Theater At Madison Square Garden Installs JBL VTX Line Arrays

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Clair Brothers Audio Systems has installed a comprehensive VTX system, powered by Crown Audio I-Tech HD amplifiers, at The Theater at Madison Square Garden.

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“The Theater at Madison Square Garden is a world-class venue and nothing less than a world-class sound reinforcement system would be appropriate,” said Jim Devenney, senior engineer for Clair Brothers Audio Systems. “Tom Arrigoni, Russell Lynn and Tim Parsaca, from the Garden’s production staff, provided critical design and logistical support, helping to make this install successful.”

The main loudspeaker system consists of left and right flown clusters of nine JBL VTX V25 fullsize line array elements each, along with two hangs of four S28 subwoofers each. The centerfill cluster includes six VERTEC VT4887A compact line array elements. The main left and right clusters are located just offstage of the proscenium opening and the subwoofer hangs are offstage of the main arrays.

To cover the back third of the venue’s seating, Clair Brothers deployed two delay rings—the first ring has 16 bi-amped JBL AM7212/66 loudspeakers and the second delay ring includes 14 AC28/95 loudspeakers. In addition, eight JBL AM5212 loudspeakers cover the side box seats.

“The V25 line arrays proved to be the perfect choice for this application, since they deliver higher sound output and wider coverage for their size than any other line array I know,” Devenney said. “We were able to fit in nine per side, which, in combination with the VT4887A center fill speakers, were more than enough to do the job.”

“We wanted to ensure even coverage throughout the back of the theater, which is why we went with the additional JBL AM7212/66, AC28/95 and AM5212 speakers,” Devenney added. “The combination of the main VTX and VERTEC and the delay speakers enables an optimum sonic balance throughout the venue.”

All system amplification and speaker processing is handled by 24 Crown IT 4x3500HD 4-channel amplifiers. Two BSS Soundweb London BLU-160 signal processors with digital audio bus and additional input and output cards are placed inline before the amplifiers for system routing and to interface with the fire alarm muting system.

“The before and after difference in sound quality is phenomenal,” Devenney concluded. “We knew the VTX and VERTEC line arrays would provide better clarity, output and coverage over the previous system, but the level of improvement really needs to be heard to be appreciated.”

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