Following the high profile launch of EM Acoustics new HALO Compact line array system at the Royal Albert Hall, the company is delighted to announce the first ever installation into an equally historic, if lesser known venue in east London: located in the heart of London’s East End, the People’s Palace was inaugurated in 1886 to provide cultural activities to the local population. Now owned by Queen Mary, University of London, the Grade-II listed Queen’s Building (as it is known today) is home to the 750-seat Great Hall. The theatre has just undergone a £5.7m facelift in order to restore it to its former 1930’s art deco glory. The finishing touch to the restoration was a brand new PA system; the new HALO Compact from EM Acoustics, with Stage Electrics’ own Jamie Gosney providing the design and Martin Woodage project managing the installation.
Stage Electrics’ Jamie Gosney takes up the story: “The deadlines for this job were crazy!” he recalled. “We came into the project quite late on, largely to see if we couldn’t supply an alternative to their existing quote which was very expensive. I knew that Ed and Mike were working on the HALO Compact system, and having heard all the initial trials, I was convinced that it would be a much better solution for the Great Hall than the proposal they had at the time. The issue was whether or not we could get them a demo in time, given that the boxes weren’t even built yet!!”
“I stuck my neck out on this one as I was convinced that HALO Compact was absolutely the best possible solution (not to mention 40% cheaper than their original quote!) and fortunately for me, George Foden, the corporate events manager at QMUL was very impressed with how well the system performed. We were working to very tight deadlines but from the moment we switched the system on, there were smiles all round.”
Gosney went on to explain what, in his view, sets the HALO Compact system apart from anything else. “The aim with every line source system is to produce a flat, continuous wave front,” he said. “You can only truly achieve this using a ribbon driver. However, ribbon drivers are typically inefficient, so most manufacturers have tried to get around the problem by emulating ribbon drivers with special high frequency manifolds and electronics. The result is necessarily a compromise and often an expensive one at that because of the additional cost of the processing.”
“Without going into a lot of technical detail, Ed has managed to design a system based on the ribbon principle that genuinely produces a completely flat and continuous wavefront. Listening to a HALO Compact array is almost like hearing just one single loudspeaker. The cherry on the cake is that everything is already in the box, so you don’t need any additional processing. You could use almost any amplifier with the system and it would still work. What’s more, you can power four loudspeakers on just one EM Acoustics AQ-10 amp channel – so sixteen HALO-C boxes will run off just one AQ-10 4-channel amplifier! The cost implications for that are enormous. I think this system is a real gem and congratulations to Ed & Mike and all at EM Acoustics for having made it a reality.”