San Francisco-based Great American Music Hall recently upgraded its front-of-house system with the addition of a new L-Acoustics KUDO loudspeaker rig. Twin arrays, each comprised of five KUDO boxes, now hang over the far-left and -right sides of the stage directly above two stacks of three SB118 single-18-inch subs. Two coaxial 115XT HiQ enclosures have also been installed to supply improved coverage to the side balcony seating areas, with a pair of 115XTs addressing the rear balcony. All systems are powered by L-Acoustics’ LA Series amplification.
According to Jonathan Nelson, co-owner of both the Great American Music Hall and its sibling local venue, Slims, “This room has never felt anything like what this sound system provides, with the exception of the ’89 earthquake! The KUDO systems and subs have easily given us another half-octave of firm bass down below our previous setup, which absolutely engages the entire room, even when we’re only using half of the available headroom. Plus, the sound is so clean and powerful. It makes the space sound extremely intimate; almost like we’re hearing everything on a really high-end set of studio monitors.”
“I’ve mixed on just about every box that L-Acoustics makes in all types of venues, and they’ve always sounded beautiful across the entire volume spectrum,” notes Lee Brenkman, head of the Music Hall’s sound department and a 34-year employee of the venue. “There are a lot of big concert rigs that sound great if you’re hammering them, but very few of them are also able to handle something delicate. With L-Acoustics speakers, including KUDO, I can take finger-picking folk and other acoustic music down to a whisper and the sonic details are still perfectly clear.”
Prior to installing the new system, the club had long struggled with delivering adequate coverage and intelligibility to its horseshoe-shaped balcony seating area. “Thanks to the coaxials, the articulation upstairs is massively better than it was,” Brenkman adds.