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First Avenue Antes Up For EV

Long considered a must-play for bands on the rise, First Avenue in Minneapol has a few aces up its sleeve, primary among them being its legendary appearance in “Purple Rain” and its recently upgraded Electro-Voice PA.

Detroit rockers The Electric Six played the new EV system’s debut show.
Minneapolis, MN (May 17, 2012)—Long considered a must-play for bands on the rise, First Avenue in Minneapolis has a few aces up its sleeve, primary among them being its legendary appearance in Purple Rain and its recently upgraded Electro-Voice PA.

Having had an Electro-Voice PA in place for around 20 years, First Ave recently decided to upgrade to new, more efficient technology. “We are both thrilled and honored to be providing the new sound system for First Avenue,” says Michael Doucot of Electro-Voice, who worked closely with the First Avenue team and St. Paul-based Electro-Voice dealers and installation specialists Metro Sound and Lighting on specifying and installing the new mainroom sound system.

Doucot adds, “It was time to update the Electro-Voice X-Array loudspeaker system that has reliably served the mainroom night after night for the past two decades, upgrading to one of EV’s state-of-the-art XLC line-array systems. The old system was still going strong and sounding great, but it will now be repurposed for stage-fill sound rather than main front-of-house duties.”

“This is a new chapter in a relationship that makes sense for many reasons,” Doucot continues. “Like First Avenue, Electro-Voice is very proud of the Twin Cities home base upon which its global reputation is built. We design and engineer our microphones, electronics, and loudspeaker systems here in Burnsville, and the touring artists that perform on the mainroom stage—and the audiences at their shows—can continue to expect the best club sound anywhere when they come to First Avenue. We work well together, and it feels good to extend this local partnership with a new system that features our latest audio innovations, such as NetMax/IRIS-Net signal processing, which all add up to take the First Avenue experience to the next level.”

The new XLC line-array system is driven by the latest Tour Grade series amplifiers, which are more powerful and energy efficient than their predecessors—approximately 40 percent more, according to EV. Another change is that there are now loudspeakers from the EVF line covering hard-to-reach spots like the under-balcony areas.

Doucot adds: “This was a great team effort: Randy Keeley and his colleagues from Metro, Brad Hertko and the First Avenue crew, and our own George Georgallis and Stu Schatz really did an exemplary job installing all the components and fine-tuning the system on a tight deadline; it’s turned out to be one of the best-looking and best-sounding installs any of us have seen. The mainroom has always sounded great, but this new PA is in a league of its own; people are going to be blown away by how good it sounds in there!”

First Avenue

Metro Sound and Lighting