South Carolina High School Makes Smart Sound System Choice with LEA Professional CONNECTSERIES Amplifiers
Ridgeland High School in Jasper County, South Carolina, is an academically-driven school of about 700 students focused on preparing young adults for successful college and career paths. When faculty at the school decided they needed to modernize and upgrade their gymnasium sound system, local installer, Sound Systems and More recommended LEA Professional amplifiers to deliver the quality, flexibility, and potential system growth to address the school’s needs for years to come.
South Systems and More located in Greenwood, South Carolina is a full-line musical instrument and sound system retailer and certified installer, offering system design, installation and support, equipment rentals, lighting, intercom systems, and more. Sound Systems and More designs sound systems for many different venues, including houses of worship, schools, auditoriums, gymnasiums, and outdoor venues such as football and baseball fields.
Ronnie Carroll, the lead installation technician at South Systems and More, explained that the Ridgeland High School had a sound system in place that was out of date, limited in its functionality and connectivity, and only half functional. The gymnasium seats a little over 200 and the old system had poor sound quality and coverage and was difficult to use.
“Ridgeland had many issues with their previous sound system, and their top requests for a new system were for excellent system quality, flexibility and usability,” said Carroll. “We were able to give them the quality they needed, and we gave them the capability to connect via Bluetooth, allowing them to play music during pep rallies and events without the equipment being directly in the gym. Plus, the entire system is easier to use, more efficient, and much more flexible. The amplifiers from LEA Professional greatly contribute to the system’s success.”
The team installed a new system that included a mix of about a dozen Community R Series loudspeakers and subwoofers, driven by a set of three CONNECTSERIES amplifiers from LEA Professional. The LEA Connect 704 is a 4-channel, 700W professional-grade amp suited for small- to medium-scale installations. This 4-channel amp features direct HiZ (70V or 100V) or LoZ, selectable by channel.
“We were looking for different options in 4-channel digital amplifiers, and we heard about LEA and how flexible they are, and we really wanted to give them a try,” said Carroll. “We originally had amps from a different company specified, and after learning about LEA, we went back to the school and asked if we could upgrade it to the LEA amplifiers. They approved the change, and everyone has been very happy with the results.”
One specific feature that the High School appreciates is that the LEA amplifiers can be “locked out” to where an unauthorized user can’t gain access to the amps and turn up the volume, which could potentially damage the entire system. The amplifiers offer a wide range of connectivity features, allowing the system to be very adaptable.
“The connectivity flexibility of the system is great. Having the ability to use an iOS mobile device to connect wirelessly and make adjustments will be very helpful,” said Carroll. “Because the amp rack is in a separate room, it gives us the potential to stand in the gym and adjust the amplifiers across the hallway without having to walk back and forth to make adjustments.”
Carroll explained that the school’s new system has only been used once, just before the lockdown was in place because of the pandemic. And while that initial use was very positive, Carroll expects some tweaks will be necessary when the school’s schedule returns to partial or full use. And when that happens, Carroll is glad that the LEA amps can be accessed remotely through the cloud.
“The school is about 180 miles from our office and knowing that we could make adjustments over the network if needed without traveling is fantastic,” added Carroll. “We’ll be able to remotely diagnose and make system adjustments, which will save us a huge amount of time and allow us to be very responsive to the customer’s needs.”
With three ways to connect, users can engage the amplifier’s built-in Wi-Fi access point, connect to the venue’s Wi-Fi or use the FAST Ethernet to connect to any local area network via Cat5 or Cat6 cable. The LEA Professional Connect Series professional amp family also features cloud connectivity. Users can harness the power of the cloud for remote control, monitoring, notifications, and more from any personal device. Just connect the amp to a network and start commanding the systems. The Connect 704 also features analog inputs, Dante inputs, and external I/O control for remote on/off and fault monitoring.
“We’re specifying and installing LEA amplifiers more frequently now. It’s such a robust, great sounding, easy-to-use amp system; we love using it — and LEA’s service and support is excellent,” said Carroll. “I’ve had to call them a couple of times, and literally within five minutes of discussing the issue with a technician, the problem was solved. Our customers have been very happy; we are very happy, and I look forward to working with LEA amps on many of the new projects we have in the queue.”
Headquartered in South Bend, Indiana, LEA Professional was founded to provide dealer/integrators in the professional AV market with the highest-performing, best-connected amplifier technology possible. Privately held, LEA Professional is led by industry veterans with proven capabilities on the executive, engineering and channel aspects of professional AV. The company was founded in 2019 and is organized to be a major force in professional AV. Visit leaprofessional.com to learn more and follow LEA at facebook.com/leaprofessional, twitter.com/leaprofessional, Instagram.com/lea_professional and linkedin.com/company/lea-professional.