Canton, Massachusetts-based Communications Design Associates (CDA), recently designed a new sound reinforcement system for the Tsai Performance Centre at Boston University. The upgraded system features Eastern Acoustic Works (EAW) Anya adaptive column arrays that blanket the room with even, high quality audio.
“When the original system was installed in the early 1990s, the room was primarily used for lectures, not performance,” said Joe Patten, Associate Designer for CDA. “As the space has evolved, it was clear they needed a system that could accommodate a variety of performances in addition to regular lectures.”
During the evaluation process, Joe set up a number of demos including EAW KF720 line arrays. During the presentation EAW extended an invitation to the group to tour EAW’s factory and hear a demo of the Adaptive Performance system installed at Hanover Theatre in Worcester.
“After that demo the associate director of production services at Boston University looked at me and said ‘we’re done – this is what we need – we don’t need to hear anything else and that was that,’ Joe explained.
The resulting system design consists of L-R Anya line array columns, three modules each, and a single QX loudspeaker located in the centre. Boston Light & Sound, located in nearby Brighton, provided installation and integration services for the project. Joe added, “I can’t say enough about the quality, expertise and timeliness of that crew. Zeke Zola led the effort and it was absolutely perfect. They are a really impressive group.”
Each three-way, full-range Anya array module features 14 one-inch exit/35mm voice coil HF compression drivers loaded on a proprietary HF horn. Six five-inch MF cone transducers, arranged in two columns of three, use Radial Phase Plugs and Concentric Summation Array technology to enter the horn and sum coherently with the HF wavefront. Dual 15-inch LF cone transducers use offset aperture loading to increase the spacing of the apparent acoustical centres, extending effective horizontal pattern control well into the LF range. Every Anya module also includes a field-replaceable power and processing unit with 22 channels of digital signal processing and amplification to drive each of the module’s 22 transducers.
“I have to admit, I have never been that impressed with a loudspeaker in my life,” Joe concluded. “It is a game-changer listening to those loudspeakers. We were at the Hanover Theatre and I’m listening and looking for the subs – and there were none. The steering and coverage is incredible.”