Sweden’s largest fixed installation of NEXO’s STM Series modular line array has been completed at the Konserthus of Västerås, a city about 100km to the west of Stockholm. Designed and supplied by the Bright Group, the system includes several NEXO models, and is a state-of-the-art solution for a busy modern performance environment.
With more than 200 events a year, including folk and world music, dance and new circus, pop and rock, jazz, chamber and orchestral performances, drama and comedy, the Västerås Konserthus is a buzzing cultural centre for its community. Its principal venue is The Great Hall, with its capacity for 900, and two wraparound balconies seating 215 and 125 people respectively.
The team at the theatre, led by Stage Technical Manager Per Andersson, conducted an exhaustive tender process involving nine well-known suppliers and manufacturers, and including live auditions of the proposed system solutions in the theatre.
“We had a ‘jury’ of five people,” explained Per, “two in-house sound techs, Emil Hedin and Lars Alehag, and three freelance sound techs, Mathias Andersson, Johan Hellgren and Thomas Malbeck, all of whom gave the NEXO STM Series the highest scores for coverage and evenness of distribution. It also got great praise for its true-to-source reproduction.”
Using a system design from the Bright Group, the theatre staff installed the equipment themselves. Bright Installation’s project manager Drew Black was there to oversee the process, with input from Fredrik Arwidsson (Bright Rental division) on final tuning, as well as Emil Hedin (Konserthus) and Ola Fransson (Intersonic, NEXO’s Swedish distributor). “The system has been designed to provide clear coverage throughout the whole venue, meeting all the needs of a concert hall,” said Drew Black. “It has the superb clarity needed for classical music, and the power to cover the heaviest of rock bands.”
The most visible part of the system are the L-R arrays of the STM Series main PA, comprising 14 M28 modules with 90º dispersion, and a single M28/120º. “The arrays are throwing approximately 22-metres to the back of the hall, as well as covering the two balconies which wrap around the hall. Although there are no boxes, even the abilities of the STM M28 couldn’t quite cover the front seats of the balcony, nearest the stage, so we’ve deployed NEXO ID24 compact speakers in strategic positions for fill here.”
The system uses NEXO’s new MSUB18 cabinet for subbass, flying three a side, and ground-stacking another three a side. The versatile design enables the theatre to fly all six subwoofers a side if required.
“There are several reasons for this arrangement,” explained Per. “One is practical: we often do concerts with bands and full orchestra, where the need for extended subbass is limited, as well as the physical space. In these situations, the flown subs are sufficient. On the other hand, when working with acts with a greater need for a really good low extension, the floor subs give the extra punch we need, thanks to the room coupling.”
Everything is powered by eight NXAMP 4×4 controller/amplifiers, plus two NXAMP4x1Mk2s, all of which are fitted with NXDT104 Dante cards for network management. Per said that the second NXAMP4x1Mk2 enabled the system to be divided to left and right, and into three sections: second balcony, first balcony, and the stalls.
The Bright design for the Konserthus draws in other models from the NEXO portfolio such as the compact GEO M6 line array, six modules of which are used for side fill, and the super-compact ID24 point-source cabinets which are used for front fill as well as balcony fill.
“The system is not permanently fixed,” continued Drew. “Although the theatre has no plans to move it for in-house productions, it does give them the flexibility to take it down temporarily if a guest act insists on hanging their own PA.”
Drew, who has already project managed award-winning installations with NEXO in Sweden, emphasised that “the Bright Group is looking forward to building an on-going relationship with the Västerås Konserthus, which will be a great showcase for NEXO technology and our installation division. This is a fantastic system, which will please the audiences: it doesn’t matter whether you’re in the first row or the last row, everyone will now share the same experience.”
“The biggest improvement by far is on our second balcony,” said Per. “We really struggled with these seats before, and now they are on a par with the rest of the hall. As a whole, we see a great improvement in the spectral balance in the whole room. This is a great step up for the hall, and I think it will be hard for a touring rig to match what we have now.”
Ola Fransson of Intersonic, NEXO’s long-time distributor in Sweden, is “very proud and happy with this sale, and how the installation has turned out. This is absolutely the biggest install of STM Series modular line array in Sweden. This concert house hosts a great many concerts of different musical styles with different engineers, so I hope good word-of-mouth reports will help us build on NEXO’s strong reputation here.”