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Pro Sound Installs SPL Speakers For Miami VenueChooses a complement of loudspeakers from Sound Physics Labs (December 15, 2004)
Nowhere is the cultural diversity of Miami on better display than in the Manuel Artime Community Theater.
The city-owned facility, an historic building on the city's west side, that once served as a church, regularly hosts a far-flung array of concerts, corporate events, plays and religious worship gatherings, all reflective of the many cultures and interests represented in the sprawling city.
What all the facility's users have shared in recent years, however, is a hobbled, out-of-date, sound system. Earlier this year, however, a chorus of complaints about inadequate sound turned into a chorus of cheers thanks to a new sound system installed by Miami-based AV systems integrator Pro Sound, Inc.
The company, working with a Miami-based audio consulting company, The Audio Bug, installed a sound system worthy of the building and its users, and one capable of meeting the broad range of demands placed on it.
"The old system had been in place for about 15 years, and half of the speaker drivers were either blown or couldn't produce full output," says Pro Sound vice president Rick Scharmann. "Despite that, the facility has had a full schedule for many years to the point where it's booked seven days a week. Yet the city was getting serious complaints from everyone who was using it."
Playing a major role in helping the 1,000-seat community theater turn the corner on sound quality was a complement of loudspeakers from Sound Physics Labs, Glenview, Illinois whose qualities have proven to be ideal for the broad range of uses the facility needs to meet. To adequately address that broad range of requirements, The Audio Bug specified and Pro Sound installed SPL-td1 three-way speakers and SPL-td1 subwoofers.
Three full-range Sound Physics Labs td1 speakers are suspended in a cluster from the ceiling, while two td1 subwoofers hang below it. Rounding out the loudspeaker mix are multiple balcony delays, as well as stage monitors. Other sound equipment included QSC amplifiers, an Allen & Heath mixing console, and Klark-Teknik processing.
"The SPL speakers worked especially well in this application," Scharmann says. "The space needed a speaker with high sound pressure level output. Miami is a diverse cultural area and the events that are held at the center run the gamut from classical recitals to reggae to hip-hop, as well as clear and clean voice intelligibility requirements for corporate and religious productions. It's rare you can find a system capable of handling the high-end, clearly defined sound for the classical ear, yet one that gives the thump-thump needed for hip-hop. The consultant's choice of Sound Physics Labs speakers was based on listening and careful evaluation."
A central cluster of td1s was the logical choice as a way to cover a facility with some challenging acoustical aspects, most notably high ceilings. To ensure that the speaker system would work to its maximum capability, Pro Sound installed acoustical panels over the stage area. "They ended up with a false ceiling effect over the stage, which helps absorb some of the energy," he says. "It's a pretty live room, but it proved to be decent to work with."
Although the speaker system had to meet a variety of needs, sound pressure levels were key. Scharmann says the td-1s needed to be capable of handling the 130dB levels the system demanded for intelligibility and performance.
"The list of products that would have worked was narrow," he says. "The big advantage the SPLs have is the sound pressure levels. Many typical trapezoid speaker boxes wouldn't get near the level that was needed. It's a very high-output box."
Legendary soundman Thomas Danley designed the SPL-td1 loudspeaker using a revolutionary technology that combines the outputs from multiple drivers to drive a single horn. The configuration allows each driver to operate within its own frequency range. Unlike other "nested" horn designs, the SPL-td1's technology results in a flat frequency response that is automatically time/phase correct. The cabinet houses two 12-inch low-frequency drivers, four 5 1/4-inch compression-loaded mid-frequency drivers, and a one-inch high-frequency horn in a unique patented Unity Summation Aperture.
Several months after the project was completed, Scharmann says the new system appears to have worked its magic. "There's new life for the building now," he says. "The feedback I'm getting is that everybody loves it. It's the difference between night and day."
Related Keywords:Sound Physics Labs, Pro Sound, SPL, Speakers, Manuel Artime Community Theater, The Audio Bug, Rick Scharmann, SPL-td1, SPL-td1 three-way speakers, SPL-td1 subwoofers, QSC amplifiers, Allen & Heath mixing console, Klark-Teknik processing, Thomas Danley, Unity Summation Aperture,