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Tannoy VQ Makes Arctic Arena Appearance


TANNOY’s new VQ Series has been swiftly establishing an impressive reputation as a loudspeaker system of choice in the sports arena sector over the last year or so since making its debut at 2008’s Frankfurt Prolight+sound show.

While some of the earliest examples of VQ being installed in arenas have perhaps unsurprisingly come from the U.S market, consultants and contractors on this side of the pond have started to put their faith in the award-winning range. The most recent company to deploy VQ in this type of environment is leading AV integrated solutions provider Impact Europe, as part of a significant upgrade to the Coop Arena in the northern Swedish city of Luleå.

Located just 60 miles south of the Arctic Circle, the 6000 capacity Coop Arena is a major sports and community facility for the city and surrounding area, and has undergone a major program of building works to upgrade and enhance the venue – with new raised roof, new restaurant, pub, lodges and conference rooms in addition to a comprehensive overhaul of the AV systems. A significant part of this upgrade was in specifying and installing a versatile and intelligible PA system around the main arena – used mainly for ice hockey matches and figure skating but also for basketball and large scale music events. Impact Europe’s Swedish offices turned to specialist audio distributors (and appointed distributor for Tannoy’s professional products in Sweden) Standard Audio AB, who designed a new system for the main hall based around TANNOY’s new VQ Series.

As the product was launched only last year, this would be one of the first opportunities for Standard Audio to take advantage of VQ’s unheralded performance characteristics in a demanding commercial application. Tannoy VQ’s class-leading directivity, exceptional clarity and tightly controlled coverage make it a natural choice for an arena such as this, where hard reflective floor (usually ice) and roof surfaces present serious challenges when it comes to achieving good intelligibility (>0.5 STI). Only 12 full range VQ enclosures were required to provide more than adequate coverage for the seating areas around the four sides of the arena. 4 x VQ 60 devices were flown (evenly spaced) along each long side, each supplemented with a down-firing VQ 85DF seamlessly mounted to the bottom of the VQ 60 cabinet. Meanwhile just a pair of VQ 100 devices, with their wider 100 degree beamwidth as opposed to the VQ 60’s tighter controlled 60 degree conical dispersion, are sufficient to provide coverage at each of the ‘ends’ of the arena (ie 2 VQ 100 at each end).

Thanks to the incredibly high sensitivity achieved by Tannoy with these loudspeakers, especially the VQ 60 (115db for 1W/1m), very high SPLs are achievable with relatively modest levels of amplified power. One of the critical advantages of this efficiency is that it allowed Standard Audio to design a high performance sound reinforcement system with integrated Voice Alarm function – with VQ Series handling both duties – without the expense of higher powered UPS (uninterrupted power supply), and with very modest battery backup requirements - required in an evacuation system like this. EV CP-1800 amplifiers power the VQ’s LF section, while the less demanding Mid-High driver is powered by the VA amplification. This is a prime example of the difference between price and value. By investing in premium loudspeaker technology, Standard Audio have ultimately delivered cost efficiencies elsewhere in the system – while ensuring first class audio quality at the same time.

Delivering both performance and value was one of the key benefits behind their decision to specify VQ, as Standard Audio’s Roger Friberg explained, “Our first priority was to come up with a professional sound solution with integrated voice alarm – without adding significant costs. With this solution, we were able to deliver very high quality audio as an added bonus as well as a well-functioning VA system, at minimal expense.”

Despite very little prior experience with the range, Friberg had no hesitation in recommending the use of VQ Series and was enthusiastic about the final results. “The placement of the speakers were thoroughly simulated and tested in EASE. Our main concern was to get even SPL coverage across the full public area. As this was our first installation of VQ, we had no experience of its behaviour. The result however was quite beyond expectations, achieving SPL within 3dB over the whole space. There was little or no difference in the tonal balance and characteristics of sound, wherever we measured, no hot spots or weak corners.”

System control and DSP was provided via Nexia by Biamp. The venue is due to open officially with a ribbon-cuttin ceremony on November 26th.

www.tannoy.com

 

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