The Penn State Nittany Lions play all of their home games at Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pennsylvania. With an astounding capacity of over 106,000, Beaver Stadium is the second largest stadium in the Western hemisphere (after the University of Michigan’s stadium) and the fourth largest in the world. A recent off-season upgrade to high-definition LED scoreboards inspired a parallel upgrade to a new high-definition sound system that relies on Danley Sound Labs Jericho Horns to throw sound from the south end zone clear across to the north end zone – and all areas between – with point-source, horn-loaded fidelity. Coverage is a remarkable ±2dB across that huge expanse, and eight Danley TH-812 subwoofers support the full-range content with honest, musical low end that shakes the stands.
Clair Solutions senior systems designer Jim Devenney (Manheim, Pennsylvania) designed the system with assistance from Chad Edwardson at Danley Sound Labs and Al Harris from Populous Architects (Kansas City, Missouri). Jason Hertz led the installation for Clair Solutions with assistance from Jonathan Hoffman and Forrest Brewer from Barton-Mallow/Alexander, the general contractor.
"The new scoreboard would no longer be able to accommodate the old sound system," said Devenney. "It simply wouldn't fit. Mike Hedden, Danley president, came up from Georgia to demo a Danley Sound Labs solution, and the school officials liked its full-bandwidth sound, dynamic response, and even coverage."
Importantly, the Danley solution would allow Devenney to cover the entire stadium with a much smaller footprint. Hedden commented, “Our demo was an opportunity to do a side-by-side with a very popular line array. At 800 feet the Jericho Horn was clear and present, like it was fifty feet away. When we switched to the existing line array it was as if the sound stepped backwards three hundred feet. It was a stunning difference. One of the officials asked me how I could explain what everyone was hearing. I replied, to paraphrase the founders, we hold these truths to be self evident, that all loudspeakers are not created equal!”
The system hangs from three levels on the new scoreboard, and each side is a mirror image of the other side. At the top level, two Danley J4 Jericho Horns hit the stands beyond the opposite end zone. Below that level, four Danley J3 Jericho Horns cover the far half of the east and west stands. At the lowest level, two Danley J3 Jericho Horns cover the near half of the east and west stands, and two Danley SH95-HO loudspeakers provide near fill. All told, eight Danley TH-812 subwoofers, four on the top and four on the bottom, provide abundant bass. Devenney left a distributed system of fill speakers under overhangs in place. Lab.gruppen LM26 processors running Lake software provide equalization and protection for the system. Lab.gruppen FP-Series amplifiers with the NLB-60E controller provide system power as well as network control and monitoring.
"Everything worked out very well," said Devenney. "Coverage is excellent: plus or minus 2dBA throughout the stadium, except in club areas where I intentionally made things quieter. The system has good articulation, nice fullness, great dynamics, and impressive vocal clarity. The J4’s do a great job getting high end to the far side of the stadium, and the efficiency of the Danley components reduced the footprint considerably from where it had been."