A major renovation of 8,500-seat Schollmaier Arena at Texas Christian University (TCU) in Fort Worth included an upgrade of the facility’s sound reinforcement system with new technology from Electro-Voice, as well as expansion of the existing EVA line arrays.
The most significant facet of the renovation was the lowering of the playing floor, which hosts the university’s Big 12 Conference basketball teams, by four feet to accommodate more premium seating. To ensure a quality fan experience offered maximum impact, TCU brought in its AV contractor, Electro Acoustics (also of Fort Worth), to optimize the system for the new configuration.
“We did the sound installation for the arena back in 2010, using Electro-Voice EVA (Expandable Vertical Array) line arrays, and it has served them well,” explains Electro Acoustics account manager Ryan Walker. “The new renovation did change the shape of the room a bit, so it was the perfect opportunity to enhance the existing line arrays with updated technology for even greater fidelity, intelligibility and control.”
The primary sound reinforcement for the audience is delivered by a ring of six Electro-Voice EVA arrays above the scoreboard. To accommodate the new geometry, each array was extended to seven EVA elements from the original specification of six. Each array includes three EVA-2082S/906 boxes, with two each of EVA-2082S/1220 and EVA-2082S/126.
Two legacy design elements remain in place in the new installation. The center hang of eight Electro-Voice XLCi215 dual 15-inch subwoofers provides bass support, while a set of four Electro-Voice EVH-1152S/96 horn-loaded full-range loudspeakers, located inside the scoreboard, provide direct reinforcement for the playing floor.
“The NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) doesn’t allow those floor speakers to be in use during the game, but the players love having high fidelity sound during pre-game and halftime,” Walker notes. “It also ensures great sound across the main floor for events like graduation. So whether it’s a basketball game of any other event, we have even coverage for every seat in the house.”
All power and processing are also by Electro-Voice, both inside and outside the arena, and including the 70-volt audio systems in the concourse and offices. Power comes courtesy of two CPS 8.5 amplifiers, each providing eight 500-watt channels. The amps are outfitted with RCM810 modules to enable remote monitoring and control via IRIS-Net software.
The final touch is the NetMax N8000-1500 digital matrix controller, upgraded with EV’s new DSP-2 engine and licensed for CobraNet digital routing. The N8000 provides full IRIS-Net supervision and 32 channels of routing. The NetMax controller includes sophisticated DSP loudspeaker optimization with a wide range filters, delays, equalization and dynamics processing.
“We found the Electro-Voice EVA system to be incredibly cost-effective when we installed it in 2010,” Walker states, “and it still sounds every bit as good as anything out there. So we built onto the existing Electro-Voice infrastructure to update the system for more impact and control without breaking the budget. Mission accomplished.”
TCU associate athletic director T. Ross Bailey agrees. “The ‘redo’ of the Schollmaier Arena was no small task. Sound quality and the fan experience were a big part of what we wanted for our patrons in the facility,” he says. “From the arena bowl to the concourses and food courts, Electro Acoustics and their team helped us reach those goals.”