|Hollywood Palladium Upgrades Its Audio System With HARMAN JBL VERTEC® Line
Running V5 DSP Presets
NORTHRIDGE, California – The Hollywood Palladium is one of the country’s most famous theaters. Located in the
heart of Sunset Boulevard, the 4,000-capacity Art Deco landmark has hosted top artists since the 1940s and has
been featured in numerous movies and TV shows. Recently, Flag Systems of Santa Ana, California upgraded the
sound system at the storied venue with HARMAN JBL VERTEC VT4888 line array loudspeakers, loaded with the
new VERTEC V5 DSP presets.
“The Hollywood Palladium already had a good sound system installed as part of its 2007 renovation, but because
of the unusual layout of the room, the owners still weren’t 100 percent satisfied,” said Eric Williams of Santa Ana,
California-based sound contractor Flag Systems.
The existing audio system included four hangs of six VT4889 fullsize line array elements each, two at each side of
the stage and augmented by 16 JBL VT4880A fullsize arrayable subwoofers. Twelve Crown MA-5000i and six MA-
12000i amplifiers power the VT4889’s, with loudspeaker management handled by dbx DriveRack 4800 processors.
“The room is rectangular with the stage at the front and has a semicircular balcony going around both sides of the
venue. Due to suspension point constraints, the main LR arrays are quite far apart, which creates a ‘V’-shaped gap
in the middle of the room that previously-installed distributed front fills couldn’t adequately reach,” Williams noted.
“The owners also wanted to make sure that the sound did not get too loud at the bar areas, which limited the
speakers’ placement options at the time of the original install. We went in and got everything sounding as good as
possible but still couldn’t get rid of that sonic hole in the middle.”
To solve this, Flag Systems elected to fly an additional center cluster of five JBL VT4888 midsize line array
elements to fill the sonic gap. The VT4888 cluster covers about 40 degrees into the point of the ‘V’ where the main
clusters were not hitting, while the VT4888’s smaller size also enabled Flag Systems to avoid placing them in the
way of any sightlines. The VT4888 cluster is driven by eight Crown IT 12000HD amps, which are also used for the
Highlighting the upgrade at the Hollywood Palladium is the use of
JBL’s new VERTEC V5 preset DSP tunings. The V5 DSP presets
leverage the OMNIDRIVEHD™ linear phase FIR processing capability
found in Crown I-Tech HD Series power amplifiers and JBL
DrivePack® DPDA input modules. The V5 DSP presets offer
significant improvements in horizontal coverage thanks to the use of
higher order, asymmetric filters, and improved sound quality via phase
“We were amazed at the level of performance we achieved from the
added center cluster and the overall improvement in the sound in the
complete system,” Williams said. “In particular, the amount of comb
filtering and subsequent frequency response irregularities we were
getting from the previous left/right setup was dramatically reduced.”
“Keep in mind that this is a room that was originally designed for acts
like Lawrence Welk and now we’re pumping 120dB into it, which means
that in addition to needing precise control of your sound, the gear has to
be reliable and handle that kind of volume,” Williams said. “With
HARMAN’s HiQnet System Architect™, everything is not only set up optimally but also tightly monitored and
controlled. In sound check and show mode, you know instantly when something happens in the system and can
make changes immediately. Everything just works together. In fact, the only time I go into the amp room is just to
turn the amps on and off.”
“Since the upgrade, people have been telling us that we have one of the better-sounding VERTEC rigs around,”
For more information on Flag Systems, please call (714) 547-9041.
HARMAN (www.harman.com) 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 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems.
HARMAN has a workforce of about 13,000 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported net sales
of $4.3 billion for the twelve months ended March 31, 2012.