STX Loudspeaker System Installed at El Portal Theatre

by Naomi Crews
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El Portal Theatre interiorEl Portal Theatre recently installed an STX series line array from Abisonic Sound Technologies, utilizing the company’s proprietary Coaxial Line Array loudspeakers and high-impact subwoofers, as part of its audio makeover.

The El Portal Theatre Gets an Audio Makeover With The Installation of Ambisonic Sound Technologies’ ProAudiophile Line Array Speaker System

Ambisonic’s Planar Magnetic Ribbon Driver Design Provides Audio Clarity in a Highly Reverberant Space

The STX Series Loud Speakers’ Coaxial Column Line Array Cabinets Offer an Easy Solution with Controlled Directivity for Excellent Front-to-Back Audience Coverage

Lake Havasu City, AZ and North Hollywood, CA – July 13, 2015 - The R&B mash ups of entertainer Todrick Hall and the rock gospel choirs of the musical Godspeed are ready to be sung from the stage at the El Portal Theatre in the heart of North Hollywood, California now that the auditorium has completed its recent audio renovation. In a unique collaboration with Ambisonic Sound Technologies, a complete STX loudspeaker system, utilizing the company’s proprietary Coaxial Line Array loudspeakers and high-impact subwoofers, has been installed and tuned to provide audiophile-quality sound to all 360 seats in the house.

Since it was built in 1926, the historic El Portal Theatre has been host to a long list of entertainers, including musical acts like Debbie Reynolds (who has played there several times, often for 2 weeks at a time), Smokey Robinson, and even the aforementioned American Idol semi-finalist Todrick Hall. But even theatre manager Jay Irwin admitted that the room “Had always been a very challenging one for audio.” With its parallel concrete walls and lack of significant absorption, Irwin seemed to think he couldn’t tame the hall’s reverberant nature without compromising the classic art deco architecture. And without acoustic treatment, it seemed impossible to get focused, full-range sound in every seat. This was also a concern for Godspeed producer Sammy Oriti, who wanted his scripture-based rock musical to sound as good as it could. So Mr. Oriti introduced Mr. Irwin to the capabilities of Ambisonic Sound Technologies’ STX Series speakers and it’s True Coaxial Column Line Arrays and Jay knew that this was the system he needed.

Ambisonic Sound Technologies’ CTO Tom Harrison echoed Jay’s sentiments, “Our line array products are uniquely suited for these types of highly reverberant spaces. The fixed-curve single-cabinet arrays produce high-output levels with audiophile sound quality and tightly controlled vertical directivity for more direct versus reflected sound and superior speech intelligibility.”

To provide the clarity and coverage needed for a theatre of this shape and size, the system design started with one array on either side of the stage consisting of an STX6620 and STX4625 Line Array Loudspeaker in each array. The 6620 Articulated Column employs six (6) of the company’s advanced Planar Magnetic Ribbon Driver (PMRD) tweeters that are coaxially-aligned with a proprietary, neodymium magnet-driven 6.25-inch mid-woofer. The 4625 is a smaller array with 4 of these coaxial driver pairs in a greater articulation. In both cases, the ribbon drivers feature the lowest mass-moving system in the industry for unparalleled transient response and faithful signal reproduction. Their proprietary construction and increased power handling provide superior reliability and improved dynamics, as well. The mid-woofer’s stiff, low-mass Kevlar/paper cone material, as part of a stable and balanced moving system, insures low distortion and linear performance with high sensitivity.

Utilizing Ambisonic Sound Technologies’ Array Optimization System (AOS) software to model the system and seating area indicated that the system needed an additional STX4625 array cabinet to cover the front audience area. The AOS allows the system designer to see exactly how the loudspeaker output and coverage pattern will reach the audience. In the case of the El Portal’s steep stadium-style seating, this additional line array cabinet was needed at the bottom of the array to increase the vertical coverage required for even sound pressure level from the first row to the last row.

Both the 6620 and the 4625 speakers utilize proprietary Waveguides for the tweeter and mid-woofers that increases the horizontal coverage pattern to a wide, 110-degrees. Combining this wide dispersion with the Line Array’s ability to provide even coverage from front to back to within +/- 2dB, and the entire audience in the El Portal Theatre hears the same great sound no matter where anyone sits.

