The Toyota Center, home of the Houston Rockets, has become the first sports arena to install the L-Acoustics K2 sound system.
This installation caps a two-year AV makeover that also added new HD video scoreboards. The sound system was designed using L-Acoustics' Soundvision simulation software by project consultant Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon and Williams and AV systems integrator LD Systems, with support from the manufacturer.
“Sound quality in an arena is always a challenge, but we had some additional challenges on the Toyota Center project,” said LD Systems sales engineer Kevin Broussard. “In addition to coming up with a line-source system design that would provide even and seamless sound coverage all the way around the arena, we were also instructed to use as many of the existing rigging points that had been used to support the old trap-box-style system as possible to keep the venue flexible for touring music shows.”
Scott Foulkrod, manager of audio and video at the Toyota Center commented: “It’s really unusual to look up and be able to see clearly across the entire top of the arena. You get a great sense of openness. It really was a nice, clean install.”
The installation was completed and tuned just in time for the start of the 2014-15 NBA season. Configured with two pairs of arrays facing the north and south sides of the arena, and one each facing the longer-throw east and west ends.
“A line array in an arena has the potential for serious horizontal overlap between arrays, with a nightmare of phase cancellation between clusters and the possibility of comb filtering. But with the K2, there is minimal horizontal overlap, and the sound is uniform from top to bottom”, said Broussard.
NBA arenas have also become famous for their low-frequency response, but the Toyota Center setup uses only 18 subs. “The K1-SB subs reinforce the low end, adding power and punch, but most of the bass is coming from the K2s themselves,” added Broussard.