JBL CBT Series Column Speakers Debut In Helsinki Sports Hall

Finland's first installation of JBL Professional's new CBT100LA column enclosures has taken place in the Latokartano Sports Hall in Helsinki. Eight of the compact passive line array cabinets were specified as part of a complete sound reinforcement fit-out by systems contractor Pertti Krautsuk of Workland.

Run by the Physical Exercise department of the City of Helsinki Sports Administration, the Latokartano Sports Hall consists of two large areas, which can be combined into a single, larger space. Schools and sports clubs use the space primarily for volleyball, floorball, football and tennis. Mr Krautsuk, who set up Workland back in 1994, selected the CBT Series loudspeakers for their high sound quality in terms of both music playback and speech intelligibility.

The Sports Administration issued the contract for the technical fit-out once the new building superstructure was complete. “Although the JBL solution was not originally specified, Workland turned to the earlier successful collaborations we have enjoyed with JBL once this became available,” commented Ari Hildén of Harman Professional distributor, Studiotec.

In other words, once Krautsuk had been introduced to the new JBL column array it had been a simple decision to switch brands. “Having seen the visuals and specifications [of the CBT100LA] I was certain that this was the correct choice. Having heard the system I have to admit that its performance is definitely superior to the alternative model,” Krautsuk said.

Krautsuk designed two transportable systems, which come into play when the partition curtain divides the room into two independent spaces. Four CBT100 enclosures have been installed down the long walls (so that one

side runs silent and the other with music). A Crown XLS 602 amplifier feeds two speakers from Channel 1 and two from Channel 2, while the two sections are controlled independently via a Crown mixer.

As part of the CBT (Constant Bandwidth Technology) functionality, these speakers include a switch that selects either long-throw or mid-throw dispersion patterns. Also standard for the series are “Music” and “Voice” settings (the latter featuring a vocal-presence boost) and Dynamic SonicGuard overload protection circuitry, which combats distortion issues.

Despite the inherent reverberation associated with large sports halls, the Krautsuk said the combination of his own experience and the excellence of the speaker design was all that was needed. “By choosing the correct speakers and angling them in the direction where the sound pressure was needed we could avoid projecting the sound onto the walls and ceiling, thus avoiding the normal reflections,” he noted.

Numerous portable JBL systems can now be found in Finland's sporting facilities and swimming pools—in fact, the Latokartano Sports Hall itself also contains a separate gym where Workland have installed JBL Control 28 speakers.

Summing up, Krautsuk said, “Both the customer and I are delighted with the new JBL speaker system. No outboard gear was necessary as we were able to use the built-in controls in the Broad Dispersion position to cover the area properly and in the Music position to maximize the low-end power.”

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