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Tectonic Plates Loudspeakers Cap Renovation At Historic Empress Theatre

New system could not be visually intrusive or require any architecturally disruptive room treatments

By PSW Staff March 10, 2014

One of the new arrays made up of Tectonic Plates loudspeakers at the Empress Theatre; below is a perspective of the room and arrays

Tectonic Audio Labs Plates loudspeakers head up the new house system as part of a recent restoration at the historic Empress Theatre in Vallejo, CA, a beautiful 1911beaux arts venue.

A critical mandate from restoration advisors was that any new sound system must not be visually intrusive or require any architecturally disruptive room treatments. Tectonic Plates fit the bill.

“It’s thrilling to see that the Tectonic Plates are actually here,” says Don Bassey, Empress Theatre general manager. “We’ve been talking about this for a year now. For a theatre, it’s amazing what they can do.”

Bassey has been in the loudspeaker business for 15 years: “These aren’t the first speakers I’ve ever heard, so my initial response was ‘Wow!’ It’s a phenomenal experience to stand here and feel the difference. Musicians hearing the new system are freaked out. They can’t believe it.”

“The system spreads sound up to a six octave range evenly throughout the theater” he continues.”With this state-of-the-art technology, sound no longer bounces around the room as with traditional sound systems. The system delivers audio of equal quality from all speakers to all points of the room.”

“The new sound is very different from before,” adds Empress board member Susan MacDonald. “Each instrument is heard but still comes out as a distinctly beautiful sound. I could hear the brushes on the drums. It was amazing! We had four horns on Friday night and each instrument was separate but part of the whole sound.”

“The sound is the same no matter where you are in the theatre because the speakers deliver sound in a different way”, continues MacDonald. “Feedback is eliminated, so no more ear splitting screeching or squealing mics.”

“It’s a revelation,” says house sound engineer Gustav Hobel. “In my 25 years in live sound, there’s really been no change in speaker development. Speakers got bigger, then smaller. They became better, then worse. Shows got bigger and speakers got bigger. But they all worked from the same concept.”

Tectonic Audio Labs will be using the Empress as a demo showcase for Northern California. “It will give the Empress some great exposure”, MacDonald says. “There is no other place in the Bay Area where these speakers can be heard. We are excited to be a part of this revolution in sound. I think it will be a big attraction to musicians and patrons alike.”



Tectonic Audio Labs


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