Elon, NC – December 2011… With its five schools and colleges, including the College of Arts and Sciences, Martha and Spencer Love School of Business, School of Communications, School of Education, and School of Law, Elon University is ranked by the U.S. News & World Report as the second best Regional University in the South. Among the various facilities on campus, Whitley Auditorium is home to a wide range of activities. This multipurpose space serves as a venue for lectures, concerts, performances, weekly chapel services and is home to a Casavant pipe organ. After struggling with an inadequate sound reinforcement system for quite some time, University officials decided the time had come to correct the situation—and this decision led to the installation of a new loudspeaker system drawn from the Variant Series catalog of Valencia, Spain-based D.A.S. Audio.
Greensboro, NC-based Audio & Light, Inc., a design / build firm focused on AV systems for the commercial and educational markets, was contracted to handle the installation of the University’s new sound system. Jim Hoyle, President of Audio & Light and the designer of Whitley Auditorium’s new sound reinforcement system, discussed the project and the reasons for his selection of the D.A.S. Audio Variant Series loudspeakers.
“This is an acoustically challenging space, as it is optimized for the pipe organ,” Hoyle explained. “Hence, the room is quite live. The room, which is roughly 90 feet deep and 42 feet wide, can be difficult because it is used for so many different types of events. As a presentation space, a high degree of speech intelligibility was required while at the same time, the loudspeaker system had to be very capable in its ability to reproduce music program material. Ultimately we decided on D.A.S. Audio’s Variant 25A powered two-way mid-high loudspeakers plus the Variant 18A powered subwoofer System.”
The D.A.S. system deployed by the Audio & Light crew consisted of six Variant 25A loudspeakers and a single Variant 18A powered subwoofer. The loudspeakers are deployed in a central cluster over the font of the room’s stage area, with the Variant 18A subwoofer at the top of the cluster and the six Variant 25A elements underneath. The loudspeaker cluster is flown at a height of 26 feet.
Hoyle discussed the attributes of the Variant loudspeaker system. “The most important factor was, of course, sound quality,” Hoyle said. “This room is acoustically challenging and with this system, we are able to achieve clear, highly intelligible sound throughout the hall. The throw and horizontal dispersion of this system is excellent. The sound is clear and very natural. It handles music beautifully and we have consistent coverage from front to rear and side to side.”
“I was equally impressed with D.A.S. Audio’s rigging hardware,” Hoyle continued. “The flyware is very clean, efficient, and easy to use. The entire system—with the flying grid, followed by the Variant 18A subwoofer and the six Variant 25A elements beneath the sub—works superbly well.”
In addition to the Variant system’s sound quality and first-rate hardware, Hoyle reports being equally impressed with D.A.S. Audio’s customer and technical support services. “The folks at the company’s Miami, FL office were a pleasure to deal with,” he said. “Their tech support is great. Whenever we call, we get an almost immediate response and if a part is required, the company’s turnaround time is very fast. Everyone in Miami has been very helpful.”
The new sound reinforcement system at Elon University’s Whitley Auditorium was installed during September 2011 and was completed in early October. The system was first placed into service on October 21st. Since that time, Hoyle reports everyone who encounters the sound system is impressed, “The new system is working out very well and everyone involved with the venue is very pleased with its performance. The previous system was inadequate for the space and, as a result, they frequently rented equipment. This new system resolves those issues and is facilitating better sound quality for every type of event that’s held in the room. The D.A.S. product has been nothing short of terrific.”
About D.A.S. Audio
Celebrating 40 years of innovation, Valencia, Spain-based D.A.S. Audio is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of loudspeaker systems, power amplification, signal processing, and related components. D.A.S. Audio products are found on tour with the world’s greatest performing artists and installed in many of the most prestigious facilities. For additional information about D.A.S. Audio, visit the company online at www.dasaudio.com.