To The Palace Born

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CLEVELAND, OH—The 1922 Palace Theatre recently received a new $450,000 audio system courtesy of NAC Technologies in Cleveland, OH. The Palace is part of the city’s PlayhouseSquare complex built in the 1920s, and eventually allowed to fall into neglect and vandalism before being revitalized and renovated by a vigorous grass-roots campaign beginning in the 1970s.

The Palace’s new sound system, designed by NAC, boasts 63 NEXO S12s and S2 subs, NXAmps, and a Yamaha M7CL digital console.

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The Palace’s new sound system, designed by NAC Technologies, boasts 63 NEXO S12s and S2 subs.

“Some refer to us as a boutique dealer,” said NAC senior audio engineer Rick Galbraith, who designed the system with NAC owner David Cooper. “The Palace fits that mold with its eclectic mix of shows.”

The Palace replacement system was the third for NAC at Playhouse- 62Square. Its five theaters, live venues in close proximity to each other, were saved from the wrecking ball some 25 years ago, Galbraith said. “The Palace is the grand dame of the complex, it’s elegant. Its 1981 audio system was wellmaintained but past its prime, with inadequacies in coverage and a low SPL.”

NAC added three large line arrays, left, center, right, and provided a deck support system with additional 1230s on top of NEXO S2 subs. The under balcony area was redone with two rings of S1230s, five in one ring, six in the other. Four S1230s per side in the balcony light boxes to cover the upper balcony seats were added. The system is powered by Nexo NX amps, 4x1 or 4x4s.

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Bobby Mingus, Palace Theatre house audio engineer, with the Yamaha M7CL digital console at front of house.

“Most acts coming through carry full production, and will use part of the system, such as the under and over balconies, but most just leave their rigs on the truck,” Galbraith said. “We’ve had good success with Nexo product which we’ve installed in two other Playhouse theaters.”

The key element in finalizing the decision to replace the Palace system came when Galbraith and Cooper were on a regional tour with the Patty Lupone and Mandy Patinkin show. “The last stop on their tour was the Palace Theater where we hung our own NEXO touring rig, so over the course of 12 days all the top management folks had the opportunity to hear what they would end up buying,” Galbraith said.

The Palace’s older Yamaha PM4000 console was moved to monitor position as the M7CL took over FOH duties. “NAC Tech is an IATSE (union) shop as are all the theatres in Playhouse Square,” he said. “We wanted to get all of the IA sound guys trained on digital consoles. We put M7s into the State and Hanna theaters at PlayhouseSquare, Progressive Field, and then the Palace, so everybody in our union can just walk right up and use it. We looked at the 5D for the Palace but it would have meant a different learning curve. The M7CL is universally accepted on any tour rider.”

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