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The Kurhaus get the Yamaha treatment

May, 2011

A second digital audio system installed at the prestigious Merano venue

The elegant Kurhaus building is the symbol of spa activity in the northern Italian city of Merano and the first part of the complex (Pavillon des Fleurs) was inaugurated back in 1874 as a place for guests’ treatment and enjoyment. The facilities at Merano’s old Kurhaus included a fumoir, gaming, conversation, dance and concert halls, and later also a casino. To this day, the central location of the venue makes it a privileged location for gala evenings, dances, concerts, conferences and other high profile events.

Of the thirteen rooms at clients’ disposal in the centre, able to host from ten to a thousand guests with international standard facilities, the Pavillon des Fleurs, with its almost three hundred square metres, can hold over two hundred people for events of various types, from gala dinners to fashion parades, and features a stage that can be varied in size according to requirements.

To ensure the room even greater flexibility, it was decided to equip it with a sound reinforcement system and the company appointed for its design and installation was Audiotek of Bolzano, a firm with many year’s experience in both the rental and management of audio systems for live events and the design, integration and installation of permanent systems, a field in which its clients range from museums to night venues and local administrations.

Matteo Coppe, Audiotek’s owner, explains, “For this project, the brief we received from our clients, Ente Gestione Kurhaus e Teatro Puccini di Merano, was to design and install a system suitable for the reinforcement of speech and live music, which also had to be easy and practical to use.”

The beautiful decor and architectural features of the room created considerable acoustic problems, which has to be taken into careful consideration when designing the new audio system. In fact, as well as the high ceiling with its elaborate decorations (dating back to the early 1900s), the room also has countless mirrors and an enormous crystal chandelier that hangs down for two metres from the centre of the ceiling.

Coppe continues: “Finding the solution to these problems also enabled us to meet another of the client’s requirements, which was to ensure the set-up had the lowest possible visual impact. In fact, with Yamaha’s compact Installation Series enclosures, we were able to obtain precise even coverage of the room, with volumes that didn’t cause any disturbing reverb effects.”

More in detail, the system consists in a front, made up of a pair of IF2108W units, two-way full-range enclosures (8” woofer and 2" voice coil), with coverage guaranteed by a rotatable 60°x90° constant directivity horn, and a delay line, installed approximately three-quarters of the way down the room, comprising two IF2205W, two-way units (two 5" woofers and 1" voice coil), with a rotatable 60°x90° constant directivity horn. All are in white livery, enabling them to merge even more into the decor.

The same type of Yamaha digital system had already been installed by Audiotek with excellent results in the main room of the Kurhaus, and more recently also in other prestigious venues, such as the San Giorgio in Poggiale Library in Bologna.

Coppe adds, “Our company has also had excellent results and client feedback for the rental of complete audio set-ups with a digital audio transmission system via Cat5 using EtherSound™, as was used on this installation.”

Explaining the fundamental reasons for the positive results from installations using Yamaha products, Coppe states: “As well as the quality with which Yamaha EtherSound™ systems are manufactured, total reliability is the decisive factor in installations of this size and type. It’s unimaginable for a convention with hundreds of attendees having to stop because the audio mixer has gone ‘offline’ or due to a ‘clock’ problem, with annoying hum, crackles or suchlike. It is therefore indispensable to ensure - with the Yamaha console - a work tool that is highly reliable and user-friendly. As well as guaranteeing my clients functional systems that last through time, if we were constantly on-site for maintenance or resetting work, we’d soon go out of business!”

Coppe also stresses the fact that Yamaha IF Series enclosures are manufactured using Italian components, ensuring a very clean, not over-aggressive sound. Each power amp is also fitted with double heat sinks and variable-speed cooling fans for constant operation and EEEngine technology for perfect power efficiency.

The digital audio console at the Pavillon des Fleurs, a 16-channel YAMAHA LS9-16, fitted with an EtherSound™ card, is mounted in a practical wheeled flightcase, facilitating movement and ensuring it is perfectly protected when not in use. The case also hosts an FM tuner and CD player for audio and MP3s and four systems for wireless microphones at the disposal of speakers in the room.

In the adjacent equipment room, the rack installed by Audiotek contains a Yamaha DME 24N digital mixing engine with an MY16-ES64 interface card and the power amplifiers, a Yamaha PC3301N for the subwoofers (two IS1112W) and three Yamaha PC2001N, respectively for the main Left - Right systems, delay speakers and two monitor lines for speakers and artists taking part in the events held. A Yamaha CP4SF control panel ensure extremely user-friendly control of the presets programmed on the DME system.

To emphasize the relative ease with which an expert installer (and, in his case, also an experienced sound engineer) can overcome the difficulties met when amplifying sound in place that were definitely not designed for listening to amplified speech and music, Coppe said that he did not use any acoustic simulation software during installation, “I just aimed the enclosures with my laser, in order to ensure that they were perfectly inclined and aligned in relation to each other, and this enabled me to obtain exactly the required results, without interfering with the look of the elegant room.”

Data

Products IF2115/64 , LS9-16 , DME24N

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