After an extensive test phase and a final shootout between six brands, Nationaltheater Mannheim has decided on an audio system from Dutch manufacturer Alcons Audio.
Founded in 1777 by Carl Theodor, the theatre was taken under civic control in 1839, making it the oldest municipal theatre in the world today. With a capacity of 1156 places, it houses one of the largest stages in Germany, with a width of 24m.
The specification required a system with an excellent, natural sound response, with very little compression. The old system did not have a sufficient coverage at and below the thatre's balconies. Tonmeister Christian Stader heard about the Nationaltheater from his colleagues of the Thalia Theater in Hamburg, where Alcons equipment had been installed with great success. “Following that, I contacted Carsten Albrecht of Alcons Germany and he performed a demo with VR8 system at our site,” said Stader. After this demo, Alcons was invited to take part in the extensive comparative test.
Stader continues: “In the shootout, Alcons was for everyone involved in the decision, the clear overall winner. The system is in complete harmony with our room.” Apart from the natural sound reproduction, Alcons also impressed with crystal clear mid-highs and transparency of the total soundstage. Besides this, the gain-before-feedback was the real advantage.
Another important aspect for Stader is the support: “The co-operation is very personal and based on trust and Carsten is always available with advice. I have rarely experienced better support.“
The system installed in the Vier-Sparten-Theater opera house (with opera, ballet, operetta and musicals) is predominantly used for orchestra and ballet performances; however, it is also suitable for classical and rock 'n roll concerts.
Although the acoustic behaviour of the opera house brings some challenges, since the area is nearly 100% per cent reflective, "the system is a pleasure to work with,“ says Stader. In Mannheim twelve units LR14 and six units LR7 were installed, with two BF302 double 15in subwoofers, as well as two VR8 compact monitors. The system is powered and controlled by four ALC2 amplified loudspeaker controllers and one ALC4 amplified loudspeaker controller. With a centre cluster, the previously problematic positions under and on the balconies are sufficiently covered.