Crusader Stadium, the 7,600-plus capacity home stadium of the NCAA Cru football team at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, TX has been equipped with a new end zone-based sound reinforcement system implemented by Daktronics that utilizes recently released AHS steerable coaxial horn loudspeakers joined by additional components from Fulcrum Acoustic.
A new, enlarged video display implemented at the same time consumed all available space within the existing structure, so an additional structure above the display was required to house the loudspeakers. Due to wind loading concerns, the height of this additional structure was restricted to about six feet tall, thereby limiting the space available for loudspeakers.
In addition, the end-zone location necessitates high output to achieve suitable sound levels at the farthest seats. Tight pattern control is necessary to keep sound within the seating bowl while avoiding excessive sound levels on the field and minizing reflections off of the Bawcom Student Union building behind the seats on the east side of the stadium.
To meet these needs, Daktronics deployed six AHS modules — each with up to four coaxial compression drivers and four horn-loaded 10-inch woofers in a 31-inch tall package — in a horizontal “ribbon” above the the scoreboard. The available space allowed for three stacks of two modules each that deliver sufficient output to achieve the project’s sound level goals.
“The AH family of loudspeakers showed us that this level of output was possible from a relatively compact enclosure,” says David Gunness, vice president of R&D at Fulcrum Acoustic. “The AHS is just the next phase of development for long-throw applications; meant to deliver significant high frequency projection and an adjustable vertical pattern to provide the exact coverage required.”
Specifically, two stacks of two AHS440 modules are splayed left and right of center to cover the far seating along the sides of the stadium, with their horizontal dispersion helping to maintain lateral uniformity within the coverage pattern. Fulcrum Acoustic’s beam-forming DSP algorithms configure the vertical dispersion as required by the specific geometry of the stadium. Meanwhile, the middle stack has an AHS440 stacked on an AHS460 (60-degree horizontal) aimed down the centerline of the field to provide long-throw coverage of the far end as well as coverage of the playing field.
Coverage for seating areas closer to the scoreboard is supplied by two AH463 coaxial horns positioned at the outer edges of the scoreboard. A single FH1596 coaxial horn supplies down fill coverage for the grassy berm and near endzone area, while two additional FH1565 horns are embedded within separate niches to provide side fill coverage. Two stacks of three Sub218L dual 18-inch subwoofers extend the low frequency response of the system.
“It’s an impressive full-range system with a remarkable level of control,” says Daktronics applications engineer David Sturzenbecher. “I can already imagine utilizing the AHS for many more applications, particularly stadiums, going forward.”