ETA Sound boosts coverage and clarity for South stand hospitality guests

Crowds and corporate guests watching Worcester Warriors’ rugby matches in the South stand at the club’s 12,000 capacity Sixways Stadium, will now be able to hear match-day announcements with much greater clarity and definition.

This is thanks to a cleverly designed sound reinforcement upgrade carried out by Eddie Thomas of ETA Sound, and featuring JBL’s new AWC129 (All Weather Compact) 2-way coaxial loudspeakers — providing 90 x 90 degrees coverage on the lower stand — and AWC 82’s above in the hospitality area, offering an even wider dispersion of 120 x 120 degrees. These were supplied by Harman Professional’s UK and Eire distributors, Sound Technology Ltd.


Photo above: Worcester Warriors rugby stadium equipped with JBL All Weather Compact loudspeakers (click for hi-res version)

The enquiry was placed with ETA Sound parent company, SSE Audio Group, which is based nearby. Recalls Thomas, “We were invited to a site meeting to look initially at a solution for the South Stand, which supports 34 hospitality boxes, but this will eventually be rolled out across the entire stadium.”

The outgoing system, he said, had served the club for many years but the technology was now outdated and ready for upgrade.

Working with the Head of Operations at Sixways Stadium, Eddie Thomas was aware that he would be working to budget constraints, and that the client had already consulted with other manufacturers. But having seen the new AWC’s on the Harman Professional stand at last year’s PLASA Show in London he knew this series had all the attributes to meet the criteria.

“We were looking for an all-weather speaker that would meet budget requirements and these were strongly recommended based on performance, price and dispersion pattern.”

The installer emphasised that the angles were critical because in view of the low roof and steep rake, the loudspeakers in the bottom stand would be in close proximity to the spectators. ETA Sound therefore undertook a predictive model before recommending nine of the AWC 129’s — spaced equidistant from the steel metalwork on the underside of the roof.

Higher up in the tribunes there are two further levels of hospitality. Unlike the AWC 129’s, which have a 12in LF driver, the smaller AWC82 contains an 8in bass driver — but with a 120 x 120 degrees dispersion pattern delivers wider coverage across the two levels.

Feeds into the system include match-day mic announcements and music playback from the DJ booth.

The new installation is connected into the existing fire alarm system and all elements of the new installation meet voice intelligibility and coverage requirements, and at the same time conform to BS5839 fire alarm safety standards.


Photo above: Worcester Warriors rugby stadium equipped with JBL All Weather Compact loudspeakers (click for hi-res version)

Added Brian Ryan, Sixways Stadium’s Head of Operations, “We were very impressed with the new JBL speakers and they have performed well during their first ‘live’ match. The clarity for speech announcements is excellent and they also handle music exceptionally well. “We were looking for a system that would also comply with our legislative requirements for evacuation purposes, which this system has accomplished, and within a strict budget.”

“It is the first time we have used these loudspeakers and we are delighted with their performance,” said Eddie Thomas.

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