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Peavey kits out Passmores Academy in Essex

Peavey recently deployed two separate audio systems into Passmores Academy, a new 2000-student state-of-the-art secondary school in Harlow, writes Paul Watson.

Peavey has provided two separate audio systems for Passmores Academy, the educational facility in Essex which hit the headlines after being featured on Channel 4’s acclaimed seven-part reality TV show, Educating Essex.

The 2000-student Harlow secondary school recently achieved Academy status after being rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted; last year, 67% of its students achieved the equivalent of five or more GCSEs at grades A-star to C.

Harlow-based company, Gig Gear, first provided the school with a mobile Peavey audio solution, then installed a more significant Peavey system into the facility’s main hall (pictured).

“They wanted to be able to transport one of the systems, and despite the fact that it’s mobile, we still managed to deliver a high-powered solution,” explains Virgil Lund, UK sales and development at Peavey. “We decided on QW2Fs for the tops, which have a two-inch compression driver, and then an 18-inch Versarray sub underneath each side; it was quite a serious rig in itself, actually.”

Four Peavey PV15M floor wedges were also deployed as part of the mobile rig, which was powered byCrest Audio and Peavey amps: one CPQ 2131P, one CC 2800, a CC 5500, and four Peavey CS 800s.

For the school’s main hal, six Versarray 112s, two Versarray 118s, and two Sanctuary SSE12s were deployed, all powered by Crest Audio amplifiers (two CC 1800s, two CC 2800s, and a CC 4000), running with a VSX 26 as a DSP processor.

Lund says the whole space required some acoustic treatment before the system could be integrate, as the hall’s unusual oval design meant the initial sound of the room was not up to the mark.

“Thankfully, the school agreed to drape the entire area before the PA was brought in, which helped eliminate the nasty reflections,” he explains. “We then deployed two hangs of three 112s, along with two 118 cabinets, one positioned under each hang for the low end; and in the end, it sounded absolutely perfect.”

Control is achieved via a racked Peavey 16FX console set on wheels, which allows users to easily accommodate the hall’s two available mix positions, one of which is located at the front of the hall, the other at the back.

“All you need to do is wheel it into position, plug it into the XLR sockets on the wall, and bang, it’s ready to go,” Lund concludes.