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Electro-Voice Ropes The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo With FIR-Drive

This year the WNFR returned to the Thomas and Mack Center, and so did LD Systems’ XLC rig, but with the added precision and power of NetMax N8000 system controllers with FIR-Drive and XLC127 loudspeakers with DVX cabinet upgrades.

By PSW Staff January 9, 2009

Electro-Voice XLC high above the action at the annual WNFR in Las Vegas

For the fifth consecutive year, Texas-based LD Systems traveled to Las Vegas in December for the annual Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR), a 10-day event that many consider the “Super Bowl” of rodeo now celebrating its 49th anniversary.

LD has partnered with the WNFR since 2004 as the event’s exclusive light and stage producer. 2007 marked the first year that LD also supplied sound reinforcement for the event.

Last year, LD used an Electro-Voice XLC rig to provide smooth, intelligible coverage at the 18,500-seat Thomas and Mack Center on the campus of the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

This year the WNFR returned to the Thomas and Mack Center, and so did LD Systems’ XLC rig, but with the added precision and power of NetMax N8000 system controllers with FIR-Drive and XLC127 loudspeakers with DVX cabinet upgrades.

The system, comprising XLC127DVX cabinets and XLC215 subs in two-over-six combinations, was deployed in four arrays surrounding the arena’s central scoreboard and video wall. The rig looked the same as last year’s in every way, but the reaction to the system’s performance was dramatically different.

“Our clients and the show’s FOH Engineer Derreld Yost were both amazed by the sound of this year’s system in comparison to last year’s,” says Robert Ausmus, Director of Production Services, LD Systems. “The combination of the DVX upgrade and NetMax with FIR-Drive is simply superb. It’s absolutely dialed-in precise in every venue we bring it to. We can’t stop talking about it, and neither can our clients after they hear it!”

In addition to sounding great, LD’s XLC rig also saves Ausmus, his A1 Bill Johnson, and his A2 Rudy Guillen time and money by only using four arrays for the event.

“We can provide complete coverage with just four arrays, thanks to the XLC’s 120-degree horizontal coverage,” says Ausmus. “With any other product, we would have needed at least six arrays. EV is a true labor-saver at events like these.

“Plus, relative to its compact size, the DVX system has exceptional power handling—this is a long-throw application, and we never ran out of headroom. The whole system performed perfectly for us.”

Derreld Yost, FOH Engineer for the WNFR, was also impressed with the DVX difference.

“The sound of the DVX upgrades was excellent right from the start,” says Yost. “I could hear more intelligibility from the new boxes right away, and we didn’t have any coverage issues; the two things we need most for this show are coverage and intelligibility, so it was great to have so much of both. This was the best I had ever heard this arena sound, and I’ve been FOH at this event for the last six years.

“Even after a run of 10 performances, I didn’t have one issue with any of the gear or a single complaint about the sound.”

For more information:
Electro-Voice Website
LD Systems Website

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