|HARMAN’S JBL Loudspeakers Highlight First Sound Reinforcement System at Trinity
ORLANDO, Florida – RG Jones Sound Engineering has equipped the historic chapel at Cambridge’s Trinity College with
its first sound reinforcement system, using 127 HARMAN’s JBL Control 52 ultra-compact satellite loudspeakers,
accessed via a sophisticated BSS Soundweb DSP design to optimize the sound broadcast from seven fixed microphone
positions at the lecterns. The equipment was supplied by Sound Technology Ltd, Harman Pro’s UK and ROI distributors.
They responded successfully to a system design created by acoustic consultants, Peter Mapp + Associates, who drew up
the tender document on behalf of property management consultants (and overall project managers) Bidwells.
Trinity College was originally founded by Henry VIII in 1546 as part of the University of Cambridge. The chapel, with its
notable clock tower, sits at the far end of the Great Court and was begun by Mary I in 1554 in memory of her father,
Henry VIII. The ante-chapel contains statues of many famous Trinity men, including Roubillac’s sculpture of Isaac
Newton, while the chapel itself contains a Metzler organ—one of only two instruments by this respected maker in Great
Britain. It is contained within the restored late 17th-century case built by England's most famous organ builder, ‘Father’
RG Jones’ Project Manager, Jeff Woodford, and Installation Manager Jon Berry were tasked with implementing a design
in a listed building under English Heritage restrictions, which called for the loudspeakers to be set discreetly on the
shelving under the pews and the transformer distribution boxes to be similarly concealed.
Because the system was designed to handle gentle reinforcement rather than public address, sequential delay times
were measured by Berry from each of the microphone positions to each of the
Chapel’s 14 speaker zones (based on seven microphone positions feeding each
of the North and South sides). Advanced programming ensured that the voice of
the speaker or celebrant is heard first at the local position.
A further four zones cover the organ loft (where the equipment rack is situated),
the ante-chapel, control screen position and altar.
Jon Berry explained how he used HARMAN HiQnet™ London Architect’s Logic
programming of the two Soundweb BLU-100 devices (configured 12-in/8-out), to
enable them to sense when audio is being passed into the system. “At the point
that it reaches a certain level it will trigger a preset, which sets the delay time
appropriate to the particular speaker, ensuring that the listener can detect exactly
where the sound source is.
“When two people are speaking from different positions, it will use custom
designed Logic automatically to recall a different preset which will deliver a
compromise between the two positions,” Berry said. “The system simply auto
configures and triggers the delay time, via the Logic preset recalls.”
With the installation of 127 100V line Control 52’s—a radical number for a listed building—and the additional number of
zones, a BSS BLU-BOB2 was incorporated into the design to expand the number of outputs.
The Control 52’s were specified by Peter Mapp since they are designed to deliver superb high fidelity sound via a low
distortion 2.5-inch driver. Jeff Woodford stated that due to the excellent fixing plate/wall bracket assembly, and ball and
socket arrangement that allowed allows each speaker to be angled up to 45 degrees off-axis, they had experienced no
difficulty in concealing and pointing these miniature speakers.
“This was the first time the Chapel had used sound reinforcement, and given the restrictions and number of microphone
positions, it proved to be a particularly challenging project,” Berry added. “But thanks to the discreet and versatile nature
of the Control 52’s, and programming flexibility of London Architect, we have been able to deliver an optimum localized
sound to every seat in the room via a simple interface.”
For more information on Sound Technology, please visit www.soundtech.co.uk
HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment
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