Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


Oxford theatre acquires invisible K-Array sound system

The Oxford Sheldonian Theatre has invested in a discreet K-Array PA system as part of a full audio refurbishment within its facility, writes Paul Watson.

The Oxford Sheldonian Theatre has undergone an intensive refurbishment to restore the building to its original glory, with Peterborough-based B+H Sound Services appointed to supply and install a new K-Array audio system.
 The system was required to satisfy all the modern needs of the venue, without impacting on its architectural beauty.
 “Our part of the brief was to install an audio system which would be heard but not seen,” says B+H Sound managing director, Brian Hilson. “It had to effectively be invisible.”
 The design solution was a K-array audio system in the form of highly compact line array elements (sourced from the manufacturer’s UK distributor Sennheiser UK), which deliver audio power and quality from a very small footprint. The system comprises 12 KV50W ultra-flat line array elements and two KKS50W compact subs, powered by two KA7 and one KA10-10 compact power amplifiers.
 “The K-array system perfectly matched the required coverage patterns in what is a three-tier venue,” Hilson explains. “Because it has a very narrow vertical, yet very wide horizontal dispersion, it meant that we could make the system invisible. With lots of DSP programming at the front end, the loudspeakers could easily be controlled to suit any particular application, dependent upon which orientation the theatre is used in.”
 Complementing the K-array equipment are four Sennheiser ew 312 G3 wireless microphone systems, an ASA1 aerial distribution amplifier, and two AB3-E antenna boosters to provide a predominantly wireless microphone solution.
 The 343-year-old Sheldonian theatre is an iconic structure and is now fit for use in the 21st Century. It is one of the most photographed buildings in the city of dreaming spires; and in addition to being used for lectures by invited guests, matriculation and graduation ceremonies, it also sees many thousands of tourists every year.
 “The University did a vast amount of research on how it originally looked and everything was planned and specified with meticulous detail,” Hilton says. “An astonishing amount of care and attention went into the refurbishment, even down to 17th century paint colours.”
 Among the first to perform in the newly restored building will be Adderbury Ensemble, Bach Choir and the Oxford Millennium Orchestra.