Electro‑Voice PA makes Lynyrd Skynyrd BBQ & Beer a sweet home for music lovers

April 17, 2012

With the enduring popularity of its heyday hits, Lynyrd Skynyrd the band has acquired a no-compromise caché that creates a ready customer base for Lynyrd Skynyrd the brand. So when DriveThis! Entertainment developed its new Lynyrd Skynyrd BBQ & Beer themed restaurant and nightclub for Las Vegas's Excalibur Hotel & Casino, owners Craig Gilbert and Michael Frey had to be careful not to dilute the experience with anything less than full-on, hard-rockin' sound. To ensure that the music, both live and prerecorded, is presented in its full glory, DriveThis! turned to Las Vegas sound, lighting, and video design integrator FBP Systems Inc. FBP chose Electro-Voice loudspeakers and processors to handle the job.

"This is a multi-purpose room that hosts live bands, DJs, and Karaoke," says Matthew Paupst, senior design engineer at FBP. "We needed a system that would be able to cover anything that might potentially be up on stage. The main considerations were reliability, performance, and cost." Given the criteria, Electro-Voice was a natural choice.

“Whether the system is being used for background music during the restaurant operations, or for a DJ, or for live sound, the clarity and intelligibility stands out.”

"Electro-Voice has always been known in the industry for its cost-effective, superior sound quality," Paupst says. "And they offer a big range of different solutions, so the EV loudspeaker product line was able to cover all of our requirements in terms of both performance and cost. From the main PA to the on-stage monitors to the smaller-format boxes used for delay, EV had products to fit our needs. So, with the help of Quantum Sales and Technology in Anaheim, we were able to provide the quality and price point required to make this job a huge success."

While the room has a polished concrete floor, Paupst says that reflections were a "non-issue" due to the full barn-board wooden interior. "The architect also used acoustic paneling that was inserted into and painted to match the barn board for added treatments. This meant that we could go big with the PA without having to worry about a large amount of reflection."

DJ power with EV warmth

The PA system is built around four Electro-Voice Xi-1153a/64f 15-inch three-way full-range loudspeakers, with four Xsub dual 18-inch subwoofers handling the low end. "We used the 1153s as the main PA, two left and two right," Paupst says. "They are similar in characteristics to the single 15-inch top boxes that provide the right response for DJ playback systems, but they still have the warm sound of a traditional EV box for the live events."

The main PA is supplemented with a distributed system of 20 Electro-Voice ZX1i-100 composite indoor/outdoor eight-inch two-way loudspeakers. "The ZX1i provides a warm sound, large coverage pattern, and the SPL output required for the delay system," Paupst says. "They are lightweight, and they have a simplified bracketing system that makes them easy to install."

The versatility of the ZX1i is underscored by the variety of uses FBP found for it in the install. "We use them for the main PA delay in the outcoves of the venue," Paupst says. "We also use them for the patio system, which provides sound reinforcement for hotel guests that might be going by, to attract them to the event going on inside. And there are an additional six in the American Burger Works quick service burger restaurant located adjacent to the venue, which is also owned and operated by DriveThis! Entertainment."

Additional components of the PA system include six TX1122FM 12-inch two-way full-range loudspeakers used as stage monitors and two ELX112P 12-inch two-way full-range loudspeakers used as DJ monitors. The system is processed and controlled by an Electro-Voice Dx46 IRIS-Net sound system processor. "The Dx46 is a standalone DSP that allows us to take advantage of the FIR filters provided by Electro-Voice to obtain peak performance and protection for the Xi-1153As," Paupst says. "It's very easy to control, and the provided FIR-Drive lets you tune the room opposed to just tuning the speaker.”

Summing up the Electro-Voice system, Paupst says "I’ll never forget the first time that I fired up the system with the owners standing there, and the facial expressions they each had. You can tell that the system sounds good when the customer starts requesting songs just to hear them the way they’re supposed to sound. The room has a very warm yet powerful feel to it. Whether the system is being used for background music during the restaurant operations, or for a DJ, or for live sound, the clarity and intelligibility stands out. And the available headroom allows any touring engineer to take the place from restaurant to rock-and-roll venue with no hesitation."

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