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Sonic quality and coverage at Tissot Arena in Biel, Switzerland has been enhanced with the implementation of Alcons QR24 loudspeakers and LR18B bass elements.

Tissot Arena In Switzerland Upgrades With Alcons Audio Pro-Ribbon Systems

Integration firm Eclipse AG outfits 7,000-capacity ice hockey arena in Biel with a new system utilizing QR24 loudspeakers working with a center cluster of LR18B bass elements.

Tissot Arena, a sports complex in Biel, Switzerland, includes a 7,000-capacity ice hockey arena that has recently been equipped by integration firm Eclipse AG with an upgraded sound reinforcement system utilizing Alcons Audio QR24 pro-ribbon loudspeakers working with a center cluster of LR18B bass elements.

When the arena opened in 2015, the existing system had been designed both for EVAC and main PA applications. “Since then, however, the club’s needs have changed considerably,” explains Silvano Käppeli, technical manager at Eclipse AG. “Today, significantly more show elements are being created around team entries. And more so, also goals and wins want to be celebrated with intense light shows as well as powerful sound.

“For sponsor presentations, cinema-quality sound is now being expected,” he continues. “The bottom line is that the existing EVAC system is doing a great job. However, it could not keep up with the increased demands. Not all audience areas could be equally well provided with a good sound experience, so visitors often complained about the sound being too loud and aggressive. However, the audience itself generates a considerable volume in the arena. Any sound system will first have to overcome this noise barrier. So there remains only a fine line to navigate in terms of sound.”

After Eclipse initially added a show lighting installation in 2018 and also set up a new lighting and video control room, an evaluation followed in 2019 to determine what could be done to improve the sound reinforcement. Eclipse’s analysis showed that the main system was insufficient for only the last four rows of the stands. After an on-site sectoral listening test (with and without system supplementation by Alcons loudspeakers), the QR24 column loudspeakers were chosen.

The QR24 is a vertical array designed primarily for permanent installations. By means of two RBN1203 12-inch pro-ribbon drivers mounted coaxially with four 6.5-inch woofers, it’s designed to deliver a coherent (patented) horizontal pattern control combined with sharply-controlled vertical dispersion without the necessity of DSP-based beam-shaping.

“The complementary sound reinforcement had to cover precisely those last four rows, without unnecessarily stimulating the glass walls behind them and thus worsening the already less than perfect reverberation situation,” Käppeli says. “The Alcons QR24s produce a very narrow sound projection. 16 units were enough to cover the back rows all around.

The QR24 extension is joined by an additional center bass cluster of eight LR18B 18-inch compact line array bass units. Audio power is supplied by four Sentinel3 amplified loudspeaker controllers for the QR24s (one per channel with individual EQ, level and delay controls) and a Sentinel10 controller for the LR18Bs (two per channel).

Käppeli notes, “Our analyses revealed that one central bass cluster would be sufficient to cover the entire audience area. We suspended the units from the center of the ceiling and electronically trimmed the existing system so that now only the LR18Bs provide the deep bass. Ever since, our engineers can deliver much more precision in the low frequencies.”

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