SKY Helicopters is the leading helicopter company in Vancouver, offering helicopter adventure sightseeing tours and rides as well as charter helicopter services throughout British Columbia. Recently the company added a new helicopter hangar with a twist – it is also home to an EAW sound reinforcement system installed by Sapphire Sound.
“When the owner, Andrew Westlund, called me he had just come back from a Sales Force pep rally at Indy Stadium and had fallen in love with the sound system,” explains Steve Klassen, sales and design of Sapphire Sound. “He was in process of building a new helicopter hangar and decided it should be a multi-functional space. So not only would it store some helicopters and hi-end vehicles but also it could be used for weddings, business retreats, performing arts – anything the community required. To do that it needed a killer sound system.”
Klassen is a long-time EAW user and very familiar with their products. Sapphire Sound had recently installed a QX system in a local church and he was confident it would work equally well for Westlund’s new hangar.
“I invited Andrew to hear the church system to make sure it provided the WOW factor he envisioned, but we were on a tight deadline so in the end he trusted my judgement and we went with it,” Klassen adds. “The QX box is quite impressive and has an excellent reputation. There was no doubt in my mind that it would be the perfect fit for this project.”
Klassen installed two QX596i loudspeakers to cover the 80 by 80 foot space. They are mounted on the ceiling positioned to the left and right of a platform stage centered against the front wall. He also placed two EAW SB1000 subwoofers under the stage to bolster the low end.
QX loudspeakers deliver high output, broadband pattern control and exceptional fidelity making it appropriate for long throws in arenas and stadiums or in an application like the SKY Helicopters hangar. The QX596i is loaded with an ultra-efficient mid/high compression driver with a 90 (h) x 60 (v) degree constant directivity horn. Four Phase Aligned™ 12-inch low frequency transducers arranged as vertical and horizontal pairs extend pattern control well into the low frequency range.
The SB1000z is a high output, large-format subwoofer designed for applications that require the fatter-sounding output of dual 18-inch drivers. The system utilizes EAW UX8800 digital signal processing tools. Klassen installed a touchscreen at FOH with iPod inputs both at FOH and on the stage for simpler input applications. There are also line-ins at FOH and on the stage to easily patch in a console if needed.
“When it was all set up it was immediately put into use for a Google marketing event,” concludes Klassen. “It was a bit nerve wracking but at the end of the day, the Google speaker went out of his way to compliment us on the tremendous audio quality and the hi-tech gear, and we knew we had a hit.”