Philadelphia, PA - University of the Sciences in Philadelphia is best known for their respected pharmaceuticals program, but their varsity sports teams are far from slouches. Men’s and women’s teams in tennis, basketball, volleyball and softball have placed at or near the top in CACC competitions for much of the past decade, and compete in several NCAA regionals as well.
The school’s main athletic facility, the gymnasium at Bobby Morgan Arena, recently received a sonic renovation, courtesy of Philadelphia-based Clear Sound Inc. As Clear Sound’s Chris Dietze explains, the facility has long been in need of better sound.
“The gym’s PA system has always been underpowered and poorly placed,” says Dietze. “For sporting events, people tend to overlook bad sound and blame it on the ambient crowd noise, but they use the gym for other events too, like convocations and student orientations, and it’s then that the problem would become painfully apparent.”
Clear Sound designed a system utilizing twelve Community R1-66 full-range two-way loudspeaker systems mounted strategically across the gym’s peaked metal roof, with six loudspeakers covering the bleacher areas and six more covering the court area. “The difference in intelligibility is like night and day,” says Dietze.
The loudspeakers are configured into multiple zones, allowing the A/V staff to turn various sections off and on depending on what’s needed for a given event. As Dietze explains, the building’s older construction presented a few wiring challenges, which were met with a clever application of digital technology. “We only had a single 3/4-inch conduit to run wiring through,” he says, “so we converted the signal to digital using an Aviom Pro64 encoder in the rack, and another in the Yamaha LS9 digital console. That enabled us to carry the signal on a single Cat5 cable. The only connection to the console rack is two pieces of Cat5 and power cables. It solved any potential grounding problems as well.”
Dietze says the school has been very impressed with the new system. “Even at the louder sporting events, people have commented on how much better it sounds. The R1 has made a big difference.”