Alcons Audio’s LR14/90 pro-ribbon based line-array system has been installed as part of the renovation of eTown Hall in Boulder, Colorado, US – a 17,000sqft speciality venue that hosts a weekly radio programme broadcast on more than 300 stations in North America.
The venue was formerly a 90-year old church, and transforming it into a state-of-the-art music hall, recording studio and offices presented multiple challenges. Nick Forster (left of picture), founder and host of the eTown radio show, contracted Sam Berkow of SIA Acoustics to design the acoustics and the sound system for the facility.
Forster commented: “Initially, I was leaning towards a different high-end speaker line but Sam insisted I listen to the Alcons systems. Sam worked with David Rahn, Alcons Audio’s North American sales manager [right of picture], to arrange the demonstration. The clarity in the top end of the ProRibbon based systems was immediately apparent and for the kind of music we showcase here at eTown I knew it would do a fantastic job."
The ultra-compact line array incorporates two 6.5in high-performance woofers and the Alcons Audio RBN401 4in pro-ribbon drivers. In addition, a stage monitor system and small café rig were designed with Alcons speakers. The stage monitor package includes 6 VR8 and 2 VR12 enclosures, both two-way systems incorporating 8 in and 12in woofers along with the 4in and 6in pro-ribbon HF devices respectively. Powering the systems are the Alcons Audio ALC2st amplifiers and DDP internal digital signal processors.
Forster continued: “It's amazing how many people comment about the sound. They almost always say the same things: ‘It sounds so natural, I feel like I'm “inside” the music, I've never heard anything like it.’ Yes, a well-designed room and a great team of engineers help a lot, but those speakers are just what I was hoping they would be. The smooth top end is so well suited to acoustic instruments and the human voice – both spoken and sung. It's a perfect complement to eTown Hall.
Karen Shaviv, eTown FOH engineer, said: “The Alcons LR14 pro-ribbon box has no problem providing the warmth one would expect out of a speaker enclosure twice the size. The real feat, however, is the buttery smoothness of the top end, even at higher SPL where other boxes tend to get ‘screechy’. This is especially important for eTown tapings which have a good deal of conversation, so vocal intelligibility is a huge plus.”
Many of the visiting musicians have also commented on the smooth, natural response of the Alcons monitors. “With the recently added VR monitors we're able to let the musicians on stage share in that same technology, that same smooth high end. They are always amazed by the quality of the sound coming from such a small box. We couldn’t be happier with the Alcons system,” said Forster.