The new Kaunas Žalgiris Arena in Lithuania, originally opened in August 2011 to host the European Basketball Championships, today enjoys a multipurpose role and has the ability to accommodate up to 17,500 people when used in concert mode.
Owned by the Kaunas City government, the €50m Žalgiris Arena spans 39,684 sq. metres and is the largest in the Baltic states. This required a top quality PA that would deliver excellent sound coverage to every seat in the house. Management company Kauras Arena found this with a Martin Audio H3+ horn-loaded solution, proposed by Martin Audio’s Lithuanian distributors, Audiotonas, which not only met the overall specification but introduced other advantages, when used for basketball or ice hockey matches.
Audiotonas co-owner, Algirdas Sidiskis, explains. “During basketball play, in particular, we typically have audience noise crossing over at 105dB — and thanks to the H3+ the bowl sound can be heard loud and clear above it. On top of that, powerful enclosures, run with no subwoofer support, are great for the music breaks during pauses in the play, and excellent sound coverage is delivered to every seat in the arena.”
Having won a competitive tender for the installation contract, Audiotonas was responsible for both the main bowl sound and the PA/VA systems within the five-zone complex, which were designed by their project engineers, Orunas Urbonas and Darius Zalaga. The Martin Audio components had been selected in view of their suitability to fulfil the project requirements, in terms of SPL, power output and frequency range as well as compliance with venue-style specifications for both speech intelligibility and music playback.
The main bowl PA has been conceived to service 24 zones, and following EASE predictions, comprises no fewer than 52 Blackline H3+ enclosures set around the perimeter in two lower and upper rings, firing back into the audience. These are complemented by four AM15 stadium boxes to cover the playing area under the LED video cube — all installed with custom mounting brackets. Martin Audio confirms that this is the largest H3+ complement ever installed in a single location.
Run bi-amped, with each channel controlled by its own DSP, source feeds to the system include live voice announcements and live music with separate line feeds from CD, MP3 and DVD.
Operating alongside are the four AM15’s — one covering each axis. This 2-way passive enclosure has been specifically designed for applications such as stadiums and arenas where high SPL and weather-resistance are of prime importance.
Assisting at the inception of the project were acoustic design company, Architektura Akustika Technologijos from Vilnius while a lot of the preliminary planning took place at the HQ of the architects, Miliuno Studija in Kaunas.
As a result of this careful planning, Algirdas Sidiskis is able to report that the client is delighted with the new system.
The system is driven by Yamaha amps, in four separate amp racks, with DSP and control. Signal management is on a Cobranet network, using Biamp Audio Flex CM, with remote input and output modules. The separate voice evacuation is based on a Honeywell system and several thousand horns, ceiling speakers, wall-mount speakers and sound projectors (from AMC).