Suggestions for new/replacement Rink sound system

Discussion in 'rec.audio.pro' started by Robert Bell, Aug 31, 2003.

  1. Robert Bell

    Robert Bell Guest

    Greetings all,
    I'm a newcomer to alt.audio.pro.live-sound and rec.audio.pro and
    perhaps these aren't the right places to post my questions, but I'm sure
    you readers will be of useful background.

    I am about to become employed at a roller skating rink in south-eastern
    Pennsylvania. My employer has newly purchased the rink and has many
    ideas as to how he wants to expand business. No doubt the sound system
    is on his mind. And rightly so... the sound system is in excess of 30
    years old (as far as I can tell, perhaps its even older). I will list
    the current equipment just to give you all an idea what I'm dealing
    with: 1 Lang Electronics LXQ-2 (equalizer), 1 Lang Electronics LMX-3
    (preamp/mixer dare I say?), 1 Bogen MT-250C (amp), 1 monitor of unknown
    origen, and several speakers also of unknown origen.

    I am confident that I can make reasonable recommendations as to the DJ
    booth area, regarding mixer/preamp, program equipment (turntables, cd
    players, etc) and outboard gear. I am concerned, however, with the
    actual driving equipment, specifically amps and speakers. What is
    currently in use appears to be a 70v system. A rink that I worked at
    when I was younger also had such a system. After reading about 70v
    systems a while ago, I understand the benefits to such a system. What I
    am concerned about is the top-end power and audio clarity inherently
    poor due to 70v systems. I was never happy with the quality of the sound
    system at the previous rink.

    Basically I want to know what others would recommend in similar
    circumstances as to type of speaker/amp system, 70v vs. "standard"
    impedance driving. Be aware the space we are looking to fill will be a
    178ft by 75ft skating rink floor. The actual building is 100ft by 200ft
    and is not "isolated" from the floor with walls. I am merely concerned
    with filling the floor with decent quality (good highs and lows) music.
    As a side, this system will need to accomodate a live organist as we are
    planning to revive a live organ music night for the Senior skaters. If
    anyone has any anecdotes on rinks specifically, or similar venues in
    general, that will be a great help. Thank you all!

    -Bob Bell
  2. The voices in the head of Robert Bell uttered these words to the
    inhabitants of alt.audio.pro.live-sound.

    > Greetings all,
    > I'm a newcomer to alt.audio.pro.live-sound and rec.audio.pro and
    > perhaps these aren't the right places to post my questions, but I'm
    > sure you readers will be of useful background.
    >
    > I am about to become employed at a roller skating rink in
    > south-eastern
    > Pennsylvania. My employer has newly purchased the rink and has many
    > ideas as to how he wants to expand business. No doubt the sound system
    > is on his mind. And rightly so... the sound system is in excess of 30
    > years old (as far as I can tell, perhaps its even older). I will list
    > the current equipment just to give you all an idea what I'm dealing
    > with: 1 Lang Electronics LXQ-2 (equalizer), 1 Lang Electronics LMX-3
    > (preamp/mixer dare I say?), 1 Bogen MT-250C (amp), 1 monitor of
    > unknown origen, and several speakers also of unknown origen.
    >
    > I am confident that I can make reasonable recommendations as to
    > the DJ
    > booth area, regarding mixer/preamp, program equipment (turntables, cd
    > players, etc) and outboard gear. I am concerned, however, with the
    > actual driving equipment, specifically amps and speakers. What is
    > currently in use appears to be a 70v system. A rink that I worked at
    > when I was younger also had such a system. After reading about 70v
    > systems a while ago, I understand the benefits to such a system. What
    > I am concerned about is the top-end power and audio clarity inherently
    > poor due to 70v systems. I was never happy with the quality of the
    > sound system at the previous rink.
    >
    > Basically I want to know what others would recommend in similar
    > circumstances as to type of speaker/amp system, 70v vs. "standard"
    > impedance driving. Be aware the space we are looking to fill will be a
    > 178ft by 75ft skating rink floor. The actual building is 100ft by
    > 200ft and is not "isolated" from the floor with walls. I am merely
    > concerned with filling the floor with decent quality (good highs and
    > lows) music. As a side, this system will need to accomodate a live
    > organist as we are planning to revive a live organ music night for the
    > Senior skaters. If anyone has any anecdotes on rinks specifically, or
    > similar venues in general, that will be a great help. Thank you all!
    >
    > -Bob Bell
    >
    >


