Nichols Hall was originally built in 1911 on the campus of Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. With its façade patterned after a medieval castle, Nichols hall stood until 1968, when an arsonist reduced its interior to ashes. Spared from the wrecking ball by student protests, it returned to service in 1985 and today houses, among many other things, two of the dance programs studios. Recently, Cytek Media Systems of Topeka, Kansas pulled out the studios’ tired old sound playback systems and replaced them with new, reliable ones centered on the flexible Ashly ne800.70pe two-channel amplifier with optional on-board Protea™ digital signal processing.
“Apart from its age, the old sound system wasn’t really living up to modern expectations for what a sound system should do,” explained Joe Greene, pro audio manager at Cytek Media Systems. “Not only did we need to give them a system that would work, we needed to give them a system that would work well and that would work well far into the future.” Each room is approximately 80 feet by 40 feet with a twelve-foot ceiling. The walls are mirrored but can be covered by curtains for black box theater applications. A small existing mixer in each room serves as a familiar user interface for each system. Its output feeds an Ashly ne800.70pe, a two-channel network amplifier rated at 400W into a 70V line featuring a built-in Protea DSP Processor. One amplifier output feeds the new full-range SoundTube CM82-EZ loudspeakers, while the other powers the new SoundTube CM1001d-T subwoofers.
“I’ve been working with Ashly products for over thirty years,” said Greene. “Ashly equipment simply does not fail. It’s trustworthy to the bone. Kansas State’s dance program can expect years and years of faithful service from the new system.
From my end, it was intuitive to set up and work with. The onboard processing is very convenient. It’s easy to get in, and although it’s loaded with cutting-edge technology, it’s not rocket science to get done what needs to get done. In addition, Ashly is one of the few companies that has not only stayed on top of the latest connectivity and features, but has also maintained excellent audio quality.”
When Greene checked back with the University staff, they indicated how pleased they were with the new system’s performance. “Since then, I haven’t heard from them,” Greene laughed. “In this day and age, that’s always a great sign!”