The most watched event of the year, Super Bowl 50 starts not at kickoff, but about a week prior with a media circus that must be seen to be believed. Alcons Audio, best known for their high frequency Pro Ribbon technology, provided the loudspeakers and amplifiers for the large media spaces within the media center in downtown San Francisco.
Pro Ribbon technology, used for high frequencies, varies substantially from the standard compression drivers that have been used for nearly a century. Instead of pulsating forward and rearward to generate sound, a high frequency Pro Ribbon driver moves perpendicular to the driver’s exit, and is lighter than virtually any compression driver.
The result is a sense of clarity, rapid transient response, openness, and naturalness that is impossible to produce with antiquated technology. The benefit is sonic accuracy, the likes that have not been heard before in large scale sound systems.
Of course no Super Bowl event would be the Super Bowl if it wasn’t swamped with media from sunup to sundown. Media earns their place in the sun through a week-long series of endless speculations; will the Broncos stop Cam Newton? Will Peyton Manning return next year? And, of course, there are many live interviews with players, coaches, team executives, and other luminaries. Some highlights included the live press conferences before the game, and of course the pre-game, halftime, and post game shows.
Freeman Audio Visual Solutions, the staging company, and the NFL itself, selected and approved various Alcons Audio Pro Ribbon systems to fill the bill in the vast media center. The man behind the controls was Martin Reeves of MDR Productions.
Alcons Pro Ribbon Loudspeakers were deployed as follows:
- In the main Room 1, 9x LR7 (6.5”+ RBN401 pro-ribbon) were used for left and right, with 3x LR7 as center cluster; 2x BQ211 21” subs for low-frequency extension. The system was driven by 2 Sentinel10 4-channel amplified loudspeaker controllers .
- In the smaller break-out Rooms 2 and 3 the V-series VR8 (8”+ RBN401 4” pro-ribbon) and VR12 (12”+ RBN601 6” pro-ribbon) were deployed, also driven and controlled by Sentinel amplified loudspeaker controllers, however here the smaller Sentinel3.
“The system is effortless to operate,” stated Martin. “So natural with tons of headroom and so transparent; no matter the power requirement it always sounds balanced. Who says your rig should be big to sound big! Alcons is amazing!”
It appears that not only was Mr. Reeves pleased, but the NFL and Media folks lavishly complimented the sound quality throughout the week. Even Roger Goodall, the NFL Commissioner, was seen with a rare smile on his face and made the comment, “It Sounds Good.”
“Oh, I wanted to add something more that cemented my belief in the products,” Reeves continued. When comparing the board feed to the live response in SMAART, I’ve never seen a compression driver track with any sort of high fidelity above 8Khz… Conversely, these Pro-Ribbons are tracking with unprecedented resolution and the board-feed to live is essentially identical. Impressive guys!” Mr. Reeves concluded.