As the largest football stadium in the German Bundesliga, with a capacity of over 80,000, Signal Iduna Park — home of Borussia Dortmund (BVB) — recently sanctioned a radical upgrade to its public address system utilizing RCF loudspeakers.
Their aim was to achieve higher intelligibility, even pattern control (with extended low frequency capability) and unobscured sightlines — but most importantly to link the voice evacuation and stand systems into a unified network, that could be monitored, error- and health-checked remotely. The solution was provided by RCF.
The deployment of 14 RCF clusters of 14 TTL33-A MKII line array elements (with a TTS26-A sub at the base of each), will futureproof the famous stadium for decades to come. But the most remarkable aspect is that this is an entirely active solution, wrapped around the beams to keep the sightlines intact.
Loaded with RCF’s proprietary RDNet DSP and additional electronics for monitoring it is this inherent software that has been programmed to integrate the new PA/VA evacuation system — thereby fulfilling the EN 60849 standard for performance requirements.
The planning and design of the system was a joint venture between RCF’s 10-strong Engineering Support Group , led by Product Market Manager (Install Sound), Antonio Ferrari, and RCF Group German Subsidiary, led by Georg Hofmann and Norbert Wessel, working in conjunction with integrators fulfil engineering GmbH, headed by Norbert Labudda. It is fulfil engineering’s planning department that initiated, coordinated and supervised the project.
The EASE 4.3 predictions provided the design architecture to develop a fully optimised system, setting the splay angles and placements of the hangs — which are spaced equidistant, some 20 metres apart. Four clusters each are mounted down the East and West tribunes (firing into the upper and lower tribunes) and three each cover the South and North stand.
All 196 active line array elements have been especially weatherized and the cone drivers coated, as is the wooden enclosure, which is is painted with polyurea both inside and out. All metallic items are fabricated in stainless steel.
The decision to completely overhaul the system had been taken after complaints about intelligibility and coverage — particularly the insufficiency of the low frequency response.
Responding to an original tender for a standard passive system by consultant, Michael Creydt, RCF’s progressive active proposal ensured their bid was successful against most other major manufacturing brands who responded to the tender.