(EAW | Posted 2008-10-14)
College football stadiums are often the last place to look for musicality in a PA system, but that’s not the case at Williams Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina, home of the University of South Carolina’s powerhouse Gamecocks football team. Just before this year’s NCAA season kicked off, the stadium was outfitted with a completely new stadium sound system based on the EAW KF900 Series, featuring EAW’s remarkable proprietary Phased PointSource Technology™ (PPST), a pioneering development in large-format loudspeaker array management. Thanks to EAW innovation, the Gamecocks now have what is arguably the best-sounding 85,000-seat stadium in the NCAA. The new sound system was designed and installed by ACS Sound & Lighting, in Columbia, South Carolina.
The new KF900 Series system at Williams Brice Stadium consists of ten KF920P Mid-Frequency Loudspeakers, four KF910P Long-Throw High-Frequency Loudspeakers, four custom KF914P High-Frequency Upfill Loudspeakers and two KF913 High-Frequency Medium-Throw Downfill Loudspeakers, as well as a dozen EAW BH622 2x12 Bent Horn Subwoofer and eight BH2312 3x12 Low-Frequency Loudspeaker enclosures. Seven EAW UX8800 Digital Signal Processors manage the main PA system. In addition, four KF755P Downfill Array Loudspeakers are used to fill in under the scoreboard, and a pair of KF750P High Output Array Loudspeakers are attached to the rear of the scoreboard and facing onto the stadium’s parking lot for general announcement applications. All of the EAW KF900 Series speakers are fully weatherproofed.
“The KF900 Series is an amazing system design,” says Troy Gwin, General manager of ACS Sound & Lighting. “Additionally, the EAW line is incredibly comprehensive, and we were able to pull from the BH series components to add additional low-end power in a very cost-effective manner for the school.”
In fact, EAW did more than create a great sound system – they also manufactured it on a just-in-time basis, at EAW’s Whitinsville, Massachusetts woodworking facility, assuring that the team would have its new sound system in time for the new season. This new KF900 Series system is the successor to an EAW KF760 system that the school had rented from ACS for the last two seasons. “After we brought in that system in 2006 for a big SEC game, the school said they would never use their old existing sound system again,” Gwin recalls. A year later, the BH Series subs were added, making Williams Brice Stadium the only collegiate arena to utilize subwoofers as part of its main sound system. “The intro music for the team is the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey, and they really wanted the sound to rumble,” says Gwin. “And it did.”
This year, the athletic staff at USC remains even more impressed with the KF900 system’s performance. Even Gwin was surprised when, during the initial tuning of the system by KF Series designer Dave Gunness, he found himself thinking that a particular piece of music he was hearing sounded pretty good. “Then I realized, I was sitting 700 feet from the speakers, in the farthest reaches of the stadium!” he says. “To have music sound that good from that far away is unheard of. You can pick out cymbal details and fret noise on a bass guitar. Incredible. No other stadium system can sound that good so far away.”
And the final signifier that University of South Carolina had made the right decision when it came to their new sound system? The Gamecocks won their opener against North Carolina State, 34-0.
About the KF900 Series
EAW’s KF900 Series of PPST Systems is engineered for massive spaces and consists of six different components: the KF910 Long-Throw HF Loudspeaker, the KF911 Downfill HF Loudspeaker, the KF913 Medium-Throw Downfill HF Loudspeaker, the KF920 Mid-Frequency Loudspeaker, the KF930 Long-Throw LF Loudspeaker and the KF940 Bent Horn Subwoofer. Designed specifically to act as a single acoustical entity, the PPST/KF900 array comprises several frequency-specific modules optimized to take advantage of the PPST process. Digital signal processing integrates the output of the many drivers in the array, providing intelligible, yet powerful, sound reinforcement over 600 feet.
Founded in 1978 and celebrating its 30th Anniversary, Eastern Acoustic Works (EAW) is a global leader in producing high-performance professional audio equipment trusted by the most discerning professionals for every possible sound reinforcement application.
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