Systems integrator, NoiseBoys Technologies Ltd. burned the midnight oil to install a trio of APEX CloudPower amplifiers as part of a recent audio and lighting refresh for the ice rink at Spectrum Leisure Complex in Guildford, United Kingdom.

The Olympic-sized ice rink is home to Guildford Flames, a professional team in the Elite Ice Hockey League. Among the project requirements were the need to provide high quality audio throughout the acoustically challenging space, and to extend audio coverage to spectator stands. The venue is open from 4.30am to 11.00pm daily and hosts a packed programme of matches, training, figure skating, leisure sessions, Ice Xtreme disco nights, and more. To minimise disruption to the client, the NoiseBoys team completed most of the AV upgrade in the early hours of the morning, ensuring that all equipment was off the ice before the early training sessions began each day.

The installation involved the removal of three pairs of old, centrally located 15” speakers hanging above the ice. These bulky cabinets were replaced by 22 FBT Shadow 108CT eight-inch coaxial all-weather loudspeakers distributed throughout the space, supported by six Shadow 114S-T subwoofers, enabling even coverage to the rink and adjacent stands.

Amplification is provided by a trio of APEX CloudPower CP1504 amplifiers, each delivering 4 x 1500W. NoiseBoys made extensive use of the CloudPower amplifiers’ integral equalisers and other DSP tools to mitigate the inevitable reverberations encountered in an environment with many hard surfaces. Each of the new amplifiers occupies a single rack unit, freeing up valuable space in a control room which previously housed a rack full of older analogue amps. Both the loudspeakers and amplifiers were supplied by distributor, FBT Audio (UK) Ltd. 

“CloudPower gave us all the tools we needed at a sensible cost,” explains NoiseBoys Technologies director, Phill Beynon. “With the time constraints we were working under, it was great being able to use the IntelliCloud software to tweak the amplifier EQ and level settings from the ice or in the stands, without wasting time climbing all the way up to the amp room each time. The APEX team was also refreshingly approachable and happy to discuss the project with us.” 

The new system has been designed for intelligibility of everyday announcements and commentary but also comfortably delivers the higher SPL needed for disco nights and special events. As different uses of the facility require sound reinforcement in discreet areas, NoiseBoys created a custom browser-based interface that allows the ice rink staff to switch between events that require audio on the ice only, in the stands only, or throughout the whole venue.

The ice rink’s lighting system also benefitted from a full overhaul, enabling the client to employ lighting effects during discos and play timed light shows before ice hockey games. A total of 72 older Par Cans were replaced with 48 colour changing LED Par Cans and 12 high powered LED flood lights.