CANTON, OH-WES Sound of Northeastern Ohio recently installed EV ZX1i compact loudspeakers at Canton Central Catholic High School gymnasium, solving some serious sound problems in a truly multi-purpose space. "As is typical for a school gym, this space has highly reflective tile walls, hardwood floors and an open steel framed ceiling," John Davidson of WES explained. "Before this installation, omnidirectional speaker spheres were used, mounted on girders up near the apex of the pitched roof. We ran the risk of raising the reverb time back up to 'awful' if we filled the roof space with loudspeakers that remained active when there weren't a mass of people-or any other absorptive materials-on the main floor. We had the seating areas under control with our original ZX1i spec, which was made before covering the gym floor entered the discussion. So, we split the room up into five zones: four zones of four ZX1i boxes for the court-end balconies and each side wall seating area, and an additional zone containing five ceiling-mounted ZX1i's shooting straight down over the main floor.
"To keep things on track using the zoned audio strategy, we wanted to avoid the cost of processing," Davidson continued, "especially since the system would only be used with a single mono source. That's why we spec'd ZX1i for the roof too-for EQ consistency. We decided to break the signal path to five amplifiers using good old-fashioned switches, with each amp driving its own zone. This adds up to an economic system that provides all the precise coverage, full-bandwidth response, and flexibility they need for such a multi-purpose space - as good a system as you'll get for this budget in this application. The ZX1i looks and sounds fantastic, with great low-end for such a small box, and the school is extremely happy."