D.A.S. at the Rugby Cathedral

The stadium's upgrade to D.A.S sound systems was completed by the firm Sysco


Twickenham Stadium or just Twickenham as it is more commonly known, is England's National Rugby Team stadium located in the South East London suburb of Twickenham in the county of Middlesex. It is the UK's biggest rugby stadium, recently raising its seating capacity from 75,000 to 82,000. To the delight of English rugby fans everywhere, last week it hosted the much-awaited Varsity match between the teams from Oxford University and its eternal rival, Cambridge. D.A.S. Audio with its Artec, Arco and Bidriver systems was also there. Jack Palacio, D.A.S. Export Director together with Eva Argandona, Sound Engineer and Project Designer went along to verify the systems' performance in situ for themselves. The stadium's audio upgrade using D.A.S sound systems was completed in October by the firm Sysco, led by Hugo Roche. They were advised by audio consultant and job project manager, Roland Hemming who also works for D.A.S. Audio's distributor for the United Kingdom, Sennheiser UK. The RFU (Rugby Football Union) contracted an independent consultant firm, Vanguardia Consulting, directed by Jim Griffiths, to supervise the install.

On site consultants working for Vanguardia were Mark Murphy, John Staunton and Mike Bedford. To complete the install Sysco used 22 kilometres of cable and seven different delays to ensure that the whole system was synchronized to perfection. What follows are just a few examples to illustrate the enormous scope of this project. "There were acoustic shadows in the rows of seats below the balcony where live sound could not be heard and this problem really needed to be solved," explains Eva Argandona. "So we decided on systems from the Arco and Artec series since their actual size and shape make them ideal for under-balcony positioning. We wanted to deliver excellent message intelligibility with these systems and we did exactly that. This type of event calls for clear and precise messaging." Ease 4.2. acoustic prediction software was employed for this project.

Following the simulation it was decided that a total of 168 model Arco 24 systems (to cover the rows of the lower tier) and 168 model Artec 26 units (for the middle tier) were needed to achieve optimum SPL for this type of venue and to provide uniform coverage across the whole audience area. The Arco 24 and Artec 26 units were all positioned horizontally with a four meter distance between them. Both models are designed to meet IP-54 standards for outdoor use.

D.A.S. BiDriver Plus systems, distributed in two, three-unit clusters were utilized to cover the actual pitch. These systems are also manufactured to meet rigorous IP-54 standards, making them ideal for open spaces where teams experience harsh weather conditions and the actual size of the space calls for exceptional long throw capability. The system design called for the use of these systems for their long-throw performance. They are also designed specifically for applications where wide coverage and high voice intelligibility are required but extended bass reinforcement for musical reproduction is not the priority. Powerful, long throw SPL was guaranteed without any compromises in message intelligibility.

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