Home to the Arizona State University Sun Devils football team since 1958, Sun Devil Stadium currently holds 75,000 people. The stadium has been expanded and renovated four times, with further upgrades planned in phases. The most recent phase included a new main sound system that covers the entire stadium, flanking a new primary video screen.
Arizona State University is doing a multi-phase upgrade of its football venue, Sun Devils Stadium. The system needed to deliver considerable sound pressure levels, and durability was a major concern because the university’s location near Phoenix is subject to major adverse weather conditions, including dust, high wind, extreme heat, and powerful rainstorms. Furthermore, the new system needed be able to repeatedly adapt to changing coverage during the stadium’s phased upgrades. The university wanted a proven, reliable solution.
Sound Image and WJHW were hired to co-design the system. They agreed on an EAW ADAPTiveTM system based on Anya modular arrays to provide customized, precisely controlled, adaptable coverage. For powerful long-throw capabilities with broadband pattern control, the two firms chose EAW QX564i three-way trapezoidal enclosures.
Additionally, the room is very reverberant, with significant reflections, posing a challenge for speech intelligibility. The coverage area was approximately 120 feet deep and 140 feet wide, and had to be covered entirely from the central cluster position.
The Anna solution provided the ability to cover the entire venue very precisely from existing hang points. Installation was simple, since no angle had to be applied to the array and only minimal cabling was required. Installation was further simplified through the use of Resolution to model and upload directivity.
The most obvious requirement for the new sound system was that it be capable of delivering the considerable sound pressure levels required to fill a major university stadium. The university wanted a proven, reliable solution. Durability is a concern in any stadium install, and the university is located in Tempe, Arizona, near Phoenix, so the stadium is often buffeted with gusting winds and dust storms and alternatively scorched by the sun and pounded by heavy rainstorms.
Furthermore, the stadium upgrades are ongoing, so coverage needs are changing. The next phase includes changes in stadium seating. It was imperative that the new system be able to repeatedly adapt to the stadium’s phased upgrades.
To accomplish all of this. Tempe, Arizona-based Sound Image project manager Ben Davis recommended an EAW ADAPTive system based on 46 Anya modular arrays. An Anya module consists of 22 transducers, each optimally sized for its intended bandwidth. Anya arrays hang straight, so there are no angles to calculate. The modules easily lock together, creating seamless multi-column arrays, with up to 18 modules per column, and provide up to 360 degrees of coverage that is precisely controlled and optimized using EAW’s Resolution 2 software.
As a result, Anya arrays deliver the customizable, venue-specific coverage required at Sun Devils Stadium and can be adapted with software as the stadium’s seating and other attributes change during future upgrade phases. They also meet the durability requirement. “EAW loudspeakers are extremely durable and will stand up to the area’s challenging weather conditions and continue to perform,” Davis observes. System co-designers Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon & Williams, Inc. (WJHW), had not used or seen EAW ADAPTive systems prior to the ASU project. “They accepted our recommendations because ADAPTive technology is proven in the marketplace,” Davis explains. “Sound Image and WJHW shared the responsibility, and since we have extensive experience with EAW ADAPTive systems, WJHW viewed it as a good opportunity to observe ADAPTive in exactly the sort of application where the technology truly excels.”
“EAW loudspeakers are extremely durable and will stand up to the area’s challenging weather conditions and continue to perform.”
To provide added long-throw capabilities, Davis specified six EAW QX564i three-way trapezoidal enclosures. The QX564i delivers high output levels for long-throw applications, along with broadband pattern control for taming hostile acoustic environments, while delivering exceptional fidelity for a wide range of installed applications. It loads an ultra-efficient mid/high compression driver with a 45° (H) x 45° (V) constant directivity horn. With its bilaterally symmetrical design, four Phase AlignedTM, 12-inch low-frequency transducers, arranged as vertical and horizontal pairs, surround the coaxial mid/high compression driver symmetrically in both the horizontal and vertical planes, so response across the full frequency spectrum appears to originate from a single point in space.
“Everyone was impressed with the system’s performance,” Davis reports. “Mark Graham of WJHW could not believe the SPL consistenc and intelligibility achieved with this system at the massive distances required. After commissioning, he left with new ideas on how EAW ADAPTive systems could solve issues in some of his future projects that no other sound system could. And the client was so happy with the results that we are already designing ADAPTive systems for other spaces at ASU.”
Now in its 25th year in business, Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon & Williams, Inc. (WJHW), offers state‐of‐the‐art design services and consulting in acoustics and noise control, audio, visual, video and scoring displays, broadcast provisions and video production, theater planning, lighting and rigging, distributed TV and satellite, video surveillance and access control, and tel/data structured cabling. WJHW specializes in applying technology to the environment while developing design recommendations that produce results. The firm’s design philosophy is to develop effective solutions and recommendations based on proven concepts, while providing innovative, resourceful, and creative design solutions.
The QX500 Series delivers high output, broadband pattern control, and exceptional fidelity in a compact, three-way form factor. Its extraordinary output level makes it appropriate for long throws in arenas and stadiums, or for large, high-energy applications like live music venues or clubs, while its excellent pattern control allows the QX500 Series to tame hostile acoustical environments.
Anna is the newest addition to EAW’s flagship line of AdaptiveTM Systems, providing all of the benefits of Adaptive Performance in a high output mid-sized enclosure. Columns of Anna can be flown as mains or mixed with columns of Anya within the same array to extend Anya’s outstanding fidelity to even greater coverage possibilities. Like all Adaptive Systems, Anna is controlled via Resolution 2 software over the Dante network and utilizes the same standardized power and data infrastructure. Otto is the companion subwoofer for this system.