When Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center in Wheaton, Maryland, was asked to recommend a sound system for a major theme park in Williamsburg, Virginia, they set up a shootout of multiple line array loudspeaker systems to supply the music for ice skating performances in an outdoor amphitheater. Looking at variables including sound quality, coverage, footprint and cost, the clear winner was the X1/212-90 line array from the new Electro-Voice X-Line Advance family.
“We asked different manufacturers to bring rigs out to the venue itself,” reports Nate Aiello, Systems Design Consultant with Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center. “When all was said and done, we chose the Electro-Voice X1/212-90 because of its pure sonic quality compared to everything else we listened to.”
The installation in Williamsburg features a pair of eight-box arrays of X1/212-90, covering the venue with a long throw of 200 feet. It was a relatively straightforward project according to Aiello, partly because the X1 line array itself has such good sound quality and coverage right out of the box: “Getting 93-94 dB at the back of the venue was effortless, and we couldn’t hear any separation in the boxes – just nice, pure sound. The client is very happy.”
In the theme park industry, word of such success gets around. But even an industry veteran like Aiello was surprised at what happened next. Within weeks, a similar request came in, this time from Valleyfair Family Amusement Park in Shakopee, Minnesota. They also needed sound for an outdoor amphitheater, for All Wheels Extreme, their BMX bicycle attraction.
“The folks at Valleyfair were also looking to combine high performance with excellent value,” reports Aiello. “Soon after they heard about the Electro-Voice system we had installed in Williamsburg, they called directly and asked if the same system would work for them. As it turns out, we were able to meet the needs of their particular attraction with fewer boxes. They couldn’t believe the sound quality they heard relative to the system cost. The X-Line Advance is one of the great values out there today.”
The system at Valleyfair uses just six X1/212-90 loudspeakers per side, ground-stacked rather than flown. Digital signal processing is supplied by one Electro-Voice Dx46 loudspeaker controller equipped with FIR-Drive speaker optimization and protection technology incorporating finite impulse response (FIR) filters. Both line arrays are mounted on the X12T-DOLLY, a rolling cart designed specifically for easy, repeatable deployment.
“The X1/212-90 delivers amazing audio for the money, and apparently word is getting around the theme park industry,” reports Aiello. “Suddenly, I’m quoting systems to several major parks, and they all want Electro-Voice. When you’re getting that kind of word of mouth, you know you’re doing something right.”
For Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center, achieving success with Electro-Voice comes as no surprise. “Our showroom has over 100 speakers on display, including at least five line arrays, so our customers get to demo everything,” says Aiello. “We see the same sound quality, flexibility and value across the entire Electro-Voice line. They have so many options in terms of sizes and dispersion patterns, there’s an Electro-Voice solution for any situation.”