Sweden’s national stadium equipped with Electro-Voice system

The Friends Arena in Solna, near Stockholm – Sweden’s new national sports ground – has had a sound system from Electro-Voice installed.

The 65,000-seater stadium, designed in accordance with the most modern precepts and fitted with a retractable roof, was opened at the end of last year. The stadium will serve as a venue not only for major sporting occasions, such as the Sweden vs England football match that took place on November 14th 2012, but also for major music and entertainment events.

The project was planned and implemented by English firm LBI Projects – one of the world’s leading specialists in stadium sound. The core of the audio solution is made up of powerful, compact XLD281 elements from Electro-Voice’s XLVC line array system.

“The XLD281 three-way cabinet is light and visually unobtrusive, sounds excellent and provides very good coverage of the bass frequencies without requiring any support from subwoofers,” said James Hurst of LBI Projects. The XLD281 elements are operated with FIR filters, which Hurst considered essential. “Naturally, we also fine-tuned the system, in this case by toning down the preset boosts at 170 Hz, which, while it may on a subjective level have led to an initial reduction in loudness, markedly improved transparency – an important quality often notable for its absence in major stadiums.”

The audio installation is integrated into a redundant Dante audio network on a gigabit, single-mode fibre-optic basis. Nine compact system racks feed all the loudspeakers, and each rack is equipped with CPS 8.5 power amplifiers with RCM-810 remote modules and redundant NetMax N8000 controllers for integration into the Dante network.

Four identically configured racks are located beneath the roof; these feed not only the twelve curved XLD281 hangs serving the stands, but also the eight horn-loaded EVH-1152S/66 coaxial systems covering the playing area, with one quarter of the stadium assigned to each rack. Five additional system racks are housed in the ground floor of the arena; these serve all the ancillary zones, such as passageways, catering facilities and areas not normally open to the public, including the banqueting hall, which is equipped with 14 EVF-1152S/64 loudspeakers. Full control and supervision of all the racks is assured by IRIS-Net software.

In the coming months, the system will be put to use for concerts by Bruce Springsteen, KISS and Elton John.

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