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Surprise Stadium Gets Impressive Audio Transformation With EAW’s AC6 ADAPTive Column Loudspeaker

AC6 Offers Versatile and Reliable Sound Quality for Stadium’s Variety of Events

SURPRISE, AZ, JUNE 27, 2023 – Struggling with an aging PA system, Arizona’s Surprise Stadium was looking to do a full overhaul of not only its sound quality, but the ways in which they use the PA. Already acting as homebase for the Texas Rangers’ and Kansas City Royals’ spring training, the city of Surprise was hoping to transform the stadium into a multipurpose space, fit to host corporate events, fundraisers, movie nights and more. To implement the technology upgrade necessary to achieve this goal, and provide the required sound quality and versatility, the city turned to Audio Specialist Ben Davis for his expertise and guidance, as well as Sound Image Integration.  

Davis’ primary areas to tackle were the outfield and the main seating area. “The main seating area was very linear,” he explains, “and the speakers in the outfield were throwing too far and splashing audio into the main grandstand, resulting in an echo. There were existing speakers hung on yolks from the canopy in a standard layout throughout the field, so there was a lot of opportunity to evolve the current technology. I looked at the ADAPTive technology from Eastern Acoustic Works (EAW®), and the AC6 ADAPTive Column Loudspeaker seemed to fit all our needs.”

The AC6s were used to replace all the existing outfield speakers as Phase One of the upgrade, which was designed by Davis and installed by Sound Image Integration. There were also existing EAW boxes in the underhang from the original build that were in perfect condition. Davis and Sound Image additionally replaced any aging amplifiers and processing components. The focus of Phase Two is modernizing the passive components in the main seating area.

“Our goal was to put the sound where we needed it and keep it away from the areas we didn’t,” Davis says. “That’s where the pattern control of the AC6 really helped. We were able to direct the sound energy onto the seating area and the outfield to give them a much better tone. Compared to the older speaker—which was much more tuned for speech— the full range column of the AC6 provided a much more musical and smoother sound, and the coverage is a lot more even now.”

With the addition of AC6, Davis notes that Surprise Stadium will be able to now host a variety of events as they had hoped. “We added AC6 to the light poles on either side of the video board. When they’re operating the stadium for baseball, AC6 provides coverage for the grass seating and keeps the sound off the main seating. When they want to do a movie night, they can change the focus to go towards the opposite side of the field where people will be sitting.”

Although Surprise Stadium hasn’t had the chance to incorporate any multipurpose events into their schedule just yet, there is no lack of enthusiasm over the new sound quality provided by EAW’s AC6.

“When I first told the client about AC6s’ flexibility, they were super excited about the potential sound quality and the possibility to recall a preset and change it,” Davis finishes. “Now they’re able to hear AC6 in action and realize there has been an obvious and dramatic improvement in sound. They’re looking forward to utilizing the new system for more events and are already looking to incorporate EAW into future projects, which is definitely a good sign that AC6 does its job.”

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