Polar Audio completes Renkus-Heinz installation at historic York venue

Polar Audio, in conjunction with Saville Audio Visual, has provided a speech and background music system for The Merchant Adventurers’ Hall in York, UK.

The installation was to cover two separate rooms, with a capacity to operate independently in each, or across the venue as a whole, but first, the team was required to remove the 16 existing speakers.

Once this was done, three systems were installed across the two rooms to best serve the requirements of the brief. The large room was equipped with a speech and background music system, as well as a conferencing system, while the small room has its own speech-only system. Audio from each of these systems could be fed across all or part of the venue to retain maximum flexibility.

Two colour-matched Renkus Heinz ICONYX IC 16 speakers were placed in the main room, which blend nicely with the timber pillars. According to Polar, the technology employed by the speakers enables sound designers "to cover almost any audience area perfectly." Multiple sonic beams can be individually shaped and aimed from a single ICONYX array precisely.

Captain Stephen Upright RN, Clerk to the Company of Merchant Adventurers of the City of York said: "The nature of this ancient building, which was not designed with acoustics in mind, undoubtedly presented a challenge for the design of a system to perform as the Merchant Adventurers wished it to do. In addition, the 650-year-old fabric of the Hall requires sensitive treatment when modern equipment is being introduced. I am happy to say that all of these challenges were met in this project.”

At the heart of the whole system is an Mc2 T4-250 amplifier and Biamp Nexia CM DSP Processor, alongside the Renkus Heinz ICONYX IC16s and Renkus CFX 81 and CFX 61 speakers situated in the smaller room. All the wireless radio mics for speech and conferencing were from Beyerdynamic. For speech, the system utilises two PEM60 head worn and two SDM960M handheld microphones, and for conferencing, employs a Beyerdynamic MCS system comprising one MCS223 chairman’s mic and 16 MCS 221 delegate mics.

"The Heritage people were understandably quite stringent in their demand that the installation should sit as invisibly as possible in its surroundings," added Polar Audio business development manager Mark Bromfield. "We were conscious of our responsibility to meet this part of the brief as sympathetically as possible. We felt confident that we had succeeded when the first post-install visitors didn’t actually notice the speakers and yet were knocked out by the quality of the sound."

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