Eden High School graduated its first class in 1899, when the small town of Eden was not a suburb of Buffalo, New York, eighteen miles to the north. Since then, the high school has been consistently recognized for its academic achievement and for the tenacity of the Eden Raiders sports teams. Indeed, the girls’ volleyball team is vying for its fifth straight state championship! In addition to volleyball, the school’s 1,300+ seat gymnasium hosts home basketball games and wrestling tournaments, but until recently, its sound reinforcement system was underpowered and frequently unintelligible. Harvey Electric and Sound of nearby Hamburg, New York designed and installed an abundantly powered and highly-intelligible sound reinforcement system using an Ashly nX-Series amplifier and a ne-Series processor.
“The previous system wasn’t particularly old, it just didn’t meet the needs of the space,” explained Greg Harvey, owner of Harvey Electric and Sound. “The Eden All Sports Boosters raised the funds for a replacement because it was so obvious to everyone that a vast improvement was needed. The system couldn’t overcome a cheering crowd, and even when everyone was quiet, it was still difficult to understand what was being said.”
The inputs to the system are simple and a mere update from the previous system: a new Shure wireless microphone, a new Shure announcer microphone, and an auxiliary input. It’s what happens after that point that makes all the difference. The inputs feed an Ashly ne4400 4-in x 4-out Protea™ DSP System Processor. “The old system was a simple mixer-amp, and the Ashly ne4400 is a vast improvement,” said Harvey. “It gave us the ability to shape the sound with compression, limiting, equalization, and filtering. We also gave them feedback suppression modules on the microphone inputs.”
Outputs from the ne4400 feed a four-channel Ashly nX 1.54 amplifier, which packs four channels of 1500W output into just two rack spaces. “This is our first experience with Ashly’s nX-Series amplifiers, and we chose the nX 1.54 for its tremendous output capacity,” said Harvey. “It sounds great and delivers as promised.” Right now, only two of the amplifier channels are in use. They power two EAW VFR159i loudspeakers, which will be doubled for the other side of the room once the funds become available. The remaining two channels on the Ashly nX 1.54 will power them.
An Ashly WR-5 wall-mounted remote control gives users simple control over input gains and overall volume. Once the system expands to four cabinets, Harvey will reprogram the WR-5 to allow preset selection for different types of events as well. “We went with Ashly for a couple of reasons,” he said. “Ashly’s rep firm in the area, Eaton Sales, does a great job. We’ve worked with them for twenty years. Ashly’s pricing is very competitive, but they don’t make a cheap product. The processors and amplifiers sound great and are very functional and rugged. This is the second installation of Ashly Audio products at Eden High School and we are confident that they will have great sound systems for a long, long time.”