The concert hall at the Department of Music (Institut für Musik – IfM) of the German Kassel University, with plain concrete walls and a high proportion of glass elements throughout the room that place special demands on the sound system, recently implemented an upgraded utilizing Alcons Audio loudspeakers and subwoofers.
After a PA workshop with Rolf Dressler, probably Kassel’s “longest-serving sound engineer” in 2018, instructors and technical assistants alike were enthusiastic about the sound of his Alcons system that he set up in the IfM concert hall in addition to the house system.
“Whenever we switched back from the Alcons to the house system during Rolf’s workshop, I kept thinking that our speakers had just been broken,” explains Roman Beilharz, a lecturer in the music department and the main person in charge of sound engineering. “It was striking: the house system didn’t just sound worse in a direct listening comparison, it sounded downright broken! When switching back, the clear, punchy sound of the Alcons systems collapsed into a nasal, muffled mush. After that, it was clear which loudspeaker systems we wanted to install in the long overdue renewal of the hall’s technical equipment.”
Once the funds had been approved, the replacement of the PA system was put out to tender throughout Europe in 2020. The bid from Dressler, an Alcons user, received the highest score in the evaluation process and was ultimately awarded the contract for purchase and installation of the new PA.
In February 2021 Dressler’s company Voice Musikproduktion installed a sound reinforcement system consisting of two Alcons QR24 column arrays (L/R) and a center cluster of three Alcons LR7 pro ribbon line arrays. Two BF151, 15-inch subwoofersprovide bass support, with all loudspeakers driven by a 4 x 2500-watt Alcons Sentinel10 amplified controller. In addition to the main sound system, Voice Musikproduktion also supplied a new digital mixing console with digital outputs patched directly to the Sentinel unit.
“The aim of this installation was to generate a sound that would appeal to classical musicians as well as jazz, rock or pop musicians — after all, all genres of music are being taught at IfM,” says Rolf Dressler. “But since the room is also used for lectures and talks, the new PA should also provide excellent speech intelligibility. The Alcons systems best met all of these criteria. This, combined with my experience with sound reinforcement in general and the Alcons systems in particular, was crucial for the customer. Even though the university is currently running in limited operation, everyone involved is very happy with the new sound experience in the concert hall.”