College hockey team runs with Linea Research
Friday, 23 August 2019
ice-hockeyThe Union Dutchmen won the 2014 national championship
USA - Although Union College in Schenectady, New York, has only 2,600 undergraduate students, the private liberal arts college’s men’s ice hockey team competes successfully with much larger schools in NCAA Division 1. The Union Dutchmen even won the 2014 national championship over such sports powers as Minnesota, Boston College, and Providence.
Four years later, the Upstate New York school brought in AV systems integrators Com Tech of neighbouring Albany to update the video production systems in Frank L. Messa Rink, the home of Union’s men’s and women’s hockey teams. As Com Tech’s owner Chuck Zarriello recounts, the project grew to include designing and installing a new audio system for the venue.
“The old system was inadequate, with outdated technology,” Zarriello reports. “It had been slowly failing over the years and had issues with intelligibility. We ended up installing an almost entirely new sound system.” Zarriello specified a powerful, flexible Dante audio system based on four Linea Research 44C06 power amplifiers, EM Acoustics loudspeakers, and a Symetrix Radius EX 12x8 DSP.
“This was one of our first Linea Research installs,” Zarriello reveals. “Their manufacturer representative, Rich Trombitas of Cardone, Solomon & Associates, brought them to our attention. We were impressed with the fact that Linea Research amplifiers pack plenty of power in a small footprint, since we didn’t have the capacity to add more rack real estate to the sound booth.”
In addition to needing high-quality sound and modern network features, Union College director of athletics Jim McLaughlin specified a system that was simple enough for their non-technical operators to use. Moreover, he needed it done quickly. “This project had an extremely tight build schedule,” relates Zarriello. “They wanted it in time for the opening of their season in early October.
“There was no spare time; we were offloading speakers from the airline transport company as they were preparing the ice for practice the next morning. We liked that Linea Research amplifiers were deliverable within our very tight schedule - and they worked out of the box. There were no surprises. That met all of our objectives.”
Linea Research 44C series amplifiers integrate 96 kHz DSP running manufacturer-crafted algorithms for such features as LIR linear phase filters and the powerful VX Limiter suite.
Each EM Acoustics loudspeaker cluster in the new main system incorporates MSE-159, Halo-CS, and EMS-121X loudspeakers, all integrated in a custom flying frame. “Another thing we did that made the client extremely happy was to repurpose the existing speakers that were still working, relocating them into some areas that had no audio reinforcement,” Zarriello adds.
The Symetrix Radius EX managed the network while meeting director McLaughlin’s ease-of-use requirement. “This was not my first rodeo with Symetrix,” reports Zarriello. “We used Symetrix because of our previous experience with it, our knowledge of the product, and its reliability.”
(Jim Evans)

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