A DRM212 woofer cabinet was flown with each array to increase low frequency output and overall system dynamics. The two 12-inch woofers in each cabinet improve the integration between the flown arrays and the two DRM215 subwoofers that are installed under the stage. The DRM215 subwoofers add a total of four (2 each) 15-inch, high-output subwoofer drivers to contribute deep low frequencies at high volumes. All the subwoofers utilize massive motor structures combined with dual-layered inside/outside voice coils that provide for exceptional heat dissipation and reliability. Their efficient bass-reflex enclosures are uniquely braced for maximum output with less distortion.

And manager Jay Irwin agrees, “The sound is amazingly even throughout the house, so that every audience member hears the same exact thing - from the front row to the back row it sounds exactly the same,“ he noted. And not only is it even, he remarked, “The speakers have punch and excitement, but never seem harsh or brittle. They have a wonderfully organic and natural sound.” Long considered the jewel at the heart of the NoHo district, the El Portal Theatre has a rich history in bringing arts and entertainment to the San Fernando Valley. With Ambisonic Sound Technologies’ STX System, the Theatre will reach its full sonic potential.

Ambisonic Sound Technologies’ CTO Tom Harrison echoed Jay’s sentiments, “Our line array products are uniquely suited for these types of highly reverberant spaces. The fixed-curve single-cabinet arrays produce high-output levels with audiophile sound quality and tightly controlled vertical directivity for more direct versus reflected sound and superior speech intelligibility.”

To provide the clarity and coverage needed for a theatre of this shape and size, the system design started with one array on either side of the stage consisting of an STX6620 and STX4625 Line Array Loudspeaker in each array. The 6620 Articulated Column employs six (6) of the company’s advanced Planar Magnetic Ribbon Driver (PMRD) tweeters that are coaxially-aligned with a proprietary, neodymium magnet-driven 6.25-inch mid-woofer. The 4625 is a smaller array with 4 of these coaxial driver pairs in a greater articulation. In both cases, the ribbon drivers feature the lowest mass-moving system in the industry for unparalleled transient response and faithful signal reproduction. Their proprietary construction and increased power handling provide superior reliability and improved dynamics, as well. The mid-woofer’s stiff, low-mass Kevlar/paper cone material, as part of a stable and balanced moving system, insures low distortion and linear performance with high sensitivity.

Utilizing Ambisonic Sound Technologies’ Array Optimization System (AOS) software to model the system and seating area indicated that the system needed an additional STX4625 array cabinet to cover the front audience area. The AOS allows the system designer to see exactly how the loudspeaker output and coverage pattern will reach the audience. In the case of the El Portal’s steep stadium-style seating, this additional line array cabinet was needed at the bottom of the array to increase the vertical coverage required for even sound pressure level from the first row to the last row.

Both the 6620 and the 4625 speakers utilize proprietary Waveguides for the tweeter and mid-woofers that increases the horizontal coverage pattern to a wide, 110-degrees. Combining this wide dispersion with the Line Array’s ability to provide even coverage from front to back to within +/- 2dB, and the entire audience in the El Portal Theatre hears the same great sound no matter where anyone sits.

A DRM212 woofer cabinet was flown with each array to increase low frequency output and overall system dynamics. The two 12-inch woofers in each cabinet improve the integration between the flown arrays and the two DRM215 subwoofers that are installed under the stage. The DRM215 subwoofers add a total of four (2 each) 15-inch, high-output subwoofer drivers to contribute deep low frequencies at high volumes. All the subwoofers utilize massive motor structures combined with dual-layered inside/outside voice coils that provide for exceptional heat dissipation and reliability. Their efficient bass-reflex enclosures are uniquely braced for maximum output with less distortion.

And manager Jay Irwin agrees, “The sound is amazingly even throughout the house, so that every audience member hears the same exact thing - from the front row to the back row it sounds exactly the same,“ he noted. And not only is it even, he remarked, “The speakers have punch and excitement, but never seem harsh or brittle. They have a wonderfully organic and natural sound.” Long considered the jewel at the heart of the NoHo district, the El Portal Theatre has a rich history in bringing arts and entertainment to the San Fernando Valley. With Ambisonic Sound Technologies’ STX System, the Theatre will reach its full sonic potential.