Daktronics Provides Clemson Tigers With A Roaring New Sound System Featuring
HARMAN JBL VLA Series Line Arrays


NORTHRIDGE, California – Frank Howard Field at Clemson Memorial Stadium is the home of the NCAA Clemson University Tigers and has hosted some of the biggest artists in pop music including the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, U2 and many others. Affectionately known as “Death Valley” among Clemson fans, the 81,500-seat stadium recently got a major audio system makeover with the installation of 30 HARMAN JBL VLA Series line array loudspeakers.

Brookings, South Dakota-based systems integrator Daktronics designed, built and installed a new main scoreboard system complete with a 61-foot wide by 21-foot high video display and JBL VLA901H, VLA601H and VLA301H fullrange speakers arranged in custom-built steel framing at the top of the scoreboard tower.

“The audio system completes a full-on media experience when used with the stadium’s video displays,” said Mike Maloney of Daktronics. “The sound system is used for announcements, music, videos, audio reinforcement for the marching bands on the field and of course, for the roaring Clemson Tiger!”

“Clemson Stadium is mammoth, and the upper deck ‘wings’ on the sides are higher than most stadiums which means that the speakers have to have a throw distance of more than 700 feet at some points,” Maloney said. “After modeling the stadium with EASE (Enhanced Acoustic Simulator for Engineers) software and exploring a variety of distributed speaker designs and line arrays, we determined that the best results would be achieved using JBL VLA Series models.”

The large number of speakers had to be placed in a relatively small space—the width of the space where they could be installed was limited by the width of the video display. The speakers are located in a purpose-built weatherized housing. “The VLA Series cabinets are weatherized to begin with, but we wanted the added protection of putting them in a housing that resists the elements since the speakers are outdoors 365 days a year,” Maloney noted.

“We installed the VLA’s in the same location as the old loudspeakers, but since we had made the video board bigger we had to rebuild the structure above the board,” Maloney continued. “We re-used the existing structural columns to support the video display and the base of the sound system, but everything above that point is new construction.”

The speakers are arranged in a center cluster of three line arrays, one aimed directly forward, closely flanked by two arrays aimed towards the left and right of the stadium. The center array is comprised of six JBL VLA speakers. The top four are VLA301H speakers. The next two models in the array are VLA601H, with two VLA301H speakers at the bottom of the center array. The left and right arrays each include eight VLA601H speakers. This main center cluster is augmented by two side fill arrays of three VLA301H speakers at the far sides of the scoreboard and two JBL PD5200/95-WRC horn speakers to deliver down fill sound to the area below the scoreboard. The speakers are powered by 54 Crown I-Tech Series amplifiers and system control is provided by BSS Audio Soundweb London components and a customized Daktronics Announcer computer interface.

“This arrangement enabled us to use the center-most array to cover the far end zone seats and the field, while the left- and right-center arrays provide sound for the side seating and the side fills cover the nearest parts of the upper deck,” said Maloney. “In particular, the JBL VLA301H gave us the ability to project sound to the farthest seats in the stadium and provided the pattern control we needed to get a good blend between all the line arrays.”

“We have installed audio systems in more than 300 stadiums and arenas,” concluded Maloney, “but building one that can be heard over more than 81,000 fans is always an unusual and interesting challenge.”

For more information on Daktronics, please visit www.daktronics.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 13,400 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported sales of $4.4 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012.