Fred Olsen Cruise Lines Upgrades with Electro-Voice Sound System Aboard the Cruise Ship MS Braemar

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines recently engaged England’s EW Production Services Ltd. (EWPSL) to address ongoing audio issues aboard MS Braemar, the most modern among the company’s fleet of four cruise ships. Its Neptune Lounge hosts a wide range of activities, including live music, comedy, cabaret and full theatre productions. EWSPL’s system design improves the entertainment experience for customers while addressing unwanted sound transmission affecting passenger cabins on adjoining decks above and below.

Paul Byrne, Operations Manager for EWPSL commented: “When we saw the Neptune Lounge and its old system, we knew we could improve the situation dramatically. The tricky bit was to accomplish that while at sea, and without interfering with the entertainment schedule. Fortunately, our friends at Electro-Voice UK provided an ETX loudspeaker system as a temporary sound system, and Fred Olsen Cruise Lines welcomed two of our technicians, who installed the complete system during a cruise.”

To tame the rooms hard to control sound, EWPSL designed a system based on models from the Electro-Voice EV-Innovation family of installation-dedicated loudspeakers and the Electro-Voice N8000 NetMax digital matrix controller. The primary loudspeakers are four EVU-2082 mains hung above the stage and sonically matched with two EVA-1151D subwoofers.

Three Electro-Voice CPS series multi-channel amplifiers power the entire sound system. Outfitted with RCM-810 remote control modules from Electro-Voice, the amps integrate via IRIS-Net software into the N8000 digital matrix controller from Electro-Voice enabling complete tailoring of each channel. In addition, the equipment rack was reduced from 48 to 16 rack units in height, creating more free space while reducing the amount of heat generated.

Paul further explained that the old system was under-powered and lacked proper signal processing, and that with the N8000 controller and IRIS-Net software, the opportunity arose to perfect the tuning and control of each speaker. It also allowed the ship’s emergency notification system to be incorporated as a system task in the network.

To address unwanted noise transmission to adjacent rooms, EWPSL isolated the new speakers with rubber. The four ceiling-mounted EVU-2082 speakers from Electro-Voice use rubber washers in each bracket connection. Large rubber feet were added to the floor-standing EVA-1151D subwoofers from Electro-Voice, and both are housed in small alcoves with a carpet and rubber pad to further deaden vibration. Not a single passenger noise complaint has been registered since the installation.

Richard Walker, Senior Technical & Compliance Manager & Superintendent, Cruise for Fred Olsen Marine Services, expressed the company’s delight in the result: “The new sound system in Braemar’s Neptune Lounge is a great improvement to our guests’ showtime experience. EW Production Services came up with an ideal solution, and we thank them for a speedy and trouble-free installation.”

Paul Byrne of EWPSL with similarly pleased comments: “There was a lot of uncertainty in this installation,” he says, “primarily because it all happened at sea, which put a lot of pressure on our design team. But with great support from Electro-Voice, we were confident that everything would work as planned – and it did.”