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Koka Booth Amphitheatre upgraded with "remarkable" Electro-Voice and Dynacord system after competitive shootout

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As with many live performance venues around the world, back at the height of the pandemic the outdoor Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, North Carolina decided to use its downtime to upgrade its sound system. And, when longtime North Carolina audio provider CareySound AVL was invited to demo a sound system there, they seized the opportunity hear their Electro-Voice X-Line Advance system paired with their new Dynacord amplifiers in a space beyond the confines of their Greensboro shop.

“When we got demo units of the new Dynacord amplifiers in the shop, I was immediately impressed by the way they transform anything we throw at them,” says John Carey, President of CareySound AVL. “Our X-Line Advance system suddenly felt so alive, I knew right away there was no turning back. The Koka Booth Amphitheatre demo gave us a real-world chance to experience that – and share that sound quality with our prospective clients.”

The venue’s legacy system used a left-center-right (LCR) speaker approach, augmented with outfield delays. After studying the venue, which hosts the North Carolina Symphony concert series annually, CareySound decided to present a left-right X-Line Advance line-array system with cardioid subs.

“We realized this was going to be more of a shootout, with several other manufacturers there as well,” explains Ken Carey, CareySound founder and chairman. “Since most major tours bring in their own systems, our approach was to optimize the new house system for the symphony. That meant full-range, even coverage, all while keeping energy off the stage – especially sub energy. As a result, our demo sounded different. The other rigs all had this overwhelming low-end, which tends to hide a lot of details. By comparison, the EV-Dynacord system sounded great, very accurate and clear.”

After winning the contract, CareySound consulted with Electro-Voice application engineers to finalize the system design, utilizing EV’s new installation-grade, fully weatherized version of X-Line Advance arrays and subs. Twin five-element X1i-212 arrays employ three 90° boxes above two 120° models for primary coverage. The original center hang position now houses three EV X12i-128 dual-18” subwoofers in a cardioid configuration, hung in a custom rig created by CareySound. All feature fiberglass enclosures and protected electronics.

In addition, each of the three main hangs houses one EVF-1122D/94 down-fill speaker. Across the stage lip, six EVC-1082/96 speakers provide front fill, and six low-profile Electro-Voice MFX-12MC handle stage monitor duties. Away from the stage, the crescent-shaped concessions building at the back of the audience area is served by 12 EVC-1082-96 speakers.

All the loudspeakers are driven by Dynacord IPX series amplifiers, with supervision via SONICUE Sound System Software and Dante audio networking over CAT6 and fiber lines. Performance is optimized via the EV factory loudspeaker settings in SONICUE. The combination of six Dynacord IPX10:4 amps – along with one each of IPX20:4 and IPX10:8 – delivers 90,000 total watts, powering every speaker using just eight amps, versus 25 in the venue’s legacy system. Along with their exceptional energy efficiency, all IPX models offer fully integrated 96 kHz DSP for superior sound quality.

“The audio transparency, DSP and power of these amps is remarkable,” says John Carey. “It’s to the point where I now suggest Dynacord IPX for every install we do. And I love that they seamlessly integrate with SONICUE for system design and control. It’s the cherry on top of an already impressive package.”

The Town of Cary recently hosted the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra at Koka Booth Amphitheatre for their first Summerfest date of 2022. “NCS was extremely happy with the quality of sound the system provided,” says Sean Loepp, Production Coordinator with the Town of Cary Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Dept., “and I have to say it was a pleasure to mix on the system. Great job everyone!”


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