Texas HS has new sound, more drama

Evadale High School's drama department had to wait a long time for the resources to replace their auditorium's aging sound system. The system was so inadequate that the Texas school's theatre class preferred to use the gymnasium rather than the auditorium. But now the school has made a substantial upgrade with the installation of a new column line array audio system. And as Brent Thornhill, of installer Southwest Building Systems (SBS) explains, it was worth the wait.

"Their old sound system was a set of horn loudspeakers that had been in place for nearly 50 years," says Thornhill. "Coverage was pretty much non-existent anywhere off-axis of the horns, which meant most of the seats suffered from poor intelligibility. It was pretty frustrating for them."

The original goal was to replace the horns with a distributed system of in-ceiling loudspeakers. But the age of the building resulted in an unforeseen snag. "When we had a look at the ceiling we realized it was made of asbestos tiles," says Thornhill. "Cutting or drilling into those tiles would have caused far more problems."

Instead, SBS recommended dual stacks of Community Professional Loudspeakers' Entasys full-range columns, one on either side of the stage. "The room is fairly wide, so the 180-degree coverage angle of the Entasys was ideal," says Thornhill, who worked with SBS's Justin Player to assemble the new system. "With just four columns, we achieved better, more uniform coverage than we could have with a whole ceiling full of conventional loudspeakers." Four of Community's VLF212 subwoofers provide low frequency reinforcement.