d&b Qi installation loudspeakers chosen for the Jia Yu Guan Theatre

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Lying at the Western end of China's Great Wall, Jia Yu Guan has been a strategic transport nexus since the days of the Silk Road. This historic city, placed at one of the major crossroads of civilisation has added a grand new theatre to its already bustling streets.

It's a measure of the astonishing speed with which complex projects can be completed that the Jia Yu Guan Grand Theatre opened just sixteen months after builders first cut turf. An ambitious project by any measure, the fact that this prestigious arts venue was completed during the final year of China's massive construction project for the 2008 Olympics makes it all the more laudable. That and the fact that Jiuquan Iron & Steel (Group) Co, Ltd have chosen to endow the theatre with some of the finest technical equipment money can buy, not least a d&b audiotechnik PA system. No small investment on their part, and a splendid way for Jiuquan Iron & Steel to celebrate their company's 50th anniversary.

'The main theatre seats just under one thousand two hundred people,' explained Daniel Chan from the Hong Kong office of d&b China; it was Chan who made the PA system design for the installation. 'It's a two-storey venue and is multipurpose in design, staging theatre, musical and movie presentations. There are also full leisure facilities, café-style refreshment areas, a fitness centre and an underground plaza. The theatre auditorium is pretty good for sound reinforcement; the only real problem is the audio shading across the rear stalls from the balcony above. But that's pretty typical for many theatres, and the judicious application of d&b E0 and E3 loudspeakers gave me precisely the tools I needed to overcome that problem.'

Chan's design is centred on the installation version of the d&b Q-Series system, a small lightweight line array system that has proved very popular within the burgeoning new theatre scene in China. Jiuquan Iron & Steel first contacted d&b China at the Palm Expo Beijing. 'They came to us specifically because of the d&b product line, which they already knew about,' said Chan. Using all the cabinet variants, Qi1, Qi7, Qi10 and Qi-SUB, beside the fill loudspeakers mentioned above, the PA is augmented in the lower frequencies by the addition of B2 subwoofers. 'With the fidelity and potential SPL power of the Qi-Series system and the extended low end of the B2s there is literally no boundary to the type of presentation the theatre can stage.'

Chan's remit included all control for the theatre's anticipated variety of presentations, one digital and two analog consoles are provided, plus Chan has included remote access through d&b's Remote network to give house technicians full system monitoring from PC or at the mixer to the d&b system. 'This project has been a privilege,' he concluded. 'Jia Yu Guan has more than six hundred years of history and has a fantastic reputation. That's the marker this theatre has to live up to and it's great to be a part of that.'

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