Lab.gruppen C 48:4 amplifiers have been installed within the University of Minnesota's Ted Mann Concert Hall.
Located in Minneapolis' West Bank Arts Quarter, the 1,126-seat theatre and concert hall is a multi-purpose venue, hosting lectures, ensemble concerts, performances and masterclasses by the likes of Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, as well as various community events.
“Because we need natural sound at both low and higher volumes – for both speech and music – subtlety is key,” said Phillip O’Toole, University of Minnesota Music Department technical coordinator. "When I hooked up eight channels of Lab, it sounded amazing. It just came to life.”
In summer last year, O’Toole added another four channels of Lab.gruppen. He intends to replace the system’s remaining amplifiers with 'Labs' as soon as funds become available. “I often joke about dumping water on the older amps,” he added, laughing. “If they fail, we’ll have to replace them.”
Swapping out six of the pre-existing amplifiers with the C 48:4s allowed O’Toole to consolidate all of the venue’s amps in one rack. “They’ve saved a significant amount of space and installing them was easy to do. The phoenix connectors really lend themselves well to a permanent installation application.”
Beyond having the system re-tuned by Minneapolis-based Audio Logic Systems, nothing else has changed, O’Toole explains, adding that his choice of Lab was based on his use of the products during an install at the 2009 Minnesota State Fair. “Once I had that experience I knew I wanted them for our space and the interesting thing about this is that we’re using the same speakers, processing and console; we’ve only swapped out the amplifiers and I’ve noticed a marked difference.”