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The Gelredome in Arnhem gets Sound Refurbishment from Powersoft

Helen  Kennedy
The Gelredome in Arnhem gets Sound Refurbishment from Powersoft

The Gelredome in Netherlands has recently undergone a full audio refurbishment from TM audio utilising Powersoft's Duecanali Class D Amplifier.

Since opening 13 years ago in Arnhem, The GelreDome has become one of Netherlands' premire multipurpose venues, from sporting events such as Euro 2000 to music festivals and concerts featuring the likes of Sir Paul McCartney and Sting. It is one of Europe's most flexible and high tech stadia with a retractable roof and can accomodate up to 35,000 people for concerts and 26,000 for sporting events. It is also home to the Dutch premier league football team Vitesse who use its climate controlled pitch all year round. 

The original idea behind the GelreDome was to create a stadium that was capable of providing emergency paging for all applicants, a complete system for in-the-round concerts, a plug-and-play delay system for visiting shows, plus speech and entertainment during sporting events. TM Audio was the original contractor in 1997 when the stadium was first conceived and it only seemed natural for them to take on the modernization project 13 years later. The inital ideas and concepts have stayed the same but as the GelreDome is constantly taking on new events and projects, they need more flexibitly when it comes to its PA system's power and networking control.

Mark Van Acker, head of the GelreDome technical since April 2004 realised with the rapid advancements in technology it was time for a complete overhaul. "We were loooking for a good partner for the new installation of a very large number of amplifiers the control system. The amplifiers we had were 13 years old and when they needed repairing there were no spare parts anymore. The old system was also very analogue and all on copper, so if there was a system issue TM Audio would have to sort it out on the day of an event. Now it's a fibre optic based system and any diagnotics can be done by them remotely in real time over a VPN network."

One area in particular that needed a lot of revamping was the amplifiers. The loudspeaker system consists of a 72 Renkus-Heinz  CE-3 series cabinets flown in a ring of 18 clusters from the roof while 14 more of these can be deployed for speech and paging at pitch level. The clusters for the long stand can also be rotated to change the system from a dedicated delay format for end-on to an in-the-round format. TM Audio project manager Olaf Landzat commented, "We decided to use a NION MediaMatrix system for the control, matrix and DSP power for routing. The we were looking for a reliable amplifier that culd deliver a lot of power in a small space, with integral and DSP networking, so it could handle any speaker system that might be installed in the future."  So they settled on the Powersoft Duecanali Class D Amplifier- which can deliver two times 1950 W at 4 ohms, allowing connection to any speaker. Landzat also honed in on the environmentally friendly aspect of the new system, claiming that "it's design makes it highly efficient and consumes much less power per watt of output- which is increasingly important to end users these days, especially when they're running on an almost daily basis."

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Powersoft also created a unique software plug-in for the MediaMAtrix system so that they could control and monitor the systems from within NION. This was extremely important from a health and safety standpoint also as it met the regulations for a voice evacuation system, one of its key roles in such a massive stadium.

Landzat concluded, "The solution really works because we have a great amplifier that doesn't have corolation- it is an honest amplifier, and the high damping factor has made a big difference to the bass end of the speaker system- it sounds tighter in the low to mid frequencies despite the reverberation in a stadium and more open and clear in high frequencies."

Tags: renkus-heinz, sir paul mccartney, power amplifiers, powersoft, tm audio, Sting, the gelredome, vitesse

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