SSE handles QSC revamp at London’s Excel

A scalable QSC Q-Sys digital audio network has been installed at London’s Excel Exhibition Centre by SSE Audio Group.

The complete QSC system, which is based around a Core 1100 processor and works in conjunction with an existing Ateis voice alarm, was provided by Shure Distribution UK and replaces Excel’s ageing background music system.

Having struggled with the daily management of the previous system, Excel gave SSE, which has been celebrating its 40th anniversary, a brief to create a fully redundant network with a bespoke, user-friendly graphical user interface. Q-Sys has been integrated into Excel’s existing fibre network ring, and now distributes up to 256 x 256 digital audio channels from 18 racks, each with fibre network connectivity and full redundancy.

Thanks to Q-Sys’s remote reporting options, which at Excel sends alerts directly to the installers, SSE’s engineers are kept abreast of how the system is operating. As Paul Todd, installation specialist at SSE explains, this makes upkeep of the system efficient: “We usually know about any faults before the staff at the venue. It also lets us know if any replacement equipment is needed before we visit the site, which eliminates multiple trips and shortens system downtime for Excel.”

Shure UK and SSE have had a strong relationship for years, and Shure UK’s Systems Group was involved in the project from the early planning stages. Project consultant Pat Bradley and members of the Excel team were invited to Shure UK’s demo facilities to explain the features and benefits Q-Sys could offer the venue.

According to Paul Todd, the upgrades at Excel have future-proofed the venue, but he notes that the most significant outcome of the project is the high level of customer satisfaction. “I estimate that Excel will not have to upgrade the Q-Sys network for 10 years at least. The client is extremely happy with the results; they actually described the new system as ‘life changing’.”