A Star Is Born

A Star Is Born

A Theater’s New Sound System Is a Legend in its Own Time


The audio system features two main clusters of NEXO GEO S12s, two out fill clusters of three GEO S12s, six Yamaha IF2205 speakers used as front fills with and additional four used for delays, and two of the new NEXO RS18 sub woofers.

MYRTLE BEACH, SC—Over 13 million visitors vacation in Myrtle Beach, famous for its 60 miles of white sandy beaches, golf courses, and entertainment venues. Recently Strategic Connections, Inc. (SCI ) was hired to completely overhaul a 600-seat theater in the city in order to facilitate celebrity impersonator show Legends In Concert. Legends first burst onto the Las Vegas stage nearly 30 years ago and has since moved on with touring productions around the globe.

The renovated from the ground up 600- seat Legends Theater features a projected stage with surround seating on three sides, a new production lighting system, side stage monitors for close-up views from every seat, and a NEXO and Yamaha audio system. The choice of installing a NEXO line array speaker system was based on discussions between Jim Bang, of SCI , Joe Rimstidt of Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, and Bruce Bailey, Legends technical director and audio engineer.

The audio system features two main clusters of NEXO GE O S12s, two out fill clusters of three GE O S12s, six Yamaha IF 2205 speakers used as front fills with and additional four used for delays, two of the new NEXO RS18 sub woofers, two NXAMP 4X4 amplifiers to power the NEXO cabinets, Yamaha XP7000 amps for the IF speakers, a Yamaha M7CL -ES digital audio console, DME ES satellite unit, and EtherSound network.

“The venue itself offered several challenges from the onset,” said Bailey. “The auditorium is set in a ‘football shape’ and the entire stage is sitting within the audience area, creating an arc-style in-the-round setting. When I began the design layout, I immediately knew there would be four separate arrays surrounding the stage. We were also faced with the issue that the speaker hangs themselves would be as far above the audience as they would be from the rear walls, so I knew front fill would be vital and main arrays would have to be able to cover an unusual amount of vertical space with very few boxes. I wasn’t looking for a typical long throw line array and with so many projection screens in the area; I couldn’t do hangs of seven or eight enclosures, so I had to keep this rig ‘high and tight.’ I needed the controllability of a line array but not the distance. The NEXO GE O S12s being available in 10- and 30-degree boxes was an enormous help in this area. We were able to configure each array to include two 10’s on top for the back of the room and two 30’s on the bottom for down-fill, without having to exceed a comfortable array curve and end up losing the coupling of the drivers.”

Bang initially demoed a NEXO GE O S8s system at St Brendan’s Catholic for Bailey. “But, when he heard the GE O S12s at Christ Community Church, Bruce listened to them for about 30 seconds and said ‘That’s what I want!’”

Once Bailey read the description of the NEXO horn driver assembly with the side address reflector and the bow tie on the 12s and Bang explained the configuration of the boxes, it got him thinking. “Both of these design developments made a lot of sense to me; I went into the demo with an open mind, and the GE O 12s immediately shined in both of the areas I was most judgmental in. Everything sounds good when you’re standing in the sweet spot,” Bailey said, “but as I walked the left to right field of coverage (at near and far seating), I was very happy to hear a fluid and consistent tonality with every step. I am usually very particular about the way a component responds to EQ after the installation. Some enclosures tend to react to EQ in a way that is, to say the least, unexpected. The NEXO GE O S 12s tend to curve the audio exactly the way you expect them to when you make adjustments.”