I live in a small town in rural Wisconsin and some friends from the local hockey program asked me for some help on installing an affordable sound system. They got a bid from a contractor for $10,000+ but have nowhere near that much money in their budget. They said somewhere around $2500 might be more realistic. We set up a pair of (hold the laughter) Active Mackie Thump 15s that we use for our local music in the park. The pair was set up about 15 feet above the penalty box aimed out across the ice towards the 2 bleacher sections (might hold 500 people total). I know these speakers aren't high end stuff, but they actually sounded well on the rink and in the bleachers and were plenty loud. I know ice arenas present a challenging acoustical environment, but with the foam ceiling tiles in there its not too shabby. They currently have 4 cgm speakers (specs unknown) set up right in front of the bleachers and a soundtech powered mixer w/ about 300 watts @2 ohms mono output. The stuff is really old, wore out and extremely rough on the ears to listen too! Can't hear them on the rink either. I'm a novice sound guy at best. I'd like to believe I know a few things but fully admit I have much to learn. Always reading articles & reviews to try and learn because i care about how music sounds. I stumbled upon this website when reviewing Octosound speakers. I figured this looks like a good place to get some legitimate advice. Before I ask a bunch of questions and waste anyone's time, I just need one thing answered. Is it okay to use powered speakers in an ice arena or will the heat inside from the amp cause condensation inside and ruin them? I've heard a few people say it's okay. The guy at Sweetwater says it's okay but I know he just wants to make a sale! Any help here would be greatly appreciated. Thanks much!
I'm on the other side of the state. What exactly are you referring to when you say 'what kind of materials am I looking to send?'
I changed send to play. I meant "send to the speakers" but I was not clear. Do you want announcements that are clear, light music, impactful bump music or do you intend to use the facility for other purposes? What are your goals for this upgrade?
I was just wondering if powered speakers are okay to use consistently in the cold.
If the key question is about condensation, then you shouldn't have anything to worry about as long as the temp of the gear and the room stays consistent. Condensation occurs when you have a warm room with lots of humidity, and you take in an object with a cold temp below the dew point. The the moisture in the air condenses on the object. So if you have the speakers in a cold van, then take them into a warm room, there will be a lot of moisture condensing on the circuit boards, etc... You see the same thing if you wear glasses and go from the cold outside into a warm room. So if your speakers are always in this cold room, there won't be condensation. When you power them up the circuity will start to warm up and there won't be condensation since the circuit boards will be warmer (not colder) than the air. And as they cool back down they'll never be colder than the surrounding atmosphere, so no condensation. However, you possibly need to worry a little about the speaker suspension in a very cold room. That is, the flex material of the surround can be stiff and brittle in the cold, so I've always "warmed up" any speaker (passive or active) with moderate level background music without a lot of bass speaker excursion for may be 30 minutes before putting kick drum through the system. I do this because I shredded the surrounds on a few bass speakers decades ago at an outside ski event. Maybe new speaker materials are more tolerant of sub-zero temps, but it wouldn't hurt to warm up everything slowly with some background music rather than just putting the gas to the system on startup.
In a room like that, loud is not that important.CLARITY is what you need.Some people are impressed by simple loudness. But I bet most of the audience in that space are more concerned with clarity.It may be loud, but can you understand it?If not-then what good is it?Spraying sound everywhere is not a good idea.You gave your budget-good for you.What all does it need to include?I suspect speakers-amps-mixer-wiring-install-tuning etc.With a low budget-don't expect great results.The general rule for a space like that-basket ball rooms etc, the best approach is to use more speakers that are closer to the people and have pattern control to keep the energy on the audience instead of spraying it on the surfaces that you don't want to.The problem with this approach is that speakers that have real pattern control cost more. And using more speakers will drive up the install costs.But the RESULTS are worth it.It is easy to make a loud sound. Making a GOOD-usable loud sound is a totally different story and need a different approach.
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