Electro-Voice loudspeakers driven and controlled by Dynacord electronics were once again called into action for the Best in Show Arena at Crufts 2022. The X-Line Advance X2 loudspeakers, TGX amplifiers and MXE5 Matrix Mix Engine were supplied and deployed by Merlin PA Hire and ARB Events.
Returning to the NEC Birmingham for the 118th year of the show, the world’s greatest celebration of dogs attracted more than 20,000 canines from 38 countries to compete for the coveted Best in Show title. Covering 25 areas of the NEC, including five halls and the Best in Show Arena, Crufts 2022 was an extensive event that drew on the skill sets of multiple companies. ARB have been involved for the last five years and deployed their X2 system to capitalize on its capacity to deliver superior coverage and output from a relatively compact cabinet.
“X2 is a small but very powerful box,” says Merlin PA’s Neal Allen. “Crufts is certainly not a rock ‘n’ roll show, but it can get loud. The system is used for commentary and music so the vocal intelligibility that it provides is incredibly important. It also helps that X2 gives you a really good performance without the need for subs.”
The system covering the Best in Show Arena comprised six hangs of five X2 full-range line-array cabinets. Each array included three of the 90? horizontal coverage pattern iterations of the compact 12” two-way units and two of the 120? versions to provide a smooth and even sound field to every seat in the house.
Power for the system was delivered by six TGX20 four-channel DSP amplifiers, designed for live applications. In addition to this, an MXE5 24 x 24 crosspoint performance audio matrix provided comprehensive supervision of all system-wide commands, and SONICUE Sound System Software delivered the necessary control, system visibility and direct access. With the electronics also flown from the gantry, SONICUE was a particularly important element for the four-day event.
“SONICUE always works well and gives you great insight into the system,” explains Allen. “But this is particularly important when the amps are in the gantry. Rather than having to go up there every day to shut the system down, the intuitive user interface gives me all the control I need to get the best out of the system when it is needed and power it down when it isn’t.”
With every part of the audio solution flown, the X2’s light weight and easy rigging points proved to be another advantage for the project. “We managed to set everything up in just over an hour,” says Allen. “Even the riggers made comments about the speed and efficiency of getting the equipment up and down.”
While Baxter, the flat coated retriever from the Gundog group became the 84th winner of the Best in Show title, the combination of Electro-Voice loudspeakers and Dynacord electronics also proved to be a real crowd-pleaser.