It’s called “The Barn,” officially known as the Williams Arena, home of the University of Minnesota’s Golden Gophers men’s and women’s basketball teams.
The Barn’s 14,625-capacity main arena has been renovated with an all-new sound system that includes more than 100 Harman’s JBL loudspeakers.
Parsons Electric of Minneapolis, Minnesota was the systems integrator for the project. Parsons collaborated with Richmond, Virginia-based audio/video consulting and architectural services firm Anthony James Partners.
According to Tim Habedank, System Specialist for Parsons Electric, Williams Arena is a large, reverberant space, making it a challenge from a system design standpoint.
“We had a reverberation time of about seven seconds,” Habedank said.
“The shape of Williams lent itself to a line array system because the hanging points were far enough away from the seating that we needed speakers that would cover a large area,” Habedank noted. “Williams has three seating levels, so we were able to direct the boxes to the different levels as needed.”
Parsons Electric installed eight line arrays, each comprised of six JBL VRX932LA-1 Constant Curvature loudspeakers, along with two additional arrays of four VRX932LA-1 loudspeakers each for court coverage.
The system also features four subwoofer clusters, each containing three JBL ASB6128 subs, while 20 Control 30 loudspeakers are installed for upper balcony fill with 48 Control 29AV loudspeakers for lower balcony fill.
In addition, Parsons Electronic separated the VRX system into three zones—one for each level—so each zone can be controlled discretely with a touchpanel.
“Williams is a multi-purpose arena, so for events that don’t require the full system, the top two levels of speakers can be turned off if only the lower level speakers are required,” Habedank said. “Or the top level can be turned off if only the lower and middle levels need to be reached.
“The system is easily configurable depending on the requirements of each event.”
“The VRX system really packs a punch and covers Williams Arena very well,” Habedank added. “We did some level shading on the system to ensure that every seat in the arena is separated by less than a few dB. We have really nice, even coverage with the VRX line arrays.”