|Western Carolina University Upgrades Ramsey Activity Center With HARMAN’s JBL
NORTHRIDGE, California – Western Carolina University’s Liston B. Ramsey Regional Activity Center hosts the
University’s basketball and volleyball teams as well as a variety of special events and concerts. Although rich in
tradition, WCU’s administrators recently recognized that older isn’t always better, calling on consulting firm
Acoustical Design Group to help upgrade the sound system at the Ramsey Center with HARMAN’s JBL
Acoustical Design Group worked directly with WCU to come up with an ideal audio system for the Center, which was
installed by Raleigh, North Carolina-based contractor Strategic Connections. “Right from the start, we were able to
talk with the University about the best products for the new system,” said Ian Wolfe of Acoustical Design Group. “It
was apparent the University had a preference for JBL loudspeakers, as did we.”
The system upgrade began with replacing the center cluster with JBL PD5212/95 loudspeakers in a 360-degree
arrangement. “The PD5212/95 is ideal for this purpose because it delivers high output with excellent pattern control,”
Wolfe said. “Because the University wanted to maintain this center cluster for its basketball and volleyball games, we
used the existing framework and winching system.”
Because the center cluster is near the scoreboard above the middle of the court, supplemental PD5212/95
loudspeakers were added to fill in the acoustic shadow created by the scoreboard, along with several JBL AM7212
loudspeakers for additional downfill.
The system upgrade went beyond replacing the existing center cluster, however. “WCU wanted a system that would
accommodate University-based activities such as convocations and conferences along with concerts by regional
artists who previously had to bring in rental systems,” Wolfe noted.
Wolfe and his team decided on JBL VERTEC® VT4887A compact line
array elements, along with a stack of six ASB6128 subwoofers. “This
system does double duty—when it’s not used for concerts, it can be
moved to a different location for sporting events,” Wolfe said. “We had
Strategic Connections rig the speakers to a system of chain motors and
cables that allow the staff to move them to the required location without
having to bring in riggers.”
In addition to concerts, sporting events, and conferences, the Ramsey
Activity Center hosts student orientations at the beginning of each
school year. “For orientations, WCU places a stage on the floor to
create a ‘mini auditorium.’ For this application, the full VERTEC system
would be overkill, so two JBL CBT 100LA column speakers mounted
right into the existing lighting truss provide adequate coverage for
about 1,000 people,” Wolfe added.
To complete the installation, JBL Control 26CT in-ceiling speakers
were placed throughout the concourse. “WCU wanted the ability to
send an independent audio feed to this area for trade shows,
banquets and other activities,” Wolfe said. “The concourse also
overlooks the football stadium and, during games, some spectators are seated in the concourse area. The
concourse loudspeakers provide stadium sound during those games.”
“We’re very happy with the sound as is WCU, and Strategic Connections did a great job in keeping everything
within budget and installing everything exactly according to plan,” Wolfe concluded.
This past March WCU installed its newest Chancellor using the “RAC” as the location for the ceremony. The show
consisted of a 60-piece orchestra, 30-voice choir, brass quintet, regimental drum recessional, podium mics,
national anthem mic, and three wireless lapel microphones. This, to many at WCU, was the most important event
to occur on campus in 17 years (since the last installation ceremony). Ryan Fisher of WCU reported, “The arena
sounded like a digital cinema soundtrack. Everyone was thrilled and there were plenty of compliments. The system
performed absolutely perfectly.”
For more information on Acoustical Design Group, please visit www.adgkc.com
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. The Company's shares are traded on the New York
Stock Exchange under the symbol NYSE:HAR.