    Bob,
    First off, please don't cross post with other groups. Now, the newer
    70V systems and speakers have come a long way just in the past 5 years.
    You can't go by what was installed 30+ years ago. Companies like Tannoy,
    Electro Voice and many others including amplifier companies have spent
    lots of time, moner and R&D on high quality constant-voltage systems.
    There are many ways to distribute sound in such a space. 70V is only
    one. This is not your typical concert or even night club configuration
    although yuo will have what may amounts to FOH and such.
    You need to identify the "zones" and describe the quality and
    qualtity of sound you expect for each one. Something like this can be
    rather complicated and should be looked at and discussed in detail with a
    few sound contractors familiar with this type of work.
    You will probably wind up with a partial 70V system for the high
    power distributed system area, maybe something like what I often use for
    basic paging and background music in the outer areas and smaller rooms.
    Valcom: which used a simple power supply and 1W self amplified speakers
    and simple telephone wire. Don't let that fool you. it does a fantastic
    job, is exceptionally easy to install, configure, trouble shoot (almost
    never) and sounds pretty good. These are simple balanced line level
    inputs and work quite well from a mixing desk and other line level
    sources.
    You'll also probably have some large amps/racks and speakers for the
    main floor something like an FOH rig as you'd have for a nightclub
    installation. As you mentioned the DJ and/or band source gear (mics,
    mixers, CD, MP3 players, turntables, etc.) These all need to be connected
    to at least one point of control maybe more depending on how the place is
    used (think of different uses beyond the basic roller rink). Also think
    of where the power will be coming from for all this gear. There will
    probably have to be changes in wiring to accommodate the much
    larger/complex equipment needs.
    Here's something else you might not gave thought about. What about
    event lighting. You don't want to skimp on this either.
    I deal with a couple of rather qualified companies in the NJ/Pa
    area. Starlite Productions in Cherry Hill seems to have really good
    people and resources and would probably be the group to best handle this
    type of work. You'll want to call 1-856-489-9000 and ask for Gus Gomez.
    He's the audio guy. Bob Wolfe is the lighting guy and Bill Barnes is the
    Video guy. They's come up with some fairly inovatev fixes for some of the
    things I've been trying to work on. There is also Fourth Phase up in
    North Jersey. and a few others I could recommend. In any case I think you
    need a system designer to really tune this place up properly.

    --

    Robert S. Ely (Bob)
    rsely74@optonline.net robert.ely@dhs.state.nj.us
    New Lisbon Developmental Center Communications Systems Technician-3
    Work Phone: 1-609-894-4057 Work FAX: 1-609-726-0357
    ICQ: 33390750 Yahoo Messenger: rsely74

    Check out my photos:
    http://www.shuttercity.com/ShowGallery.cfm?AcctID=4359
  3. Robert Bell wrote:
    > the space we are looking to fill will be a
    > 178ft by 75ft skating rink floor. The actual building is 100ft by 200ft
    > and is not "isolated" from the floor with walls.


    Depending on what they did with the walls and ceiling, this place could
    be a reverberation nightmare with the wrong speaker setup. Make sure
    that any sound contractors invited to propose equipment are well
    qualified in acoustics, not just equipment sales.

    BH
  4. ChuxGarage

    ChuxGarage Guest

    I've had a lot of experience with ice rink sound systems courtesy of the USFSA.
    Most of what you find are horrible, but they can be pretty good.

    You're welcome to email me to visit. You should give serious thought to what
    you want to use the rink for today, as well as what might happen in the future.


    BTW, I'm not selling anything. I sold my audio business a couple of years ago.
  5. tim perry

    tim perry Guest

    Basically I want to know what others would recommend in similar
    > > circumstances as to type of speaker/amp system, 70v vs. "standard"
    > > impedance driving. Be aware the space we are looking to fill will be a
    > > 178ft by 75ft skating rink floor. The actual building is 100ft by
    > > 200ft and is not "isolated" from the floor with walls. I am merely
    > > concerned with filling the floor with decent quality (good highs and
    > > lows) music. As a side, this system will need to accomodate a live
    > > organist as we are planning to revive a live organ music night for the
    > > Senior skaters. If anyone has any anecdotes on rinks specifically, or
    > > similar venues in general, that will be a great help. Thank you all!
    > >
    > > -Bob Bell


    the main reason for utilizing a 70 volt system is to drive many speakers
    with one amplifier. you will find that at the power levels you need for
    each speaker in the rink area that it will be cost prohibitive to place a
    100 to 200W transformer on each speaker.

    the rinks that i have worked on have all used from 12 to 16 full range 8
    ohm cabinets at the edge of the rink facing inward and downward.

    they were wired alternately left / right stereo. speakers are wired so that
    two 8 ohm cabinets are in parallel to present a 4 ohm load to a single amp
    channel.

    the amps are mounted in a ventilated and securely locked rack. one dual amp
    for 4 speakers. wired just before the amp inputs is a limiter. one this is
    set place it in the completely inaccessible to operator rack with an extra
    security cover over it.

    some rinks which try to use subs end up having to turn them off or take them
    out due to neighbors noise complaints. give careful thought to the
    surrounding area before recommending them. it can get real ugly with police
    complaints, lawsuits, and bad press coverage.

    use the cheapest wireless mic that you can find. they all get trashed when
    someone takes them out on the floor with skates on and then falls.

