St. Francis, KS (April 4, 2016)—The St. Francis High School domed gym hosts everything from regular PE classes to town meetings, music events and more, so when it came time for the facility to get a new system, the school turned to Colorado and Kansas-based DK Audio Video (DKAV).
DKAV owner Lucas Lafferty recalled, “They wanted a full sound system upgrade and they told us to 'dream big',” he recalls. Lafferty put together a package that included one Powersoft X4 amplifier, which were used to drive two EAW QX326 two-way loudspeakers and two EAW SB250z subwoofers. The school was immediately on board with the plan. “After I told them about the incredibly low power consumption of Powersoft amplifiers, it was the icing on the cake."
DKAV worked with C.J. Lewis in the Denver branch of The Marshank Group, which helped secure the Powersoft and EAW elements required for the installation. "We were so pleased to see a local school system consider this a 'long-term investment' rather than a temporary solution to an immediate need," Lewis recalls. "By choosing a high-end audio solution that was powerful, nimble and reliable, DKAV was able to introduce another dimension of value into the transaction — one that will benefit the St. Francis community for years to come."
During the design and installation phase, the gymnasium presented significant challenges with its 40-foot domed ceiling and solid brick walls. “The room had many uncooperative reflective surfaces,” Lafferty says. “They had tried using sound dampening in the past without much success, so we decided to avoid transmitting any sound towards the dome areas." The speakers were suspended from the ceiling in two pairs, about 20' high on the north end of the gymnasium. With dispersion pattern of approximately 120˚ x 60˚, the sound covered the entirety of the gymnasium, while avoiding excessive bounceback. “We wanted the audio to reach the entire audience as far as we could, but we were careful to aim the speakers at ear level as much as possible."
Lafferty, who didn't have any first hand installation experience with Powersoft prior to this installation, became acquainted with Powersoft's DSP software as the system testing and room-tuning phases of the installation ensued. “Armonía was super-easy to use,” he says. “When I had questions, I called Powersoft directly and they answered all of them quickly and easily.” After implementing a crossover and some equalization for tuning, he also used Armonía to place a hard limiter on the output to avoid any mishaps with overly curious students. “The speakers we chose have a very high output range and could go well above any conceivable use for that space, so we put a dead stop in place,” Lafferty explains.
The two Powersoft amps were situated in a 'restricted access' upstairs room, along with a Juice Goose remote power sequencer. The mixing board, housed in a portable case, can plug into any one of three separate tie-in locations on the floor of the gymnasium, depending on the floorplan of a given event. Also, the system can be powered on from the board remotely via turnkey.
When Lafferty and his team first powered up the system, the results were astonishing. “Shortly after we fired it up the principal put a stop to all classes and told everybody to come down to the gym and take a listen — it was that cool!” Lafferty recalls. Nearly 300 additional visitors eventually made their way to the gymnasium over the course of the day to experience the new system for themselves. “We had people from the local town coming by saying, ‘we heard there’s an awesome new sound system and we want to hear it’."