Oxford ice hockey arena given Electro-Voice overhaul

Oxford Ice Rink came through an extensive program of modernisation recently, which included the installation of a new Electro-Voice system.

In addition to being the home of National Ice Hockey League team the Oxford City Stars, the 700-seater stadium also serves as a venue for skating competitions and performances, as well as a weekly ice disco.

The task of designing and installing the new audio set-up was entrusted to Oxford-based specialist Lancelyn Theatre Supplies, which put the new Electro-Voice system in place over the course of three weeks – all without any interruption of service.

“We knew already from countless similar installations that the acoustic characteristics of the Electro-Voice loudspeakers were exactly what was needed here,” explained Tim Sachno, Lancelyn’s projects manager, “so they were automatically our first choice.”

Like most ice skating venues, the arena has an extremely long reverberation time, so the Lancelyn team opted to fly the loudspeakers in a central cluster directly above the ice (pictured). The arrangement consists of six Electro-Voice ZX5-60 and four Electro-Voice Sx300PI loudspeakers that distribute the sound evenly over the 1,500-square-metre rink and the seating area beyond. These full-range models are complemented by four Electro-Voice EVF-1181S subwoofers to reinforce the low frequency range.

“We hesitated right to the end before installing the four subs,” Sachno said. “Because the ZX5 15” two-way full-range loudspeakers sounded so good on their own, we were tempted to dispense with subs altogether.”

In the end though, to be sure of having sufficient headroom in the bass, Lancelyn reinstated the four subs.

Power comes from an Electro-Voice CPS 8.5 and CPS 2.12 amplifier, while control and supervision of the system is provided by a DC-One digital sound system processor – also from Electro-Voice.

“For a relatively small outlay, the operators have acquired an outstanding audio system that represents a sound investment for the future,” Sachno stated. “Compared with its predecessor, the system represents a quantum leap in terms of audio quality – a view shared by the rink’s operators, who have expressed themselves ‘more than satisfied’ with the results.”

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