    IMO the biggest challenges in putting a sound system in a rink are:

    1: installing it in such a way that makes it difficult to steal yet still be
    accessed for maintance.

    2: getting paid for the work
  6. ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Robert Bell" <DONTSPAMMEra.bell3@verizon.net>
    Newsgroups: alt.audio.pro.live-sound,rec.audio.pro
    Sent: Sunday, August 31, 2003 10:50 AM
    Subject: Suggestions for new/replacement Rink sound system


    > Greetings all,
    > I'm a newcomer to alt.audio.pro.live-sound and rec.audio.pro and
    > perhaps these aren't the right places to post my questions, but I'm sure
    > you readers will be of useful background.


    yes and no many here have a small amount of useful info for the installed
    market some like Robert ely are facilities managers who can offer useful
    experiance other such as xxxxx xor xxxxxx are purely live guys and while
    usually spot on about live issues are not experianced in audio contracting
    others like P.A. and xxxx xxxxx are just farts blowing down the hallway of
    the usenet
    it will be up to you to see if this info you get is right for your needs
    >
    > I am about to become employed at a roller skating rink in south-eastern
    > Pennsylvania. My employer has newly purchased the rink and has many
    > ideas as to how he wants to expand business.


    a noble goal

    No doubt the sound system
    > is on his mind. And rightly so... the sound system is in excess of 30
    > years old (as far as I can tell, perhaps its even older).


    ouch, peoples expectations of sound have really gotten much higher in the
    last 30 years what was acceptable then is rubbish today, even if brand new
    rubbish

    I will list
    > the current equipment just to give you all an idea what I'm dealing
    > with: 1 Lang Electronics LXQ-2 (equalizer), 1 Lang Electronics LMX-3
    > (preamp/mixer dare I say?), 1 Bogen MT-250C (amp), 1 monitor of unknown
    > origen, and several speakers also of unknown origen.
    >


    typical building paging system that could feed background music, today these
    system are still popular for large retail ie Home depot ot walmart


    > I am confident that I can make reasonable recommendations as to the DJ
    > booth area, regarding mixer/preamp, program equipment (turntables, cd
    > players, etc) and outboard gear. I am concerned, however, with the
    > actual driving equipment, specifically amps and speakers. What is
    > currently in use appears to be a 70v system. A rink that I worked at
    > when I was younger also had such a system. After reading about 70v
    > systems a while ago, I understand the benefits to such a system. What I
    > am concerned about is the top-end power and audio clarity inherently
    > poor due to 70v systems. I was never happy with the quality of the sound
    > system at the previous rink.


    70 volt systems need to use BIG EXPENSIVE transformers to get quality low
    freq reproduction before the transformer core saturates
    these are avaiable I would look to Community and EAW for them

    Community has a entire line of 70 volt product
    CAUTION!!!! Biased advice ( I am a community contracting market dealer)
    >
    > Basically I want to know what others would recommend in similar
    > circumstances as to type of speaker/amp system, 70v vs. "standard"
    > impedance driving.


    I would go with a "standard" non 70 v approach
    with [possibly a secondary 70 volt system providing paging and low level
    music to not rink areas

    Be aware the space we are looking to fill will be a
    > 178ft by 75ft skating rink floor. The actual building is 100ft by 200ft
    > and is not "isolated" from the floor with walls. I am merely concerned
    > with filling the floor with decent quality (good highs and lows) music.
    > As a side, this system will need to accomodate a live organist as we are
    > planning to revive a live organ music night for the Senior skaters.



    this should not be a problem for any current pro level system

    If
    > anyone has any anecdotes on rinks specifically, or similar venues in
    > general, that will be a great help. Thank you all!
    >
    > -Bob Bell


    Bob I have done a number of Roller rinks and ice rinks
    if you would like to get specific advise I would suggest perhaps engaging
    me as a paid consultant
    that way you can hold me accountable for my advise
    if what I recommed is installed to my spec and does not meet the expressed
    expectations then you have cause against me

