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First-in-Class Celebrity Solstice Sets Sail with Seaworthy Meyer Sound Systems

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"I've always liked the sound quality of the Meyer loudspeakers. But I also appreciate the extraordinary reliability. I can't think of a problem I've had with a Meyer speaker, ever. They are just rock solid. That's critical, because you don't want systems going down when you're in the middle of the Atlantic."

- Wayne Tepley
Corporate Production Manager, Celebrity Cruises

The new Celebrity Solstice is the first of Celebrity Cruises' five-ship Solstice Class fleet, and also the largest cruise ship ever built in Germany, with an arrestingly sleek exterior and stately amenities for 2,850 guests plus a crew of 1,500. To please the well-tuned seagoing ear, a total of 77 Meyer Sound loudspeakers are installed in ten shipboard venues where sound quality is of particular importance.

The selection of Meyer Sound was a joint decision between FUNA International and Celebrity Cruises, based on the successful deployments of Meyer Sound systems on several ships in the past. "I've always liked the sound quality of the Meyer loudspeakers," says Corporate Production Manager Wayne Tepley, a veteran of 13 years at sea as an audio engineer. "But I also appreciate the extraordinary reliability. I can't think of a problem I've had with a Meyer speaker, ever. They are just rock solid. That's critical, because you don't want systems going down when you're in the middle of the Atlantic."

The extensive AV and show control systems onboard Celebrity Solstice were designed and installed by FUNA International. Principal designers Wolfgang Bokker and Peter Scheffler handled the bulk of the workload from the company's offices in Germany, with supporting coordination by Senior Vice President Marc Goossens, based in Cincinnati, Ohio.

"Certainly the audio quality is exceptional, but we also like them because they're self-powered, which makes them easy to install and commission," remarks Goossens. "They sound great out of the box, so we don't spend days EQ'ing a room."

Celebrity Solstice lures passengers with amenities such as a real lawn between the funnels, glassblowing exhibitions, an art gallery, and five exquisite specialty restaurants. The hub of shipboard entertainment is the majestic 1,115-seat semicircular theatre. To power the repertoire of musical variety shows and theatrical spectacles, the theater utilizes a robust Meyer Sound system comprising four CQ-1 and three CQ-2 main loudspeakers with bass support from a pair of 700-HP subwoofers. Frontfill is provided by ten discreet MM-4 miniature loudspeakers, with other fill effects duties assigned to nine UPJ-1P VariO loudspeakers and four UPM-1P loudspeakers.

The smaller 200-seat Celebrity Central venue is a flexible studio space offering live music, comedy and movies. Sound support comes from four UPM-1P and seven UPM-2P loudspeakers, with low-frequency energy augmented by two UMS-1P subwoofers.

To maintain first-class sound in other spaces on Celebrity Solstice, the FUNA designers specified additional quantities of Meyer Sound UltraSeries loudspeakers in the Ensemble and Sky Lounges, the Entertainment and Rendezvous Courts, the two children's and teen spaces, Spa Motion Aerobics and the crew gymnasium, and the crew disco.

Tepley points out that the simplicity of self-powered systems is a great advantage in shipboard systems. "It takes out a whole layer of complexity," says Tepley. "If you have amplifiers and processing in a separate place, you have all that signal and speaker cabling. But with the amplification, processing, and speaker all in one place, you just feed it an audio signal and the speaker takes care of the rest. It greatly simplifies troubleshooting."

Tepley acknowledges that working under pressure, many shipboard audio operators can make mistakes with potentially damaging consequences. In this regard, the simplicity of Meyer Sound self-powered systems—with fewer connect/disconnect points—greatly reduces the chances of failure. "If you lose a critical component, in some parts of the world it can take weeks to get a replacement," says Tepley. "For me, the best thing about the Meyer systems is their reliability and durability."

The Celebrity Solstice made its maiden voyage through the Caribbean in November 2008. Its cruising schedule for 2009-2010 includes transatlantic and Mediterranean itineraries.

February, 2009

FEATURED PRODUCTS

CQ-1

CQ-2

700-HP

UPM-1P

UPM-2P

UPJ-1P

UMS-1P

MM-4

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