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Coop Arena, Luleå

Andy Stout 9 November 2009
Coop Arena, Luleå

Ice and intelligibility. Integrated AV solutions provider Impact Europe is the latest company to deploy Tannoy’s VQ series in the sports arena sector, as part of an upgrade project in northern Sweden.

Located just 100km south of the Arctic Circle, the 6,000-capacity Coop Arena in the northern Swedish city of Luleå is a major sports and community facility for the city and surrounding area. It has undergone a major programme 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 local audio distributor Standard Audio, which designed a new system for the main hall based around the Tannoy VQ series.

The project demanded high levels of directivity, clarity and control, as the hard reflective floor (usually ice) and roof surfaces present serious challenges when it comes to achieving good intelligibility (greater than 0.5 STI).

Four-a-side Just 12 full-range VQ enclosures were required to cover the seating areas around the four sides of the arena. Four 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.

Coverage at each end of the arena is supplied by a pair of VQ 100 devices: at 100¼ beamwidth, their dispersion is wider than the VQ 60’s 60¼ conical pattern.

Because of the high sensitivity of the VQ series – the VQ 60 achieves 115dB for 1W/1m – very high SPLs are achievable with relatively modest levels of amplified power. This efficiency also allowed Standard Audio to design a high-performance sound reinforcement system with integrated voice alarm function. The VQ series handles both duties with very modest battery backup requirements.

The VQ’s LF section is powered by Electro-Voice CP1800 amplifiers, while the less demanding mid-high driver is powered by the VA amplification. The bottom end is also boosted by Community Sonus subwoofers.

Standard Audio’s Roger Friberg comments: “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 highquality audio as an added bonus as well as a well-functioning VA system, at minimal expense.” Friberg is enthusiastic about the final results: “The placement of the speakers was 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.”

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