Fox Performing Arts Center Upgrades Audio System With HARMAN’s JBL VERTEC® Line Arrays

NORTHRIDGE, California – Founded in 1929 as Fox’s Riverside Theater, the Fox Performing Arts Center is one of southern California’s most historic cultural landmarks and host to a wide variety of musical artists, performers and theater presentations. The Fox Performing Arts Center underwent a total renovation that took two years to complete, including a completely new audio system featuring more than 50 HARMAN JBL loudspeakers, highlighted by JBL VERTEC® line array elements.

The system design specifications included initial input from Ted Leamy of Pro Media/UltraSound in Hercules, California and veteran audio consultant Stanley Miller. Systems integrator Sound Image of Escondido, California, headed by system designer and project manager Mike Martin, completed the installation project and as-built documentation for the venue. The audio system includes 20 JBL VERTEC VT4888 midsize line array elements, 10 each for the left and right sides of the stage, plus a center cluster of six VERTEC VT4887A compact line array elements. The audio system also employs 10 ASB7128 dual-18-inch subwoofers, 11 VRX928LA compact Constant Curvature loudspeakers for front fill and underbalcony coverage, four VRX928LAP powered Constant Curvature loudspeakers for side fill, six AC26 compact speakers in the rear upper balcony, and numerous Control 25T surface-mount and Control 26CT in-ceiling speakers in the lobby for public address and background music.

The VERTEC line arrays were chosen by the designers because of their ability to handle various types of program material equally well including live music, theatrical performances, comedy acts and other types of presentations, and because of the successful implementation of previous VERTEC systems installed by Sound Image in similar large venues. The size of the theater and the height of its proscenium arch mandated the use of a left-center-right line array for the main loudspeaker configuration. Depending on the type and volume requirements of the performance, the center cluster can be used on its own or the full left-center-right system can be employed for events such as live music and theater presentations.

“The installation was more challenging than most because we had to install the audio system after all the other renovations were done, instead of doing everything at the same time,” Martin noted. “On top of that, we had to take great care to ensure that the loudspeakers were not visually obtrusive, while delivering the proper sound coverage. Because JBL offers such a wide range of loudspeaker sizes and configurations, we were able to choose the models we needed to accomplish this without overly intruding on the architectural integrity of the venue.”

The main VERTEC VT4888 and VT4887A line arrays are powered by Crown I-T5000 HD amplifiers, with I-T9000 HD amplifiers driving the ASB7128 subwoofers. Crown CTs Series amplifiers power the Control 25T and 26CT speakers in the lobby. Two dbx DriveRack 4800 Loudspeaker Management Systems are used to control all the speakers, and a number of additional dbx components are in the system including ZonePRO Digital Zone Processors and zone controllers. Loudspeaker setup was performed using Harman HiQnet™ System Architect™ 2.0 software.

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HARMAN ( 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 11,000 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported sales of $3.2 billion for the last twelve months ended March 31, 2010. The Company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NYSE:HAR.