INSTALLATION

16 May 2024

Crown Palladium Installs First L-Acoustics L Series System in Southern Hemisphere

If an events centre’s prestige is measured by the events it hosts, then the Crown Palladium rides high in the upper echelon of Australian venues. Situated in the Crown Melbourne resort, casino, and entertainment complex, the Palladium is a 1500-seat capacity ballroom well known to the public thanks to televised awards ceremonies for the Australian Football League (AFL) and Cricket Australia.

Encore Event Technologies is Crown Palladium’s in-house AV provider. It’s a busy gig. With thousands of events staged a year, there’s never a dull moment for the Encore AV team.

L-Acoustics only publicly announced the L Series to the market in mid-2023, and the Crown Palladium loudspeakers were some of the first off the production line. The brand-new PA went from ‘thought bubble’ to ‘perfect fit’ in only a few days. Encore Event Technologies’ Director of Innovation & Technology, Procurement (APAC), Daniel Lourenco, explains: “Upgrading the Palladium PA was a big decision and a large investment, so our selection required careful analysis of each brand and model and its capabilities. We went through a thorough process of assessment of our current inventory and needs within the Palladium. A large number of brands and models were carefully considered. We wanted the new PA to be a statement piece; to the industry, our team, and our clients.”

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Daniel Lourenco and his team auditioned several PA alternatives. Toward the end of the tender process, he had three quotes on his desk for three high-quality loudspeaker systems, including an L-Acoustics Kara II system. At this point, the L Series product announcement hit the market, and Daniel was intrigued. “I immediately contacted Jands, L-Acoustics’ Australian distributor, to ask them about it: ‘Let’s model the L Series in Soundvision to see how it might perform in the Crown Palladium’. Not long after, I got the answer: ‘It’s the perfect fit for Crown Palladium Ballroom’.”

L-Acoustics CEO Laurent Vaissie with Encore Event Technologies Director of Innovation & Technology, Procurement (APAC), Daniel Lourenco, at the L Series launch, Infocomm 2023

L-Acoustics introduced L Series after observing that most audience geometries, and therefore array designs, follow a similar trend, which led to the understanding, as Germain Simon, Director of Product Management, Loudspeakers at L-Acoustics, puts it: “that a fixed element with pre-defined progressive angles would provide incredible gains in quality, efficiency, and sustainability.”

As such, L Series comprises two elements designed to work together or independently: L2 above and L2D below. One L2 or L2D element provides the same contour as four K2 elements in a format that is 46% smaller and 40% lighter. The audio benefits of L Series encompass industry-leading SPL per size, unparalleled consistency over the audience area, and improved rejection everywhere else. Accompanying the audio benefits, L Series revolutionises deployment with a smaller, lighter footprint that reduces truck space and requires fewer elements, cutting the number of actions needed to load in and out.

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Crown Palladium has three main use cases or modes: full room, in-the-round, and split- room mode. Encore’s design comprises an L2/L2D pair permanently installed on either side of the proscenium, with a companion pair of L-Acoustics KS28 subwoofers. This system provides perfect coverage of the entire space through a combination of good audio design, the coverage flexibility afforded by the processing, and Panflex horizontal dispersion control. This almost entirely negates the need for additional fill; it’s almost as if L-Acoustics had the Palladium in mind when designing the L Series. Four additional, freely deployable L2D elements and four further KS28 subwoofers ensure the other two modes (in-the-round and split) are addressed rapidly and efficiently. The new LA7.16 high-resolution amplified controller drives the system, which supports L2 and L2D with 16 high-power amplification and processing channels. LA12X amplifiers power the KS28 subs.

Thanks to meticulous preparation, the installation of the FOH system went without a hitch. It also demonstrated to Daniel and his team just how easy L Series is to deploy as compared to a standard multi-element line array system: “The hours of labour you save when you’re on the installation and the de-rig is phenomenal”.

Crown Melbourne executives were consulted right the way through the procurement process, including a trip to the InfoComm show in the US to hear the L Series in action.

Buy-in from Crown was important, and the payoff has been obvious to all. Crown Melbourne’s Executive General Manager of Food & Beverage, Enda Cunningham, explains: “The Palladium is Crown Melbourne’s premier space, and our clients have the highest expectations of the Palladium experience – the service, the food and beverage, and, of course, the audiovisual offering.

“The new L-Acoustics L Series loudspeaker system is a big leap forward for Crown Palladium. The consistency of the sound and the coverage is exceptional – every seat in the house gets the same crystal-clear sound.”

The first hit out for the L Series system was a speaking tour date with ex-NFL great, Tom Brady. With 2200 seated, there was nothing but praise for the sound.

The impact the L Series system has had on the Encore Event Technologies business is profound. For starters, Encore’s Daniel Lourenco can’t foresee a situation where a visiting or touring act would want to bring in their own PA, which has obvious financial benefits for Encore and Crown. More than that, the L Series system provides the ‘statement’ Daniel was so keen to make: “We’ve elevated our brand with the investment in this system, no question. Our biggest asset is our people – our team — and this PA has given our people even more reason to be proud to wear the Encore logo on their shirts. The best people working with the best gear get the best results and the happiest clients. That’s a recipe for success, and this L Series PA plays an important role in that virtuous circle.”

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