Electro‑Voice XLVC installed at Suntory Hall, Tokyo — "a jewel box of sound"
Suntory Hall is the first building in Tokyo to be created solely for live concert events. Opened in Oct. 12, 1986, Suntory Hall has a well-established reputation for its excellent acoustics, and, with its location in central Tokyo, has consistently high annual attendances. The addition of an elegant Electro-Voice XLVC (X-Line Very Compact) sound system enhances the sound and speech intelligibility at the historic Hall.
Suntory Hall is renowned for legendary composer Herbert von Karajan’s remark that Suntory Hall is “Truly a jewel box of sound.“ The seats in the Main Hall provide space for more than 2,000 people. It also has one of the largest pipe organs in the world, custom built and crafted by Austria’s Rieger Orgelbau. The concert stage is patterned after Berliner Philharmonie, where the seats are situated around in a “vineyard configuration.“
“Since the upgrade, the speech is very clear.”
Along with regular performances by the finest orchestras in Japan, many of the world’s best orchestras and most famous artists have performed concerts at Suntory, including the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic. Suntory Hall even created a new opera performance form called “Hall Opera,“ and continues to lead the classical music field in Japan with its outstanding productions.
When the hall was first opened 20 years ago, classical halls did not normally have audio equipment, and only minimal systems could address hall announcements. However, a new Education Program, which explains the historical background and time period during which a particular composer lived, was designed for children and adults to provide an in-depth understanding of classical music history. At these concerts it is crucial that every word be delivered with high intelligibility to the very back of the house. This was not possible with conventional speaker systems. So, beginning Sep. 1, 2007, a project began that would replace Suntory Hall’s audio system.
Because Electro-Voice’s XLVC series line array loudspeakers passed the precondition of fitting into the venue’s ceiling storage space, Nagata Acoustics designed a system of nine XLD281 and nine XLE181 cabinets, to be installed by Yamaha Sound Systems, Inc. When these main elements are stored, regular sound reinforcement requirements can be addressed with the venue’s lower level speakers.
The XLD281 is the core element of the XLVC system. It features a unique, three-way design using Coverage Control Technology (CCT™), with two subwoofers and DSP control. It also supports calculation software (LAPS) for easy installation settings for cabinet angle, sound-field prediction and flying data in an all-in-one rigging structure. The XLE181 is an XLVC element that can be used to build the most compact line array systems with its smallest, lightest, all-in-one rigging structure. The XLE181 also features a lightweight neodymium speaker and LAPS. The system at Suntory will cover all four directions, suitable for the Hall’s unique 360-degree seating design. In order to ensure high-quality sound, fully digital transmission is set up through a Klark Teknik DN9848E loudspeaker processor.
The maintenance staff at Suntory Hall explains: “Because the shape of the line-array is so good, it practically blends into the scene and does not interrupt the ceiling lightning. It is a system that is possible to make various sounds according to any sound configuration.“ Visitors have responded favorably to the system, saying, “Since the upgrade, the speech is very clear.“
Bosch Communications SystemsEVI Audio Japan, Ltd.
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