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 specialized in small hockey arenas for 12 years and a couple things come to mind re: powered speakers in that environment.
1: to do it properly you need to have an electrician install power at the speakers (extension cords are not permitted for permanent use)
2: The speakers (if they're good) and amps will survive the humidity, but the volume control and selector switches will not. can you imagine having to rent a lift or getting up on a ladder just to jiggle the volume control once it goes flakey?
You do get more for your money with powered speakers, but there is a time and a place where separating the amps from the speakers is a really good idea