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Loud and clear at new Argentine stadium

In October 2020, a unique sound system installation job was completed at the Estadio Unico Madre de Ciudades in Santiago del Estero, Argentina.

Together with the Argentine Football Association on April 13th, 2018, the Government of Santiago del Estero presented the plans for the new provincial stadium and formalised the building process initiated in June 2018.

By July of the following year, the Estadio Único had been confirmed as one of the venues that would host the Copa America, later postponed due to the pandemic outbreak.

Conceived as a cylindrical stadium with covered grandstands, it is one of the most modern in Argentina and has a capacity for 28,000 seated spectators.

It includes VIP sectors, press booths, spaces for restaurants and covered parking with a capacity for 400 cars. In addition, the stadium was designed with a main access plaza and a sports museum. The design complies with FIFA, CONMEBOL and AFA standards.

Sound system

This is the first stadium in the country to include the design and installation of sound systems right from the building stage.

Most Argentine stadiums, if not all of them, were equipped with sound systems well after their inaugurations, and frequently with basic set-ups.

Equaphon Sistemas de Sonido, was entrusted with providing and installing the system.

Equaphon is an Argentine company that has been representing the world’s leading professional audio brands for 45 years, and is manufacturer of the renowned STS Touring Series Systems widely employed in the entertainment industry, both in Argentina and abroad.

The stadium sound system features announcement, emergency and paging functions.

In addition, it is divided into more than 10 zones, offering the possibility of directing different audio programmes to each zone, according to the needs of each event.

The system also can be controlled through touch panels from three different locations within the stadium. Beyerdynamic gooseneck and stand microphones were chosen to provide excellent speech quality.

A total of 19 Powersoft Quattrocanali 4804 DSP + D, 2 Powersoft Mezzo 322 AD and 2  Powersoft Mezzo 604 A are used. As the main matrix, a Xilica Solaro FR1 Dante is used and, in the locations where an analogue audio signal needs to be input, 2 Xilica Solaro XIO-8 are used.

All this equipment communicates under Dante protocol and takes advantage of the stadium’s optical fibre ring. The system is highly flexible and scalable.

The main exterior systems covering all the grandstands were designed based on acoustic optimisations and simulations using EASE Focus software, and consist of eight arrays of 12 STS Linea V15i cabinets mounted on a custom-designed steel frame to provide the exact angulation between boxes, as well as their total absolute angulation. These arrangements have been raised and permanently suspended on the outer ring of the roof structure; 30 meters high. Checked once installation was over, the difference between prediction and implementation turned out in the order of 1°.

The V15i box is a bi-amplifiable design and the chosen amplifier is the Quattrocanali 4804 DSP + D. Each amplifier can power six V15i cabinets and, as it has a Dante input, allowing two amplifiers to be placed in a rack close to the arrangement, shortening the length

of speaker wiring while allowing maintenance and inspection without the need to lift the system.

The remaining areas were covered, according to their needs, by 2-way cabinets or coaxial ceiling speakers on 100V lines, totalling approximately 500 units.

On the other hand, because of features such as ArmoníaPlus impedance measurement, the operator can verify the correct operation of the cabinets of all the arrays remotely, making for easier future maintenance.

The sound system of the Estadio Único de Santiago del Estero is the result of months of development, dedication and decades invested on technological breakthroughs both in products and components employed.

Equaphon Sistemas de Sonido SRL is proud to have been selected to furnish the Estadio

Unico de Santiago del Estero with a sound system that in its design and implementation reaches the standards of the most modern stadium sound systems around the world.

Gonzalo Belloso, Conmebol’s deputy secretary general and director of development said:

The spectator will have a 360º experience because this is a circular stadium, like a theatre, with visibility from all sides. It has a very beautiful pitch, spectacular lights, covering all requirements. It also has 2,300 lumen, the zenith of Conmebol’s aspirations, and an excellent sound.

Images courtesy of Equaphon Sistemas de Sonido