VQ in stadium renovation

AUTHOR: Inavate

Built in 1966, Selland Arena still stands tall and clear to travellers driving on the nearby Highway 41, which runs through the centre of Fresno, USA. With a seating capacity of 8,500 Selland Arena also plays host to many concerts and family shows throughout each year and has seen more than ten million patrons come through its doors in the last 40 years.

The venue has undergone a recent renovation with the capacity reduced from a cramped 11,300, allowing for more comfortable modern seating. As part of this renovation, the existing PA system was to be replaced. US acoustic specialists PMK Consultants were employed to design a new system which would improve on the existing sound and be flexible enough to handle all manner of requirements ranging from sporting events to music concerts and family shows.

The resulting system, which was installed by San Francisco based ProMedia / UltraSound, comprises of eight VQ NET 60 enclosures with accompanying VQ MB mid-bass units, flown 45 feet above floor level in the centre of the arena around a rectangular gantry/catwalk. Four VQ NET 60s were placed on the corner points of the rectangle (one each) while the other four were positioned around the centre points of each side, with each of these having a VQ NET DF down-fill mounted below the main enclosure. All VQ NET 60 enclosures are inverted with the horn at bottom and two 12” LF above, to be paired up with the VQ MB – for the purposes of delivering improved vertical pattern control of low frequencies.

For comparison purposes, a VQ 60 will produce a sustained SPL of 138dB (144dB peak), with a tightly controlled 60° dispersion pattern above 800Hz delivering exceptionally predictable and even coverage.

These eight VQ arrays were supplemented by a central subwoofer array, comprising of 16 VNET 18 DR subs clustered into four columns of four and flown centrally and above the main catwalk. Featuring high efficiency 18” drive units, coupled with a reliable and powerful Class D VNET amplifier module with switched mode power supply the direct radiating VNET 18 DR is capable of delivering deep and powerful bass at high sound pressure levels with low distortion and power compression.

For additional venue versatility, a separate portable ‘end-stage array’ was also specified which allowed for some tailoring of the system depending on the specific use of the space. This comprises of a cluster of three VQ NET 60 enclosures flown together side-by-side, and inverted with the two 12” LF drivers at the top, as with the main arrays. A single VQ MB mid-bass is mounted on top of the central VQ NET 60 and a VQ NET DF down-fill mounted on the bottom of that same enclosure. A column of four VNET 18 DR direct radiating subwoofers are mounted just behind and above the VQ array, providing more than ample low frequency response.

Both PMK and Pro Media say they are pleased with the resulting performance of the VQ system, having formally commissioned and tuned the system in conjunction with Tannoy’s Graham Hendry who flew out to California to offer on-the-ground expertise. PMK’s commissioning consultant David H. Stearns was very satisfied with the results, commenting, “The coverage, horizontally, was a seamless +/- 1dBA, and vertically, +/- 3dBA.”

Meanwhile Pro Media’s installation and commissioning techs were said to be impressed by the clarity and controlled coverage of the system, even in an empty arena, and were surprised by the speed and ease with which the system was installed and tuned.