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Big Ben’s bell ends? Martin Audio proposes solution to keep Great Bell ringing

Daniel Gumble 18 August 2017
Big Ben's bell ends? Martin Audio proposes solution to keep Great Bell ringing

With Big Ben’s hourly bong set to cease on Monday, August 21 for the first time in 157 years, Martin Audio has written to The Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt. Hon. John Bercow MP, with a solution that could keep the Great Bell ringing.

Essential maintenance work is due to be carried out on Big Ben, which means the hourly bell will not be able to ring out for approximately four years in order to protect the ears of the repair workers.

Now, Dom Harter, managing director of Martin Audio, has penned the following letter:

Dear Mr Speaker,

My name is Dominic Harter and I am the Managing Director of a UK loudspeaker manufacturer and international exporter – Martin Audio.

We have been listening to the ongoing debate around the silencing of Big Ben with some interest, and believe we have an innovative solution that can enable the bell sounds to emanate external to Big Ben while at the same time offering “rear rejection” so as to provide protection for the workers during refurbishments.

Martin Audio manufactures professional loudspeakers for the entertainment industry. This includes our premium large format MLA system which our customers and partners use to provide the sound for large format concerts and festivals around the world.

One of the features of MLA is that we are able to steer sound accurately; in addition to this we are able to generate very high sound pressure levels in front of the loudspeakers whilst maintaining a dramatic reduction in sound behind them. This is unique to Martin Audio.

Therefore, theoretically, we could replace the bell over the 4-year period with four hangs / stacks of our MLA units and generate the same kind of level and output as Big Ben by playing a recording which could be fired off on the hour by a computer all this whilst maintaining safe working levels around the clock tower.

I look forward to your reply.

Many thanks

Dominic Harter

Do you think such a solution could work? Let us know.

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