State Theatre In New Jersey Receives Accolades For New KUDOs
New sound reinforcement system for the New Brunswick venue bested the competition with its K-Louver technology, ease of installation, and superior sound
NEW BRUNSWICK, New Jersey – The historic 1,800-seat State Theatre, a premier nonprofit venue for the performing arts and entertainment in New Brunswick, NJ, was in need of a new sound system. The existing groundstacked PA had been in place for some time and simply become too outdated to handle the venue’s modern audio needs.
In response, the theater’s management team set out nearly two years ago to replace it, culling though several years’ worth of contract riders to determine which systems were most sought after by the wide range of touring artists that the theatre hosts, from Broadway shows to rock concerts. It came down to three brands, each of which was brought into the theatre for three-to-four-day evaluations with scheduled shows. One of those systems was an L-Acoustics KUDO line array, which ultimately won the bid and prompted State Theatre Interim President and CEO Warren R. Zimmerman to state, “This brand new system truly elevates our sound quality to a whole new level.”
The State Theatre – which was ranked by the concert industry’s leading trade magazine, Pollstar, as #21 in “Top 100 Worldwide Theatres” based on tickets sold last year – joins a list of well-known venues across the country that have installed the KUDO system in recent years. These include Hard Rock Live in Orlando; Fox Theater in Pomona, CA; Great American Music Hall in San Francisco; and the Lexington Opera House.
The State Theatre’s KUDO system was supplied and installed by Boulevard Pro, a leading NYC metro area audio systems provider. Owners Anthony and James Cioffi, longtime L-Acoustics dealers, knew the theater intimately, having provided backline and other audio systems for shows there for years. And they knew from the start that the KUDO system was the right choice for the State Theatre.
“KUDO was the perfect fit,” says James Cioffi. “Because of the interior dimensions, we had to hang the left-right arrays fairly close to the side walls. KUDO’s K-Louver” – a unique asymmetric waveguide technology from L-Acoustics – “enabled us to keep the energy off the walls and on the audience, avoiding unwanted reflections. The sound now is immaculate. In fact, what the KUDO system does in this venue is essentially make the room go away. It’s the first time I’ve really experienced anything like this. The theater’s acoustics are no longer a factor; you are just hearing the music straight through the PA system without any distortion from the acoustics. And the KUDO sounds fantastic with rock solid reliability.”
After extensive room measurement and modeling, done in conjunction with L-Acoustics Applications Engineer Chris “Sully” Sullivan, the Cioffis’ design called for 24 KUDO enclosures hung 12 per side for the main hangs. Six SB28 subwoofers are groundstacked three per side, but as James points out, “The KUDOs are operated with the 25 Hz preset, so sometimes they don’t even need to turn the subs on.”
One more feature of the KUDO system sealed it as the theatre’s choice. “We had a three-day window in which to install the system,” recalls James, “and the KUDO is the easiest system to hang. It went right in, a perfect fit physically as well as sonically. It was ready for the show scheduled on October 17th and the results have been spectacular.”
Adds State Theatre Vice President of Operations and Project Manager Dave Hartkern: “This upgrade offers sound production capabilities at the highest artistic level and will be of tremendous long-term benefit to the theater, its patrons, and the community. We wanted to provide a superior listening experience for our patrons and the L-Acoustics system delivers.”
In addition to the KUDO and SB28 enclosures, four 8XT compact coaxial speakers are used for front fills along with two ARCS Focus to cover the midrange; four more 8XT speakers are used for under-balcony fills; two more 8XT cover the VIP area; and two 5XT speakers are used to fill in a small seating area on either side of the room. Sixteen self-powered 112P and two SB15P subs are also available for onstage use as monitors. Ten LA8 amplified controllers power the main system and a pair of LA4X amplified controllers are used to power the under-balcony and VIP fills.