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Palace Theatre comeback complete with L-Acoustics upgrade

Earlier this year the Palace Theatre in Saint Paul, Minnesota was renovated after nearly three decades of inactivity. A few months later the 2,500-capacity live music venue has had a new L-Acoustics K2 PA system installed by Allied Productions and Sales to complete its turnaround.

Randy Hawkins, head audio engineer at the Palace Theatre and FOH touring engineer for the band Atmosphere, which headlined the new Palace’s first show, said that a steady stream of visiting artists between the reopening of the venue and the installation of the new system in August confirmed K2 as the best choice. “The Pixies came through with the exact same system we have here now, and everyone was amazed at how good it sounded,” Hawkins stated. “There were a couple of other systems in here on a temporary basis, but none of them could come close to what we have now.”

Today, the venue’s main system comprises 13 K2 loudspeakers per side in a two-hang stereo system, each array topped with three K1-SB subs, while eight KS28 subs are ground-stacked below, four per side. The Palace Theatre is architecturally complex, with a tall 800-seat balcony over an open area that can hold another 1,700 people, but with a bar and other areas, such as the back of the main floor, that can be acoustically hard to reach. So Allied included a centre-fill cluster of three Kiva II speakers in the design, with four X8 coaxial speakers for the front-fill array.

Another four X8 act as delay speakers for the bar area while two more take the sound evenly to the very back of the floor. The main system is powered by 14 AVB-ready LA12X amplified controllers, with four AVB-equipped LA4X amplified controllers on hand for the fill and delay speakers.

Allied president Chad Pechacek added: “The adjustable horizontal directionality, focus and throw that K2 provides in a lightweight enclosure gave us a lot of options for installation flexibility despite very limited placement options.”

“K2 is at the top of almost every request list, it’s the ultimate rider-friendly PA system,” Hawkins concluded. “The goal for choosing this sound system was to make the greatest number of touring bands happy, and K2 was the right way to do that.”