Located in Clarksville, just northeast of Nashville, Austin Peay State University is the fastest-growing university in Tennessee. Its football team―the Governors―plays at the 10,000-seat Fortera Stadium, which was built seventy years ago and was, until recently, known as Governors Stadium.
The name change coincided with a massive facilities upgrade, which included a new four-story home-side structure with modern seating, suites, concessions, athletic training facilities, and more. Local A/V integrator Lowrance Sound Company (LSC) designed and installed a new, modern sound system to complement the upgraded facilities, relying on Ashly Audio’s affordable nX Amplifiers.
“This was a huge, multi-million dollar renovation to Governors Stadium, but as so often happens, they failed to think of a corresponding upgrade to the sound system until the entire budget was spoken for,” explained Carl Lowrance, systems engineer and son of LSC founder Mark Lowrance. “It should have been obvious. The old system was too quiet, delivered spotty coverage, and only managed to provide old-fashioned ‘PA-horn’ fidelity. It was not the kind of thing you would expect of a modern collegiate facility. We did everything we could to eek out a solid system with good design and good products that would last―all on basically zero budget. Everything had to be as economical as possible, to say the least!” As Tennessee’s oldest family-owned AVL company (forty-plus years), LSC won the job based on the success of its past work with Austin Peay State University.
We routinely shoot-out amps and other gear to make sure our customers get the best bang for their buck, and Ashly’s multi-channel, USA-made amps always come out on top.” Lowrance said.
All of the seating on both the home and visitor’s sides is covered by two end-fired clusters mounted on the scoreboard. Each cluster is comprised of three One Systems CFA-2 loudspeakers, with low end provided by a total of four One Systems 118Sub-Ws subwoofers in a 2×2 stack. Atlas FAP-Series in-ceiling speakers and One Systems surface-mounted 106IM loudspeakers provide high-fidelity coverage in concourses, public areas outside the stands, and in the suites and press boxes. All of the suites and concourse zones allow individual level control and input selection via Symetrix ARC controllers, which in turn communicate with one Symetrix AEC processor and one Symetrix Radius 12×8 processor. A Soundcraft FX16-ii analog console mixes Shure ULX wireless microphones, Shure wired microphones, a collection of media players, and feeds from other parts of campus. To maximize intelligibility and musical impact, Lowrance used the stereo bus to separate speech-only content (assigned to the left channel for custom processing) and music-only content (assigned to the right channel for custom processing).
Ashly’s made-in-the-USA build quality and five-year warranty give the school (and LSC) peace of mind.
Just two Ashly nXe3.04 four-channel network amplifiers with Dante™ connectivity power the main loudspeaker and subwoofer scoreboard cluster. Their small footprint (4U total!) allowed Lowrance to budget for a smaller DDB Unlimited Ice Cube temperature-controlled rack, which will keep the amps within ideal operating temperature and humidity in both hot and cold weather.
On the visitors’ side, one Ashly nXe3.04 four-channel network amplifier rated at 3000 Watts per channel powers loudspeakers in the press area and in the visiting athletic director’s suite. Two open channels remain for anticipated expansion. On the home side, one Ashly nXe3.04 four-channel amplifier and one Ashly ne8250 eight-channel 250W 70V network amplifier power all of the zones in the new construction.
“In addition to Ashly’s reliability, dedicated US production facility, and affordable price point, Ashly’s logging and monitoring software is easy to use and insightful,” Lowrance said.
Cisco Ethernet switchers maintain three separate networks securely: primary Dante, backup Dante, and Symetrix ARC control. UPS devices ensure proper system shutdown in the event of a power failure. Because both the Ashly amplifiers and the Symetrix processors have facilities to allow remote monitoring, Lowrance constructed the system to take advantage of those capabilities. Austin Peay staff and/or LSC staff can log into the system and immediately get real-time and historical performance analytics.