EV sound for Oxford Ice Rink

March 19, 2013
  • Lancelyn Theatre Supplies equipped Oxford Ice Rink with a sound reinforcement system from Electro-Voice
  • First assignment for the new system was the Christmas Ice Show
  • Installation features ZX5 and SX300 loudspeakers, EVF-1181S subs, CPS amplifiers and a DC-One controller

Since 1984, Oxford Ice Rink has been a magnet for skating fans within and beyond the boundaries of the university town. In addition to being home base for National Ice Hockey League team the Oxford City Stars, the 700-seater stadium also serves as a venue for skating competitions and performances as well as a weekly ice disco. Under new management since 2009, the venue underwent a thorough program of modernization last year that included the installation of a new sound system. This made its debut on December 8th and 9th with the Christmas Ice Show.

“For a relatively small outlay, the operators have acquired an outstanding audio system that represents a sound investment for the future.”

The task of designing and installing the new sound system was entrusted to Oxford-based specialists Lancelyn Theatre Supplies, who replaced the previous sound reinforcement system with a new one from Electro-Voice over the course of three weeks – all without any interruption of service. “We knew already from countless similar installations that the acoustic characteristics of the Electro-Voice loudspeakers were exactly what was needed here,” explains Tim Sachno, Lancelyn’s Projects Manager, “so they were automatically our first choice.”

Since the arena, like most ice skating venues, has an extremely long reverberation time, the Lancelyn team opted to fly the loudspeakers in a central cluster directly above the ice. It comprises six Electro-Voice ZX5-60 and four Electro-Voice Sx300PI loudspeakers that distribute the sound evenly over the 1,500-square-meter rink and the seating area beyond. These full-range models are complemented by four Electro-Voice EVF-1181S subwoofers to reinforce the low frequency range.

“We hesitated right to the end before installing the four subs,” recalls Sachno, “because the ZX5 15” two-way full-range loudspeakers sounded so good on their own we were tempted to dispense with subwoofers altogether.” In the end though, to be sure of having sufficient headroom in the bass, Lancelyn reinstated the four EVF-1181S subs and Sachno describes sound of the integrated system now as “simply overwhelming."

The power comes from an Electro-Voice CPS 8.5 and a CPS 2.12 amplifier, while the control and supervision of the system are provided by a DC-One digital sound system processor, also from Electro-Voice. “For a relatively small outlay, the operators have acquired an outstanding audio system that represents a sound investment for the future,” concludes Sachno. “Compared with its predecessor, the system represents a quantum leap in terms of audio quality – a view shared by the rink’s operators, who have expressed themselves ‘more than satisfied’ with the results.”

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