Eclectic Alhambra in Paris Upgrades with Meyer Sound LEOPARD

Under the artful guidance of Producer and owner Jean-Claude Auclair, the Alhambra Theatre and Music Hall in Paris has flourished by serving up an eclectic mix of diverse musical genres intermingled with comedy shows and children’s productions. To present such wide-ranging artistic diversity with the utmost sonic fidelity, the Alhambra recently upgraded its venerable Meyer Sound reinforcement system with new LEOPARD compact linear line array loudspeakers and 1100-LFC low-frequency control units.

The Alhambra’s prior MICA-based system had provided years of faithful service, but the step up to advanced LEO Family technology has been well received according to the Alhambra’s audio consultant, Thomas Legrand.

“I would describe the LEOPARD system as offering greater accuracy and clarity,” noted Legrand. “As soon as you raise just a few dBs in any frequency band, you hear the difference immediately. It also gives us a greater dynamic range than our previous system.”

The two main arrays of seven-each LEOPARD loudspeakers are supplemented by four UPJunior VariO loudspeakers, with two serving as frontfill and two as under-balcony delays. For powerful bass support, the system’s former subwoofer complement has been replaced by four new 1100-LFC low-frequency control units deployed as a horizontal array under the stage.

“The new subs were the same pleasant surprise as the LEOPARDs,” added Legrand. “They are extremely precise. When pushing the bass frequencies in our mixes, the response stays tight and doesn’t dribble.”

Both the original Meyer Sound system and the recent upgrade were designed by Marc de Fouquières of Dushow Paris, the supplier of all sound, video and lighting systems for the venue.

At the front end of the system, the Alhambra offers mixing engineers an Avid Profile V console, Shure wireless microphones, and a full complement of wired microphones from AKG, Audio-Technica, Sennheiser and Shure. Loudspeaker processing is provided by a Meyer Sound Galileo 616

The Alhambra’s exterior shell and a few interior appointments — notably a grand staircase — are all that remains of the 600-seat, 1920’s vintage Théâtre Art Déco des Cheminots (Art Deco Theatre of the Railways) that once occupied the site. When acquired by Mr. Auclair, much of the original structure had to be demolished for modernisation. It was renamed in honour of another famous venue once located nearby, the Alhambra Maurice Chevalier, before reopening in 2008.