The Vienna Musikverein, home of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, has recently had Meyer Sound CAL column array loudspeakers installed in the venue’s 1,744-seat Golden Hall which has been described by the New York Times as “a model of acoustic perfection” for classical concert halls around the world.
Musikverein has chosen the steerable Meyer Sound CAL system in order to optimise the speech clarity in the space, characterised by its resonant, rich acoustics.
Musikverein audio engineer Martin Laumann, says: “Everybody is very pleased with the intelligibility of the new system. Voices through CAL have more depth, reach, and clarity in a room where you often can’t understand a colleague talking to you from only five meters away.”
Lauman states that the room was faced with several acoustical and logistical challenges when he was specifying a loudspeaker for speech reproduction.
Firstly, the system had to cope with a reverberation time of well over two seconds, which is wonderful for orchestral music, but poor for speech intelligibility.
The loudspeakers also had to be completely hidden from view behind a grille, as well as having to fit inside a narrow space in a less-than-ideal location, throw clear sound nearly 50 meters to back of the second balcony and present voices with a natural balance and tone.
“We auditioned and measured systems from different manufacturers, and CAL was clearly the best solution,” continues Laumann. “The CAL cabinets are more compact, the sound beam is better controlled, and the STI-PA intelligibility measurements show better values. CAL also fits neatly into the narrow space, so the loudspeakers remain invisible to the audience.”
Two CAL 64 column array loudspeakers are mounted side-by-side: the beam of one is aimed down at a 19-degree angle with a 20degree vertical beam spread to cover the main floor; the other is aimed on axis with a15-degree vertical beam spread to cover the two rear balconies. These two CAL loudspeakers are set up for failover redundancy. In addition, the system includes two MM-4XP self-powered loudspeakers to cover small seating areas behind the stage on each side of the organ loft.
The system was provided and installed by Sommerein, Austria-based ATEC Pro Audio under the leadership of Manfred Prochazka. The complete system also includes an Allen & Heath iDR-8 matrix mixer and processor with remote capability, as well as Sennheiser wireless microphones.