Located in Kingstree, South Carolina, the Williamsburg County Courthouse has undergone a number of renovations since the first cornerstone was laid almost 200 years ago. The long, rectangular courtroom has long experienced intelligibility issues.
The newest renovation – which occurred in the spring of 2013 – called for a sound reinforcement system that would blend in while keeping the sound off the hard surfaces and on the audience. In short, they needed a system that would add clarity to the proceedings.
County officials hired Spectrum Sound, from nearby Summerville, to design and install the new system. Shortly thereafter owner of Spectrum Sound, Joe Bennett, specified a system built around Tannoy VLS loudspeakers.
“Because the building is listed in the National Historic Register, it was important that the loudspeakers didn’t detract from the significance of the room,” explains Joe Bennett, owner of Spectrum Sound. “The new VLS passive column loudspeakers offered everything the installation required.”
VLS loudspeakers incorporate FAST – Focused Asymmetrical Shaping Technology – which produces an asymmetrical vertical dispersion that gently shapes the acoustic coverage toward the lower quadrant of the vertical axis. The result is a passive loudspeaker that greatly improves vocal intelligibility, making them a good solution for Williamsburg County Courthouse.
“We mounted a pair of VLS 15 loudspeakers high on the back wall behind the judge’s bench,” Bennett adds. “The white color coordinated well with the space making them aesthetically attractive. We used the brackets provided and the system was up in no time.”
The VLS 15 is loaded with seven 3.5-inch low frequency and eight 1-inch high frequency driver arrays in a long cylindrical enclosure approximately 32.1 x 4.8 x 7 inches in size.
Bennett paired the system with a Biamp Nexia CS digital signal processor for control of the loudspeakers as well as the new Shure Microflex wireless boundary microphones and receivers that were installed with the renovation.
“The system we installed will allow an easy transition to recording courtroom proceedings when they make that move,” explains Bennett. “Most importantly, the Tannoy loudspeakers ensure the vocal intelligibility the court needs – now and in the future.”