    George
  7. Robert Bell

    Robert Bell Guest

    Thank you Tim, that's very helpful. I guess I was pretty unlucky working
    at that rink when I was younger. I recall all the rinks the owner owned
    had 70v systems; his "home" rink was afforded the luxury of real
    full-range and bass cabinets. Ours was the bastard child of all the
    owners rinks. The simple fact is that this rink, like pretty much any
    other is by nature cash strapped. Roller skating hasn't seen growth
    pretty much since the late 70's and 80's.
    Like I said I want to recommend a non-70v system to the owner based on
    quality concerns. Plus, he and I will be able to install it, whereas
    with a 70v system he'd have to employ an electrician or otherwise
    "certified" technician. For the time being he intends to keep the
    current system for the simple fact that other areas _need_ the money.
    The current system is sufficient and should hold out long enough for the
    rink to generate income to allow more upgrades. I simply wanted to throw
    the net out so-to-speak for information that will allow us both to make
    informed decisions.
    The rink does not have subs at this time and I will not be recommending
    them for a while. I beleive a decent quality "full range" system will
    suffice, when the opportunity for upgrade arrives. Subs will definately
    be a long-term goal. We first need to see increased income before any of
    the "major" projects get attention. Later this week I will be going in
    to take a look at the mess that is behind the current amp and preamp.
    For some reason, one cannot use both cd players at the same time! That
    should be easy enough to resolve for him.
    If anyone out there has suggestions as to which _ceiling_mountable_,
    full-range cabinets to look in to, please let me know. Price vs.
    reliabilty will be a major concern with audio quality following close
    behind (at least for me, being a quasi-audiophile). Also, as I stated
    before we are looking to fill the floor, 178long x 75wide x ~12high with
    decent quality music. I recommended 8 cabinets, Sonic LTX-10's simply
    because they look manageable to mount and look like they'll sound nice.
    If 8 is over or under-kill, let me know. Of course, we'll have to find a
    place to audition any products, but I'm looking for suggestions here.

    -Bob
  8. I recommended 8 cabinets, Sonic LTX-10's simply
    > because they look manageable to mount and look like they'll sound nice.
    > If 8 is over or under-kill, let me know. Of course, we'll have to find a
    > place to audition any products, but I'm looking for suggestions here.
    >


    Look out here comes some Free advice


    Regardless of money concerns, sound quality concerns, or any concerns
    saftey MUST be your first concern
    If a box is not rated for flying by the manufacturer and you are not useing
    CERTIFIED and Serial Numbered fly hardware, certified cosby clips or what
    ever you are negligent in your actions
    criminally negligent
    I would run , not walk away from any relationship that will hang partical
    board MI boxes for any reason WHAT_SO_EVER>
    This is a Callous dangerous and illegal action and you should not recommend
    anything to be hung unless you get it signed off by a mechanical engineer,
    structural engineer and architect
    Ge
    iorge
  9. Scott Dorsey

    Scott Dorsey Guest

    Robert Bell <DONTSPAMMEra.bell3@verizon.net> wrote:
    >
    > I am confident that I can make reasonable recommendations as to the DJ
    >booth area, regarding mixer/preamp, program equipment (turntables, cd
    >players, etc) and outboard gear. I am concerned, however, with the
    >actual driving equipment, specifically amps and speakers. What is
    >currently in use appears to be a 70v system. A rink that I worked at
    >when I was younger also had such a system. After reading about 70v
    >systems a while ago, I understand the benefits to such a system. What I
    >am concerned about is the top-end power and audio clarity inherently
    >poor due to 70v systems. I was never happy with the quality of the sound
    >system at the previous rink.


    70V distribution is the easiest and most convenient way to drive a lot
    of speakers from a single amp.

    In places where the room is extremely reverberant and very bright, it is
    often very good to use a distributed speaker system, with a lot of speakers
    distributed all over the room. This means people are closer to the speakers
    and they get a higher ratio of direct sound to reverberant sound.

    In a rink, this may be the only real solution, other than to actually spend
    big money on fixing the room acoustics. Even so, that reflective stuff on
    the floor is going to really bring your reverb time up.

    > Basically I want to know what others would recommend in similar
    >circumstances as to type of speaker/amp system, 70v vs. "standard"
    >impedance driving. Be aware the space we are looking to fill will be a
    >178ft by 75ft skating rink floor. The actual building is 100ft by 200ft
    >and is not "isolated" from the floor with walls. I am merely concerned
    >with filling the floor with decent quality (good highs and lows) music.
    >As a side, this system will need to accomodate a live organist as we are
    >planning to revive a live organ music night for the Senior skaters. If
    >anyone has any anecdotes on rinks specifically, or similar venues in
    >general, that will be a great help. Thank you all!


    If you run a distributed system, 70V is the way to go. There are good 70V
    systems out there, but they are not cheap. Check out the Tannoy 70V speaker
    stuff for an example. You will NOT be able to drive them from Lang or Bogen
    crap either, but a lot of the standard power amps these days can drive a
    70V system directly (the QSC MX-1000 is a good start). Doing 70V right is
    not cheap, because good transformers are not cheap and cheap transformers are
    not good, but it can get you a decent sound in a bad room.
    --scott


    --
    "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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