Bluetongue Stadium upgrades with Electro‑Voice

June 14, 2010

Situated on the scenic Central Coast in Gosford, Australia, Bluetongue Stadium has earned a reputation as one of the nation’s most picturesque venues.

With a total capacity of 20,059, Bluetongue Stadium has played host to many major events. These include International Rugby Union, National Rugby League and National A-League Football matches, branching out to boxing, motocross, and open-air rock concerts, as well as a multitude of local sporting and community events.

“Mind you, the EV ZX5PI speakers made such an improvement in the sound quality that I suspect the client may not want to do the second stage!”

The construction of Bluetongue Stadium was completed in February 2000, bringing to Gosford a premier multifunctional facility overlooking the beautiful Brisbane Waters. Unfortunately, the speaker system installed at that time was recently in dire need of replacement, as the waterside location of the stadium meant that most speakers had been aversely affected by the salt air.

“Some of the speakers weren’t working because their components had been corroded,” explains Chris Fanning, director of Newcastle-based A1 Audio & Lighting, who was asked to design and install a new audio system. “More importantly, the speaker brackets were so corroded that the speakers were close to falling down from the roof!”

Chris didn’t hesitate to recommend Electro-Voice ZX5PI 15" two-way, weather resistant passive loudspeakers, along with NetMax DSP control, as the ideal solution. Consequently, the west and east grandstands feature eleven EV ZX5PI speakers, each covering the upper and lower seating areas. EV MH640P horns are placed on the north end of each grandstand to service the end zone.

”The EV system delivers all the performance at a cost-effective price,” he said. “Dispersion was a major factor when deciding on the ZX5PI as they have the suitable dispersion to fit the existing speaker locations that we had to work with. Rather than change the existing speaker locations, it was easier for us to reutilize the existing points. The ZX5PI speakers definitely have the output to cover the areas. It’s the same with the end zones, where the medium-throw horns cover the area well.”

Chris specified a NetMax digital matrix/DSP controller for the stadium, which is consequently easily divided into eight zones. NetMax provides the supervision and control to ensure that the PA system is always operating at its best.

”We’ve got limiting on the system through the NetMax, as well as different presets,” continues Chris. “When the games start, with the crowd not at capacity, we have the system limited at a certain level; but, as the stadium fills up, the show-caller or operator can simply change the limit settings with a preset. That way the operators don’t have to think too much about it.”

The installation is being completed in stages, and, in the near future, thirty EV ZX1i speakers are planned to cover the balcony areas.

”Mind you, the EV ZX5PI speakers made such an improvement in the sound quality that I suspect the client may not want to do the second stage!” declares Chris. “The feedback that I’ve been getting is that everyone is extremely happy with the installation. I’ve talked to the operators who use the system, along with the show-caller, and they’re all more than happy. The venue is also happy with how the installation was done within a limited time frame.”

Chris was aided in the design of the system by Bryan Davidson, Bosch’s Senior Engineer for permanent installations, and gratefully acknowledges his input.

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