The Carl R. Samuelson and Robert B. Muir swimming pool, part of the Chandler Athletic Center at Williams College in Williamstown, MA, recently upgraded its sound reinforcement system with One Systems NAT Series Direct Weather loudspeakers.
The college, located in Williamstown, MA, built the natatorium in 1988, and since then has hosted several New England and NCAA Division III Championship meets in the facility. The effects of time, moisture, and chlorine -elated byproducts took their toll on the original sound system, with the school tapping Berkshire Professional Audio, located in nearby Cummington, MA, to design a new system—actually, two systems fed by different control components. Sonix Pro Audio (Northhampton, MA) provided installation on the project.
“The big issue was intelligibility,” explains Richard Jansen, owner of Berkshire Pro Audio. “It’s a large, narrow, cavernous space that needed a system that would keep reflections off the walls to minimize reverberation.”
The facility houses a 50-meter Olympic-sized pool with two removable bulk heads that allow for a warm-up area, a competition pool, and a separate diving well. The gallery offers seating for 400.
Jansen specified two One Systems 112/NAT loudspeakers to cover the pool area – one focused on the diving area with the other covering the longer portion of the pool. In addition, a pair of One Systems 108/NAT loudspeakers, centrally located and splayed, handle the gallery seating area.
“The speakers in the gallery have a different control system then those covering the pool area,” says Jansen. “This allows the school to tailor the levels individually, while a ducking system cuts music when announcements are played.”
Both the 112/NAT and 108/NAT are designed for indoor pool environments and feature sealed-enclosure designs, which allows for simple low-frequency equalization using mixer strip EQ or other shelving style filters. The 108/NAT (8-inch) and 112/NAT (12-inch) Series loudspeakers also offer fully rotatable and interchangeable high-frequency horns.
One Systems NAT Series loudspeakers utilize highly specialized AL6XN stainless steel in their grilles, screws, and U-brackets, which makes them resistant to the effects of chloramides. Sodium chlorides and potassium chlorides rise above splash zones of indoor pools and aggressively attack 304-grade and marine-grade stainless steels that are used in typical outdoor loudspeakers.
“The school was extremely pleased with the end result,” Jansen notes. “The two systems provide seamless coverage, but provide the flexibility of two different systems. Whether you are an athlete or a fan – there isn’t a bad seat in the house – even if you have water in your ears.”