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L-Acoustics K3 Makes American Debut at The Vermont Hollywood

The Vermont Hollywood is home to North America’s first fixed installation of the L-Acoustics K3 enclosure.
The Vermont Hollywood is home to North America’s first fixed installation of the L-Acoustics K3 enclosure. (Image credit: Zeke Ruelas)

Few cities truly own the “glow up” quite like Hollywood. And as The Vermont Hollywood aims to prove this summer, that transformational concept can apply to Tinseltown’s entertainment venues just as easily as to its celebrities.

Known as the Campus Theater when it opened back in 1939, what was once a cinema on the bustling corner of North Vermont Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard has undergone a massive metamorphosis by its current owners, MCAP Partners. They have set a lofty goal for the newly-revamped space: to position The Vermont Hollywood as “the gold standard for the ultimate concert and event-going experience in Los Angeles and around the world.”

Certainly one of the keys to fully realizing that objective is The Vermont’s distinction of owning North America’s first permanently-flown L-Acoustics K3 loudspeaker system, supplied and installed by L-Acoustics Certified Provider RAT Sound Systems.

“At the core of our vision and aspiration—to become a global gold standard for concerts and events—is a state-of-the-art entertainment infrastructure that starts with our K3 system,” said MCAP Partners co-founder and managing partner Jacques Massachi. “The feedback we have received regarding K3 from artists and the production community has been astoundingly supportive, enthusiastic, and 100 percent positive across the board. I would also note that the K3 system inspired and raised the bar for the rest of our production infrastructure, effectively leading us to acquire the ‘best of the best’ in equipment.”

RAT Sound installed the venue’s L-Acoustics K3-based system.

RAT Sound installed the venue’s L-Acoustics K3-based system. (Image credit: Zeke Ruelas)

L-Acoustics K3

K3 is L-Acoustics’ smallest full-range enclosure, designed to deliver big sound for midsize events with audiences ranging from 1,000 to 10,000. K3 provides full-range bandwidth without the need for a flown companion subwoofer. Its efficient design reduces amplification needs.

Providing the full-range L-Acoustics contour from an enclosure that is 33 percent smaller than K2 and weighing only 95 pounds, K3 is ideal for applications that require high power and bandwidth from a small form factor, including midsize tours, festivals, corporate events, and religious services. Dimensioned to keep sightlines clear, K3 integrates easily into venues with space restrictions.

The two-way active WST enclosure includes optimized mechanical design for reduced weight, laminar vents for powerful and linear low-frequency response, and easy rigging. K3 also features L-Acoustics Panflex technology, which provides sound designers with quick access to a choice of four horizontal directivity patterns: 70° or 110° symmetrical or 90° asymmetrical on either side. With Panflex and inter-element angles ranging from 0° to 10°, K3 line source coverage can be precisely tailored to fit any audience geometry.

Flown arrays of eight K3 flank each side of the new stage.

Flown arrays of eight K3 flank each side of the new stage. (Image credit: Zeke Ruelas)

The Vermont Hollywood

Capable of accommodating up to 1,200 people, the 11,000-square-foot multipurpose live performance venue was designed by Ryder Design & Architecture (Santa Monica, CA). It features a 56-foot wide by 75-foot deep main room with a 30-foot-deep balcony, initially prompting RAT Sound to consider an L-Acoustics K2 or Kara system for the project.

“In our early Soundvision models, K2 far exceeded our system needs for the space, so we switched over to Kara, which we knew would work well,” recalls RAT Sound Systems integration manager Adam Figueroa. Soundvision is a tool that helps integrators predict actual performance of a sound system, allowing them to accurately design installation projects. “Wanting more low-frequency support in the air, we paired 10 Kara per side with four SB18 subs flown behind each array, but it wasn’t ideal for video sightlines.”

Serendipitously, news of the forthcoming L-Acoustics K3 was revealed right around that time. “K3 was exactly what we needed,” Figueroa added. “It gave us the compact, full-range system we wanted without having to fly any sub hangs, and the system didn’t require any changes in amplification. K3 was an obvious ‘win’ all around, requiring minimal redesign.”

Another view of the short-throw 5XT fills mounted in the lobby.

Coaxial 5XT and X4i systems deliver coverage to the lobby area. (Image credit: Zeke Ruelas)

Now in place, The Vermont Hollywood’s loudspeaker system features eight K3 flown per side for mains, four Kiva II spread out across the stage lip for frontfill, and six KS28 subs positioned under the stage. Left and right flown sidefills each composed of one A15 Focus over one A15 Wide are complemented on stage by an X12 monitor package, while short-throw X4i and 5XT enclosures are located out in the lobby area for additional coverage.

Driven by LA12X amplified controllers, the entire system is connected via AVB with an AES fallback coming from an L-Acoustics P1 processor at front of house. A QSC S-SYS system is also in place for control of the main P.A. and processing for the distributed audio system, and a DiGiCo SD12 mixing console is located at the venue’s FOH mix position.

Having previously been impressed with the L-Acoustics K1 and K2 systems at Coachella and the Hollywood Bowl, Massachi described the experience of hearing K3 as every bit as stirring. “The first time I heard our K3 system with playback material at The Vermont, I was blown away,” he said. “It resonated through every inch of my body and was an epic and magical experience. We all know how music inspires on so many levels, but to hear music amplified so accurately and brilliantly allows the deeper appreciation of what the artist intended in their creation. I know that our patrons will appreciate being in a space that allows for a truly entertaining and engaging experience.

The Vermont Hollywood’s audience area seen from the stage.

The Vermont Hollywood’s audience area seen from the stage. (Image credit: Zeke Ruelas)

“With everything I do, personal or business, I’ve always believed that the pursuit of excellence is at the core of winning,” Massachi continued. “It’s an honor to be the first adopter of an installed K3 system, but it’s also about having a sound system that creates a true outlier for The Vermont, allowing us to offer the best-sounding space for artists and guests.”

Massachi is quick to credit RAT Sound Systems for its role in the project. “I really want to thank the team at RAT for their professional guidance, workmanship, and overall dedication to The Vermont, and particularly Adam Figueroa for his knowledge, leadership, and hard work,” he said. “What they brought to the table allowed us to transform what was effectively an empty shell into a technologically superior venue—the best-sounding space we’ve ever heard! We definitely hit a home run with L-Acoustics and RAT together, and we can’t wait for everyone to hear our K3 system for themselves.”

The Vermont Hollywood is set to open its doors to the public later this summer.

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