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NEXO, Yamaha Sound System Installed in Cleveland’s Palace Theatre

The Palace Theatre in Cleveland

NAC Technologies of Cleveland, under the leadership of senior audio engineer Rick Galbraith and company owner Dave Cooper, recently replaced the existing sound system in Cleveland’s Palace Theatre. The Palace Theatre originally opened in 1922 and is part of the Playhouse Square complex, an integral part of the Cleveland Theater District. The venue, which seats 2,700, accommodates an eclectic mix of shows ranging from touring productions to concerts.

The new sound system comprises 63 NEXO S12s and subs, NXAmps and a Yamaha M7CL-48 digital console. The Palace Theatre’s replacement system was the third such project for NAC at Playhouse Square, as the company has installed NEXO products in two additional theaters at the complex. “We’ve had good success with the NEXO products in all three theaters,” states Galbraith.

“The elegant Palace is the grand dame of the complex,” says Galbraith. “Its 1981 audio system was well maintained but past its prime, with inadequacies in coverage and a low SPL.”

The key element in finalizing the decision to replace the Palace Theatre’s system came when Galbraith and Cooper were on a regional tour with Patty Lupone and Mandy Patinkin. “The last stop on the tour was the Palace Theatre,” recalls Galbraith. “We hung our own NEXO touring rig, so that over the course of 12 days, top management would have the opportunity to hear what they were about to purchase.”

NAC added three large line arrays at L/C/R, each comprising 11 NEXO GEO S1210s and one S1230. NEXO GEO S1230s are also used for L/R upper box fill. Six 1230s are used for floor fills L/R along with four NEXO Alpha S2 subs. Two under balcony rings comprise six near and five far GEO S1230s. Eight NEXO GEO S1230s are located in the lighting perches for the farthest seats in the top balcony. NEXO PS8s are used for front fill. Five NEXO 4×4 and four 4×1 amplifiers power the entire system.

NAC Technologies also provides Severance Hall with a NEXO GEO S8 system rental along with Yamaha M7CL digital consoles. Home to the Cleveland Orchestra, the 2,100-seat theater was originally built in 1931.

“Since Severance Hall is a symphonic space, the classical performances are never amplified,” notes Galbraith. “Whenever there is a lecture, theatrical performance, dance or pops-type event, we supply a NEXO GEO S8 rig powered by NEXO 4×4 amps with anywhere from 12 to 16 boxes per side plus CD12 cardioid subs, if required. We installed a permanent speaker cable system, a permanent PD, and custom front-fill harnesses that enable us to put a rig in or take it out in very little time. The house crew even has a GEOplot hanging in their office, and they fly and pin the rig for us.”

NAC states that it typically brings in Yamaha M7 consoles to Severance Hall because space is limited and there simply is no place for racks of processing. The company recently ran a Cat-5 cable to the recording room and purchased Yamaha SB168 ES stage boxes so the theater can have a three-way digital split between the front of house, monitor mix, and recording. The Hall’s mix engineer, Bruce Gigax, uses a Yamaha DM1000 to record a live mix of the orchestra’s concerts for broadcast on local classical station WCLV.

Yamaha M7CL consoles have also been installed in the State and Hanna Theaters at Playhouse Square, as well as at Progressive Field. “The M7CL is universally accepted on any tour rider,” adds Galbraith. “We’ve also trained all local union engineers on the M7CL so that in any given theater, the mix engineer can just walk up and use it.“

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