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Longest-ever EV system floats at Powerboat day

Electro-Voice sound reinforcement systems and a kilometre-long line of its full-range speakers were used at this year’s UK National Powerboat Championships, writes Paul Watson

The coastal town of Harwich was host to this year’s UK National Powerboat Championships where Electro-Voice sound reinforcement systems were used for a concert on the beach as well as a kilometre-long 100V line of its ZX1 full-range speakers – one of the longest set-ups of its kind. UK powerboat racing is administered by the Royal Yachting Association, which this year decided that a music festival should be incorporated into the national championship event. The day’s racing was wrapped up with two evening concerts including performances by Tinchy Stryder, DJ Ironik and a few of last year’s X-Factor finalists: Danyl Johnson, Olly Murs and Jamie Archer – to a 10,000-strong crowd. The main stage PA equipment was provided by Ipswich headquartered Eclipse Sound & Light. Due to the close proximity of the main stage to the water – just 10 metres – and to keep within the official Leq limit of 90dB, various precautions had to be taken when specifying the system. “With advice from John Ellis of Shuttlesound, we used EV’s supplied software to set the correct angle on the boxes, and to fly them at the correct height,” reveals Eclipse’s Matt Suttle. “Everything was coordinated on the IRIS-Net platform from front-of-house, producing an extremely capable system.” The main stage PA consisted of six XLC DVX-127s and three XLD281 line array modules per side, providing 110dB at FOH during soundcheck, which meant it was running well within the Leq limit. Eclipse cleverly opted for a cardioid sub-bass pattern to satisfy the local residents and cater for the open coastline; EV’s Bass Array software was used to time-align the X-Subs, ensuring the power from the system hit the audience rather than the locals behind the stage. 17 EV Tour Grade 7 amplifiers and a number of EV PL Series microphones were also in use. Eclipse sub-contracted event services company Showhire – which specialises in 100v-line applications – to provide the commentary PA system. Because it had to stretch over one kilometre of seafront promenade, Showhire purchased a number of new CPS410 amplifiers and 14 new EV ZX1 cabinets just for this event. “I think this is the longest-ever line of cabinet speakers. Using the ZX1 full-range enclosures with bass response meant that we were able to play music at high quality over a very long distance,” explains Showhire’s Nick Chubb. “We set up a re-amplification box halfway, dividing the line into four sections each with 10 loudspeakers and using 4mm thick cable to carry signal over the distances.”