EV FRX+™ Loudspeakers Provide a Sound Solution at New Indianapolis Zoo Dolphin Pavilion

May 25, 2005

The system was designed by David Wright of Wright Consulting Associates Inc., and installed by Fairchild Communication Systems, Inc., both of Indianapolis, working with Meridian Engineering Group Inc., and PGAV Architects.

Chuck Fairchild of Fairchild Communication Systems reported: “We recently completed performance testing and training, and the system is working wonderfully. The installation is in an existing structure that was remodeled in order to make the dolphin exhibit more interactive, including a unique glass bubble viewing area inside the pool. The new sound system was designed to resolve performance issues with the old system, which really fought the room’s reflective surfaces and long reverberation time. In keeping with their impressive new exhibit, it made sense to put in a sound system to do the room justice, starting from square one with a proper acoustic analysis and a precise product specification process. Now the space has all the acoustic treatment it needed, and loudspeakers that work with the room, rather than against it. These kinds of spaces are always a challenge, and this was a collaborative effort between manufacturer, designer and installer that has really turned out nicely. The FRX+ boxes cover the main audience seating area in front of the dolphin pool. FRX+ systems have superb directivity control at lower crossover, which improves intelligibility, making them ideal for this application.“

“The audience can now hear speech clearly in these critical frequencies, and this has dramatically added to the quality of the whole experience at the dolphin pavilion.”

David Wright was the acoustical consultant on the project, and, before the FRX+ boxes went in, he designed the space’s acoustical treatment, working with the pavilion’s architect and Meridian Engineering, the MEP, to resolve the acoustical issues in the room. Wright has a history with the client that dates back to the installation of their previous sound reinforcement system, in as much as he was aware that system was problematic from day one. David Wright explained: “The old system was an underpowered, small-format horn system in a highly reverberant room. There was no controlled coverage below crossover of 2,000 Hz. The speakers activated the reverberant room signature, further increasing the noise levels. Horns were fired into concrete seating areas at a high level, causing the signal to bounce around the room. This all added up to a seriously poor direct to reverb ratio. Add to that the fact that the hardware was aging in a caustic environment of seawater, and it was definitely time for a new system to be designed and installed properly.“

Wright continued: “We’d been monitoring this problem system for a long time, and knew the room itself had to be improved first, as reverberation exceeded 3 to 4 seconds - even using slotted acoustic block. The room was basically half a million square feet in volume wrapped in a shell of concrete, slotted block and water. Our first move was to treat the room with lapendary panels, which halved the reverb time. We always treat for acoustics before sound system design! Acoustic panels were mounted in the seating areas to minimize speaker bounce. We also insisted the operator be in the pool room, and never behind a glass window for remote operation. We then brought in four FRX+640 loudspeakers and two FRX+181subwoofers and carefully aimed them, and deleted all the long throw small format horns completely. The boxes were flown precisely using Polar Focus® hardware. All this brought about greater pattern control at a lower frequency, which is the trick in reverberant rooms like this. This is what the FRX series was designed to do, and it does it well. We now have the control and intelligibility in the low midband that was missing from the last system. The audience can now hear speech clearly in these critical frequencies, and this has dramatically added to the quality of the whole experience at the dolphin pavilion.“

Additional EV equipment installed includes Sx80 loudspeakers for foldback, and Dx38 processing.


Electro-Voice (EV), is a professional audio brand of Telex Communications, Inc., a leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of sophisticated audio, wireless, multimedia, aircraft, broadcast and communications equipment for commercial, professional and industrial customers. Telex Communications markets its products in more than 80 countries under the brands EV, Telex, RTS, Dynacord, Midas, Klark Teknik and others.

Guy Low

Public Relations Producer

Telex Communications, Inc.

12000 Portland Ave. South

Burnsville, MN 55337

Phone: 952-736-3935

Fax: 952-736-4582


James Edlund

Public Relations Manager

Telex Communications, Inc.

12000 Portland Ave. South

Burnsville, MN 55337

Phone: 952-736-3901

Fax: 952-736-4582


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