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San Francisco’s Masonic Center Audio System, Part 1

Aug 13, 2013 2:12 PM, With Bennett Liles

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Okay, and of course, the D12 amps, the V8 and V12 speakers are a matched system? They’re all designed to work together?

Valdez: Yes, all d&b-designed stuff.

And I think I saw something in the press release about this being the biggest d&b audiotechnik installation on the west coast?

Conrad: It is the biggest d&b V-Series installation on the west coast at the time it was done. I don’t believe there’s been anything bigger since then. [Timestamp: 5:35]

Okay, so as far as that goes, you guys are kind of in the front seat . I mean if anybody is working on this or considering this type of system, you would be the first ones to call.

Conrad: Absolutely, yeah. We’re very familiar with it and we do a lot of stuff, as we said, on the production side. So as you see some of the people that are coming through the Masonic Theater, those are the type of high-end, high-profile bands that we work with on the production side. [Timestamp: 5:58]

So how are the amps and the speakers connected on this system? If they’re designed to work together, no surprises there?

Valdez: Yeah, it’s just your typical NL8/NL4 cable going from the amps to the speakers. They want to be able to take the system down and use it for other things when possible. [Timestamp: 6:17]

Oh, well that could potentially complicate matters I would think.

Valdez:Yeah, I mean it’s really a lot like a touring system so everything is just free to come out.

And in the Masonic Center, what kind of cabling distance are you talking about between the amps and the speakers?

Valdez: The farthest runs are probably 150ft. to 200ft., if I remember correctly.

Okay, and let’s see, what is that, a 70V system?

Valdez: No. It’s just a standard amplifier. [Timestamp: 6:43]

Okay, just low impedance between amps and speakers?

Valdez: Yeah.

Tell me about the D12 amps. I did a little reading up on those and they seem to have a lot of features that not so long ago would involve a lot of separate boxes and rack units and they put them all into the amp.

Valdez: Yeah. The D12 amp is surprisingly only about 1,200W per channel at four ohms. D&b systems are very, very efficient. They definitely work with each watt they put out as efficiently as possible. There’s also the sensing circuitry integrated into the amp, so when you have these long runs, the amplifier can sense the runs—the cable length resistance—and compensate for all that. [Timestamp: 7:25]

Okay, 2-channel amps with, I think, both analog and digital inputs?

Valdez: That’s correct.

And a few other bells and whistles like four-band EQ and built-in delay?

Valdez: Yes.

Up to, I think, 340 milliseconds, which would be kind of crazy but you can go that far with it if you need to.

Valdez: You bet.

And that’s independent on each channel, right?

Valdez: Yes.

A pink noise signal generator, all that right there in the amp.

Valdez: Yeah. A very versatile amp; very robust.

Well, this venue has some very big names and you didn’t have much time to work. We’ll talk about that in part two. Thanks for being here to give us the first outline on it. Keith Conrad and Julio Valdez from 3G Productions in Las Vegas. We’ll see you in part two.

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