There are several ‘lookouts’ along the 1.25-mile Treetop Trail at Minnesota Zoo. Here, guests are able to observe the animals from up to 32 feet above, offering a breathtaking view. These lookouts are further used for small-scale musical performances that are powered by Renkus-Heinz UBX Series loudspeakers.
Zoo staff contacted the Texas-based True North Consulting Company ubxto design the AV system for the walking path. Jiggs Lee, a senior consultant with TNCG, was responsible for recommending Renkus-Heinz’s solution to Jon Martin, True North’s Director of Design Services.
True North Consulting Company’s senior consultant Jiggs Lee was appointed to design the AV system for the walking path, with his initial ideas being: “We needed a loudspeaker that could function in Minnesota’s outdoor environment, which can get down to -25°F in the winter, and triple digits in the summer. Secondly, we needed a loudspeaker with a wide horizontal dispersion that focused the sound on where people’s ears are, instead of splashing it all over the place. My previous experience working with Renkus-Heinz’s loudspeakers made me think UBX would be the perfect fit.”
18 UBX4 loudspeakers were installed at the lookouts along the trail, which range in size from 12 by 20 feet across where they bump out to 12 by 90 feet across. The UBX4 features a compact, slender cabinet, making it easy to blend into an immersive environment like the Treetop Trail. However, it still delivers precise vertical pattern control and an unmatched combination of features for a loudspeaker of its size.
The award-winning UBX Series brings the precise coverage, high intelligibility and renowned sound quality of Renkus-Heinz’s flagship ICONYX loudspeakers into the realm of passive column arrays. New for the UBX Series is Passive UniBeam Technology which addresses each transducer with specially designed all-pass filter networks, gain shading and additional frequency filtering to generate an asymmetrical vertical dispersion with constant directivity, delivering consistent front-to-back coverage with minimal side lobe artifacts.
All models in the UBX Series are weather-resistant (IP64) out of the box with the included gland nut-protected input cover. The included 70/100V transformer, wall-mount bracket and standard weather resistance make UBX loudspeakers simple to integrate into any system design, whether indoor or outdoor.
Opened to the public in July 2023, zoo officials are also excited about the Treetop Trail. Suzanne Gappa, co-chair of the Step Into Nature Campaign, said: “And our trail provides zoo guests access to nature like never before. We have a lot to look forward to!”