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A perspective of Stifel Theatre in downtown St. Louis with the new d&b audiotechnik arrays in place. (Photo Credit: Spectrum Sound and Scott Rovak for Stifel Theatre)

Historic Stifel Theatre In St. Louis Outfitted With d&b audiotechnik KSL

Integrator Spectrum Sound equips live performance venue dating back to 1934 with a new house system utilizing KSL8/KSL12 arrays left and right joined by an A-Series center cluster and more.

Stifel Theatre, a historic 3,100-seat theatre in downtown St. Louis, MO that originally opened in 1934, to host live performances that include opera, Broadway shows, symphony, comedy acts and more, has been equipped with a new sound reinforcement system utilizing d&b audiotechnik KSL arrays and supporting components installed by Nashville-based Spectrum Sound.

“All venues have their own set of unique challenges when it comes to designing and implementing house PA,” states Ken DeBelius, system integration sales manager for Spectrum. “Stifel Theatre, while beautiful aesthetically, had some typical acoustical challenges with some significant hard reflections that could be exacerbated by amplified PA. This was one of the reasons why we chose the d&b audiotechnik KSL-Series for this space; the very controlled polar directivity of KSL minimized the amount of wasted energy that typically excites the room in bad ways with ordinary loudspeaker systems. 

“During the initial deployment of the rig, everyone was instantly amazed at how well it sounded right out of the gate without even doing much system tuning. It simply sounded great from the start.” DeBelius adds that the Stifel Theatre staff were familiar with other d&b systems, mostly V-Series, as they regularly are employed by various touring productions appearing at the venue.

“Our number priority as a company is to provide the best experience possible for both performers and guests who visit our theatre,” says Adrian Silverstein, assistant general manager of Stifel Theatre. “Spectrum, along with Tim Kostal, the head of our audio department, understood those needs and through both of their expertise, made it easy to invest in a state-of-the-art d&b PA that addresses our need to adapt to the varied productions we host. Spectrum’s willingness to provide their touring amp rack during a chip shortage due to supply issues is just an example of how they will go above and beyond for their clients.”

The staff at Stifel Theatre expressed the desire to have an auxiliary center full-range cluster that could be used both with the main left/right KSL arrays, or alone for simpler spoken word events. DeBelius: “For this, we elected to use the d&b A-Series augmented array product. These are suspended directly below the center flown subwoofer array using a custom designed/fabricated adaptor from the d&b custom shop. Despite their small footprint, they keep up with the main KSL arrays remarkably well.”

d&b ArrayProcessing was implemented in this project, and DeBelius notes he rarely installs any d&b system without it. “The benefits in smoothing the tonal response across the seating planes are totally worth the extra amplifier channels needed,” he says. “It also greatly assisted providing good coverage into the balcony without excessive level loss, right up to the very top of the high balcony seating without having to resort to separate upper balcony delay fills.”  

The KSL configuration consists of eight KSL8 and 16 KSL12 array modules with four KSL-SUB subwoofers in a center flown array as well as four SL-GSUBs on the floor. AL 60 and AL90 loudspeakers form the previously noted center cluster. Front fill is delivered by 44S loudspeakers while Yi17P loudspeakers serve under the balcony, on delay. Audio power is supplied 18 40D amplifiers and two D80 amplifiers, and the system also incorporates three DS10 Dante network bridge. Two M6 wedges are available for stage monitoring.

d&b audiotechnik
Spectrum Sound 

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