Bozeman, MT--The Montana State University football team first took the field in 1897 and has remained a source of school pride ever since. The Bobcats have won numerous NCAA titles and are the current champions of the Big Sky Conference. With capacity crowds squeezing into the 12,000-seat Bobcat Stadium in recent seasons, the school funded a plan to dramatically upgrade the facility.
One Danley Jericho Horn delivers clear audio for 17,000 fans at Montana State University.
The upgrade has added 5,200 seats, a sophisticated scoreboard, and a new audio system centered on Danley Sound Labs' Jericho Horn JH-90, which throws "near-field quality" audio up to four-hundred feet from its position on the new Bobcat Stadium scoreboard. In fact, the Jericho can deliver up to twice this distance using a combination of patented and patent-pending technologies that result in full-frequency, point-source performance.
"Before the renovation, Bobcat Stadium was very obviously built on a 'home side vs. away side' plan," said Steven Shewlakow, lead designer at Michael Garrison Associates (MGA), the company that designed the new audio system. "The PA was attached to the press boxes on the home side. It provided coverage both for the home side, which ended up being too loud, and for the away side, which ended up too quiet."
The University did not want a new distributed system, so before MGA began participating on the project, the only solutions being considered were typical for scoreboard systems: multiple so-called "arrayable" loudspeaker boxes.
"It was very, very far from ideal," said MGA principal Michael Garrison. "The available space within the scoreboard cabinet was limited, so no matter how many traditional boxes you could manage to cram in, the lack of coherency and limited maximum output would ensure poor sound quality, inadequate levels and even worse uniformity of coverage."
"Line array technology could theoretically deliver the desired sound levels and sonic quality," Garrison continued. "But, besides the fact that there was far too little physical space to contain such a system, there was also far too little budget. Furthermore, though I would not presume to challenge the science behind the much-advertised coherent summation between line array elements, in my admittedly limited experience, I've only ever heard a lot of beaming and sonic variation; quite disappointing, especially given the cost of these types of systems."
The staff at MGA had recently been alerted to Danley Sound Labs' Jericho Horn, which delivers the long-throw coverage and extended frequency response of a line array. But unlike a line array, the Jericho Horn produces its output from a point source, which ensures smooth, even coverage across the entire beam width. Officials from Montana State University traveled to the University of Arizona, where a Jericho Horn demonstration had been arranged and came back impressed.
"In this industry, there is room for differing opinions and preferences, and I would never claim that our way is the 'best' or 'only' way to get it right," said Garrison. "But, we greatly prefer the sonic purity and relative uniformity of coverage that we achieve with true point-source-based loudspeaker systems. Therefore, the unique design of the Jericho Horn definitely intrigued us. And after hearing its performance at Bobcat Stadium, we are convinced that it is inherently a superior solution for stadium and other large format applications."
Advanced Electronic Designs in Bozeman, led by owner Bryan Robertus, was responsible for performing most of the audio system installation. MGA did the final aiming, setup, programming and tuning. A single Danley Jericho Horn JH-90 end-fires from the scoreboard to cover both sides of the field, the seating across the field, and the field itself. A pair of Danley SH-46 full-range loudspeakers provide fill for seats immediately adjacent to the scoreboard. A Lab.gruppen ST6000Q and two Lab.gruppen ST10000Q amplifiers provide power. A BSS London processor provides overall system balancing, timing delays for the SH-46s, and input mixing. Finally, a Danley DSLP48 provides turnkey processing for the Jericho Horn JH-90.