NORTHRIDGE, California — Indiana University’s Assembly Hall, a 17,000-seat indoor arena is the home to the Indiana Hoosiers—one of the most storied teams in college basketball. The arena, which opened in 1971, was recently retrofitted with a new audio system featuring HARMAN’s JBL loudspeakers and Crown amplifiers. Pensacola, Florida-based All Pro Sound in conjunction with Sweetwater, Inc. of Ft Wayne, IN., handled the installation in coordination with New York-based Acoustical Design and consulting firm SIA Acoustics.
“Before we were called in, Assembly Hall was still using its original sound system from 1971. The arena had a lot of existing acoustical treatment but the sound quality in the lower frequencies was unbalanced and made it difficult for the crowd to hear speech announcements clearly. Needless to say, we had to bring the system up to today’s standards for performance, coverage and intelligibility,” explained Sam Berkow, Principal at SIA Acoustics.
As an older facility, Assembly Hall’s unique architecture caused some challenges in the installation process. The logistical difficulties of mounting the speakers to cover the arena’s unusual steeply raked seating proved to be difficult. “Any big arena like this is going to present some acoustical issues, but Assembly Hall is unique in that most of the seating is on two very steep sides of the court and go up high, and there are also balconies that are even higher,” added John Fuqua, Vice President, All Pro Sound.
“Because of the seating layout, we had to fly the speakers at 80 feet above the floor. We installed a mix of JBL VERTEC® VT4888DP midsize powered line array elements, PD5322/95 full-range speakers and ASB6128 subwoofers specifically to provide the best coverage and performance to all the seating areas,” stated Fuqua.
The PD5322/95 loudspeakers and ASB6128 subs are powered by eight Crown Macro-Tech i Series MA9000i, six MA5000i and 10 CTs 1200 amplifiers. Five BSS BLU-160 digital signal processors are also part of the system.
For the main arrays All Pro Sound installed six hangs of nine VT4888DP line array elements each, spaced around the arena. The 10 PD5322/95 speakers are used for upper balcony fill and are flown from the existing catwalk system. The ASB6128 subwoofers are hung in four arrays of four boxes each, placed near the outer main arrays.
“Sam Berkow and the SIA Acoustics design team chose this combination of HARMAN equipment because the JBL speakers are the right match in size and coverage capability, especially considering the odd vertical layout of the seats at the sides, and the electronics complement the speakers perfectly to achieve the highest level of performance for the venue,” concluded Fuqua.
“For this system, the job was contracted, the equipment procured and the installation completed in just 19 days from the receipt of the notice to proceed. We coordinated with HARMAN representatives, All Pro Sound, retailer Sweetwater and the Indiana University staff to streamline the process and facilitate this quick turnaround. It was an impressive amount of work to be completed and be up and running within such a tight schedule,” added Berkow. “We are extremely happy with the results.”
HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets – supported by 15 leading brands, including AKG, Harman Kardon, Infinity, JBL, Lexicon and Mark Levinson. The company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 20 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 13,400 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported sales of $4.4 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012.