR filters to optimize system performance—especially in terms of coverage.
“The first design called for six arrays,” says Hylton, “but I asked EV if complete coverage could be achieved with four. Combined with the 120-degree horizontal dispersion pattern of the XLC boxes, the FIR filters gave us the precision and control to make that happen. This is a large space and I was skeptical at first, but it worked wonderfully.”
“The system is a dream come true for Energy Solutions; it saves both space and money,” adds Hylton. “The control of the amps and the system monitoring through IRIS-Net is fabulous—it’s what they’ve always wanted in there. The amount of equipment we replaced with just the two NetMax controllers was extraordinary—about three racks worth, and I don’t know how much wire.”
But of all the equipment in the new system, it was perhaps the LAPS (Line Array Prediction Software) that impressed Hylton the most: “It’s incredibly accurate,” he says; “when we were tuning the system, we would walk the seats and listen to the coverage, and once we agreed on what we heard, we’d go back. And there it was, exactly what we heard as predicted by the LAPS. I was just completely astounded by that.”
“Our goal was to provide vocal intelligibility on every seat,” says Hylton. “I walked the building, talked to people, and everyone in the upper bowl noticed the difference immediately. For years it’s been hard to hear the announcer clearly up there, and now the people in the lower bowl are saying, ‘Wow, what’s different with the sound system? It sounds great!’ This positive response is even spilling over into the audience’s perception of sound during concert events.
“Though they were touring with their own equipment, Reba McIntire and Kelly Clarkson had a concert the day after the first game, and everybody, including the press, came up to tell me again ‘that new sound system you put in is really great!’”
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