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Powersoft K Series amps drive Granada Theatre cinema audio

Powersoft K2, K3 and K10 amplifiers now power the LCR and LFE speakers in Santa Barbara’s historic performing arts venue.

The Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts, which is located in California, US, recently completed the addition of a Digital Cinema rear-projection system at the historic 1,550-seat Granada Theatre. Systems integrator, Santa Clarita-based AMT Systems, supplied and installed the new cinema audio equipment, which includes seven Powersoft K Series amplifiers to drive the new 5.1 system’s LCR plus LFE channel loudspeakers.

This year marks the five-year anniversary of the Granada Theatre’s reopening in 2008 following a $50 million (€40m) restoration and expansion project, including technical enhancements and acoustical improvements. The Moorish-style theatre is home to a variety of performing arts companies, including Opera Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Symphony, CAMA, State Street Ballet and Santa Barbara Choral Society.

Because the new cinema system uses a Christie Digital Systems rear projector, the left and right channel speakers were flown to either side of the 30ft Stewart screen, while the center channel speaker and dual subwoofers were suspended immediately above the screen.

Two Powersoft K2 DSP+AESOP amplifiers power the passive coaxial high- and mid-frequency compression drivers in the three QX596i cabinets. A further three K3 DSP+AESOP amps drive the four 12in low frequency speakers in each of the three boxes, while two K10 DSP+AESOP amps power the twin SB2001 dual-21in subwoofers, which carry the low frequency effects (LFE) channel.

Kyle Ridenour of acoustical and audio-visual/IT consultancy McKay Conant & Hoover in Scottsdale, Arizona, was the consultant on the project. NEP’s American Hi Definition division, located in Van Nuys, California, supplied the Digital Cinema projector and screen.

“A Dolby Labs CP750 digital cinema processor is taking all the audio from the Doremi Labs ShowVault video server and decoding it out to the 5.1 channels,” continued Shelton. The LCR and LFE channels are distributed to the Powersoft amplifiers, while the left and right surround channels are sent to the theatre’s previously installed Meyer Sound Constellation system. “The high slew rate and tremendous power capacity gave the speaker system remarkable impact and effortless dynamic range. What was also really nice about using the Powersoft amplifiers was that we used all of the DSP in the amplifiers to tune the speakers, set the crossovers and get the room flat. That made it really simple to do the X Curve processing in the Dolby processor.”