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Electro-Voice & Dynacord help make a great room sound even better at The State Theatre, State College, PA

  • Multipurpose community arts facility offers concerts, movies, classroom and worship events
  • Electro-Voice X1 line-array loudspeaker system – including new flying version dual-18” subwoofers – was selected after competitive listening tests among six major brands
  • Dynacord IPX20:4 amplifiers provide optimal combination of power and efficiency, with comprehensive system control via SONICUE software
It’s rider-friendly, the patrons love it, and we’ve had great reactions from touring techs.

It’s rider-friendly, the patrons love it, and we’ve had great reactions from touring techs.

Augie Petaja, State College Theater

Originally built as a state-of-the-art cinema in the 1930s, The State Theatre in State College, PA eventually fell into disrepair, closing in 2001. To save it, concerned local residents formed a non-profit group to acquire and refurbish the historic building, which reopened as a community arts center in 2006. The venue now hosts concerts, theater, dance and movies, as well as education and worship events.

Recently, the theatre upgraded its sound system with Electro-Voice X1 line arrays powered by Dynacord IPX amplifiers. Production Manager Augie Petaja managed the transition, which he described as long overdue. “Our existing PA system just didn’t provide the coverage or headroom that this venue deserves, and some elements were no longer serviceable. So once we had the funding, I created a criteria list for the upgrade.”

The goal was to find a great-sounding system that would work with the theater’s budget and existing infrastructure, and last at least 15 years. Petaja engaged a rigging consultant to determine how much weight the beams could handle, then invited proposals. After auditioning several systems, they selected the Electro-Voice X1, from the X-Line Advance line-array series. The X1 is a compact and lightweight 12” two-way system featuring EV-engineered drivers, patented waveguide technology and integrated rigging hardware, combining to offer an optimal combination of sound quality, controlled coverage and straightforward installation.

“We listened to a lot of brands, usually in other venues due to our busy production schedule,” notes Petaja. “I drove to Pittsburgh to check out the X1 at an outdoor festival so I could see it being flown and then hear it during the sound check. I also brought my own music to listen to as a reference. I came away really impressed with the capability and sound quality of the system. When it came time to make a decision, the X1 was our clear choice.”

For system design and installation, The State Theatre engaged Chris Kepler Audio Services, an area Electro-Voice dealer who is familiar with the venue and worked directly with EV on the design. “We submitted all the room measurements to EV to make sure we had the right dispersions, fly points and angles,” notes Kepler. “Once we had it installed, EV sent out their applications engineer to help tune the system. They’re just a great company to work with.”

The State Theatre system consists of twin X1 arrays, each with six 90° boxes over three 120° versions. Bass support is delivered via two X12-128 dual-18” subwoofers hidden beneath the stage, plus two of the new X12i-128 install version flown above the center-front. The entire system is powered by four Dynacord IPX20:4 amplifiers and controlled via SONICUE software.

“Ideally, we would have put all four subs beneath the stage, but there just wasn’t room,” explains Augie Petaja. “Fortunately, the flying version (X12i-128) became available just as we were doing the installation. In fact, ours might be the first ones out there.”

Petaja and The State Theatre team are thrilled with the results. “This is a great room acoustically, and the X1 system accentuates that,” he says. “We’ve had nothing but positive reactions. It’s rider-friendly, the patrons love it, and we’ve had great reactions from touring techs. We couldn’t be happier.”

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