The O2 in London upgrades with Bose Showmatch system

SSE Audio Group has upgraded the PAVA (Public Address and Voice Alarm) system in the O2 in London. The review and upgrade has been designed and developed after a life-cycle analysis was undertaken of the PAVA system by venue operator AEG.

SSE audio, as the system provider and maintainer of the PAVA systems on site, was asked to provide a futureproof system that would meet the strict PAVA system criteria and deliver audio quality throughout the venue.

SSE Audio Group’s technical specialist Eddie Thomas has been involved with The O2 since 1998 and was commissioned to design the replacement PAVA system. Eddie opted for a QSC Q-Sys digital audio platform and network with Bose ShowMatch line arrays powered by Crown amplification within the main performance bowl area. The BOH areas are served from multiple equipment racks containing Q-Sys and Crown amplification.

The audio installation has to cater for the multiple applications the venue is used for, both with a stage at one end and also in the round. From a central circular truss, eight Bose loudspeaker clusters each comprising eight ShowMatch cabinets have been installed providing audio coverage across the main audience area.

Eddie Thomas commented on the choice of Bose ShowMatch: “I first heard the system at a Bose demonstration in Barcelona and was immediately impressed. When the O2 project came up we invited them, along with a number of other loudspeaker manufacturers to the table, with Bose emerging as the loudspeaker partner of choice.”

Andy Rigler, UK sales manager for Bose Professional added: “Our engineers worked closely with Eddie and the team at SSE to create a design of The O2 within Bose Modeler. From this we were able to see the coverage and dispersion of the design before installation. Utilising Bose Auditioner hardware, an auralisation of the space could be heard from multiple positions within the venue. This confirmed the coverage pattern and tonality of the system, which was crucial to the PAVA element of the design. From this, SSE were able to move forward with the installation with confidence.”

For Sub Bass the ShowMatch range utilises the Bose RMS218 Subwoofer, which features two eighteen inch drivers. SSE’s system design placed a total of 24 RMS218 cabinets in 6 vertical roof mounted hangs powered by Bose PM8500 amplifiers with LF control steering in the DSP.An additional four Bose ShowMatch production delays clusters have been added to provide coverage to upper levels of seating at The O2, with each cluster comprising 8 Bose ShowMatch cabinets.