Performing Arts Centers​​

Shaanxi Grand Theater, China

2000 Capacity


The Team




Jackie Chen

Delivering the Best Sound for Northwest China’s Shaanxi Grand Theater

Xi’an, an ancient capital city, lies on the Guanzhong Plain in the south-central part of Shaanxi Province, on a flood plain created by the eight surrounding rivers and streams with the city bordering the northern foot of the Qin Mountains to the south, and the banks of the Wei River to the north. Since the 1980s, as part of inland China’s economic growth, especially for the central and northwest regions, the city of Xi’an has re-emerged as a cultural, industrial, political, and educational center of the entire central-northwest region. Xi’an is also home to the Shaanxi Grand Theater, the first international, professional, and comprehensive Performing Arts Complex in Northwest China. The theater provides the public with world-class art experiences and visiting artists with a state-of-the-art performance venue. It seats an audience of 2,040 with two balcony levels, a split-level stalls area, and a large, open orchestra pit to accommodate musicians for orchestral events.

The Challenge

Quickly shifting into a location for Shaanxi culture and art to reach the rest of the world, the Shaanxi Grand Theater is a prominent cultural center showcasing the capital city’s musical talents, sophistication, and art. With a broad spectrum of music, acts, and shows, the venue sound system needed to accommodate both artists’ and patrons’ high expectations and achieve exceptional sound for every musical genre while being sensitive to the venue aesthetics and project budget.

The Solution

For the theater’s primary system, the Shaanxi team chose Kara, striking the perfect balance between aesthetics, performance, and cost. Comprising twelve Kara per side of the proscenium, and nine at the center, with the arrays, supplemented by four L-Acoustics SB18. Designed to reinforce the low-frequency contour of Kara, the SB18i are also configured in a cardioid configuration, significantly reducing low-frequency energy on stage. Stacked on the ground, on the left and right sides of the stage, are two KS28 for additional low-frequency impact, with three KIVAII deployed as outfill. For coverage on the first few rows of seating, X8 coaxial point sources are deployed along the stage lip. In the configurations where a pit orchestra is present, low-profile 5XT coaxial point sources are fastened along the pit rail.   

System pictures

The Result

The system exceeded all expectations, Kara delivers the high impact, and SPL needed for the most demanding acts, while also offering exceptional musicality for more subtle program material and more nuanced content. For speech applications, the combination of vertical pattern control and consistent frequency response across the venue makes it the ideal tool; feedback is no longer an issue, and intelligibility is heard clearly down to the venue’s last row. According to Yang Chao, Audio Director of Shaanxi Theater, “Kara is incredible in its versatility and musicality. The first time we turned the system on, we knew it was the right choice. Everything sounds as you expect it to; it’s as if you took an excellent pair of headphones and gave that experience to every seat in the house. The impact, intelligibility, and fidelity of the system exceed any expectations we had. We couldn’t be happier.”

Project photos

As a long-time L-Acoustics user, we love the delicate yet powerful quality, which is ideal for the great variety of genres our venues support. Whether it’s a concert hall or an outdoor stage with tens of thousands of people, we know L-Acoustics will provide true and reliable sound.

Yang Chao

Audio Director, Shaanxi Grand Theater

Tech Brief

3D Model of sound system set up by L-Acoustics at the Shaanxi Grand Theater, China
  • 33 Kara (two) arrays of 12 Left/Right (one) array of nine center  
  • Eight SB18i Subwoofers  
  • Nine X8 frontfill  
  • Nine 5XT frontfill  
  • Four KS28 Ground Stacked Subwoofers  
  • Six KIVA II outfills  

Main System