L-Acoustics Kiva - to the Manor born
Monday, 18 November 2019
warnerhotelsAn L-Acoustics X12 provides delay in the furthest part of the hotel’s ballroom
UK - Warner Leisure Hotels owns a chain of 14 rural and costal hotels around the UK. It boasts luxury breaks in Grade I & II listed manors with bespoke packages that include famous faces from the stage, screen and radio in West End-quality performances at Warner’s venues.
With increasingly bigger productions, Warner’s focus is on providing an outstanding guest experience. To this end, it recently undertook a major upgrade to the sound system in the ballroom at its Cricket St. Thomas Manor Hotel in Somerset – reputed haunt of Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton and the setting for much of 1980s TV comedy To The Manor Born - selecting an L-Acoustics Kiva II system to improve audio coverage and fulfil rider expectations for the venue’s busy entertainment programme.
“Billy Ocean, Aswad, 10CC and Jane McDonald have previously performed here, and we have an exciting line up for the coming months. All of these bigger acts, their engineers and production teams, expect to have a top calibre PA system. We used to hire in and ground stack systems, which served the purpose but as a temporary installation, you can’t cover the room comprehensively and there are aesthetic sightline issues with two big stacks of PA,” explains David Hall, head of technical at Cricket St Thomas. “We also always struggled to deliver even coverage throughout the room - with the house or hired system - to ensure all guests have the same audio experience.”
Hall appointed AVL specialists, Adlib, to carry out the refurbishment led by installations project manager, Tim Robinson.
“As a touring sound engineer, I've worked with Adlib at various festivals and events and have always been very impressed with how they operate,” comments Hall. “Adlib is well known and trusted for big festival productions and the staff are professional and very knowledgeable. I wanted to translate that kind of production infrastructure to this installation project.”
The L-Acoustics system design comprises two hangs of six Kiva II line source speakers, six SB15m subwoofers in a flown arc sub array, one X12 to provide a delay in the furthest part of the room, and three 5XT compact speakers where the ceiling drops down to a much lower level.
Complementing the speaker system, Adlib installed two L-Acoustics LA12X amplified controllers, and a QSC Q-Sys core processor for system routing and control, interfacing to the house or guest consoles and providing a user-friendly touchscreen front end for staff. In this way, the LA12X can be monitored and controlled on a day-to-day basis, whilst ensuring that none of their parameters can be accidently changed.
“One of the challenges of this project was the fact that the hotel enjoys a very high occupancy rate of 94 to 96% year round, meaning there was no period where they could close the hotel or even just the entertainment suite, so we had to schedule our work around the programme,” says Robinson. “The show did go on every night, and I'm very proud of the fact that we managed to get the entire system delivered, installed, configured and handed over to the client with a show delivered within a week.”
(Jim Evans)

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