When administrators at the Baycourt Community and Arts Centre in Tauranga, New Zealand decided to replace the loudspeaker system in its show-stopping centrepiece, the Addison Theatre, they initiated a rigorous selection process. Following a formal shootout of four leading brands, the install-focused IS-Series from Adamson Systems Engineering was chosen as the ideal solution.
“The brief from the client stipulated a number of criteria, such as suitability for both musical theatre and touring bands, excellent clarity while retaining a warm sound, and even coverage throughout the entire venue,” begins Mike Hughes of Intec Systems Ltd., an Auckland-based firm specialising in the design, sale, and installation of commercial audio, lighting, and video systems. “From our previous experience with Adamson and the IS-Series products, we knew those criteria would be perfectly met and exceeded.”
The Addison Theatre features tiered seating for 582 patrons and an expansive stage measuring 14m wide by 11m deep. Throughout its 35-year history, it has played host to a diverse range of local, national, and international performers from a myriad of arts disciplines.
The venue’s evaluation process – which Hughes calls “comprehensive and impressive” – began with 13 proposals, which were then narrowed down to four leading brands. From there, all four supplied one side of the proposed PA system and the arrays were flown in the venue simultaneously, demonstrated for a panel of judges, and ranked on a number of criteria.
“We were very pleased with the performance of the Adamson system that day, and within a short time, we were informed that Adamson was the leader both in terms of coverage and audio quality,” Hughes continues. “We love the sonic results, but additionally, the dedicated installation product offers excellent value when compared to other brands at this level.”
Sourced via Direct Imports, Adamson’s exclusive distributor in New Zealand, the resulting system is comprised of left-right arrays of eight IS7 two-way, full-range cabinets per side alongside three flown IS118 subwoofers per side in a front-back-front cardioid configuration.
The IS7 arrays needed to be above the theatre’s proscenium chaser lights to ensure unhindered sightlines from every seat, while additionally allowing the rotatable wing panels to work unhindered and minimising the energy hitting the backs of the acoustic reflectors. The sub arrays are flown alongside the IS7s but slightly higher to avoid the rotating wing wall.
Intec made extensive use of Adamson’s Blueprint AV simulation software during the design process. “The tender requested EASE simulations; however, Blueprint is an excellent and more flexible tool for adjusting angles and monitoring results,” notes Hughes.
Ultimately, the solution has impressed Baycourt’s administrators, patrons, and visiting productions for the same reasons it won the initial shootout.
“The sound is smooth and pristine throughout the entire venue, without the peaks and differences in tone we’d experienced previously,” says Dale Henderson, the centre’s Technical Manager. “It’s a pleasure having a system that provides sufficient bass throughout the Addison Theatre without disrupting the adjacent performance and public spaces. We’re very happy with our investment knowing we can provide this level of experience to our patrons going forward.”