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Meyer Sound CAL maximises speech intelligibility in medieval Italian Cathedral


Built in the early 12 century, the stately Romanesque Cathedral of Sessa Aurunca in Italy, recently installed a Meyer Sound CAL column array loudspeaker system to solve a speech intelligibility problem commonly found in highly reverberant spaces.

The cathedral's high, vaulted interior is acoustically reflective, with stone walls and columns surrounding a tile mosaic floor, and hard plastic seating. To bring speech clarity to this reverberant space, two CAL 32 loudspeakers were deployed to focus acoustic energy precisely on the congregation seating area with minimal energy exciting the adjacent hard surfaces. The CAL loudspeakers are adjustable to one degree of vertical dispersion.

“The cathedral is an ancient and historic building, and almost nothing is permitted that would alter the appearance of the interior,” said Lorenzo Benigna of System Provider Linear Sound S.r.l. “Our objective was to design a new system that would be effective, yet practically unnoticeable.”

The two slender CAL 32 loudspeakers are mounted flush against the cathedral’s sidewall to remain unobtrusive, with each vertical beam tilted down 10 degrees. Their vertical dispersion angle is set at 30 degrees to project a uniform wedge of highly intelligible sound precisely upon the seating area.

“There really is no comparison to the cathedral’s old system,” pointed out Lorenzo. “CAL is an exceptional system with superior performance not just for speech, but for music as well.”

The system also employs eight MM-4XP and four MM-4XPD self-powered loudspeakers to discreetly fill seating area spots that are acoustically shadowed. The units receive audio signal and DC power over a single cable from dual MPS-488HP power supplies (48 V DC).

The system design was a collaborative effort involving Lorenzo and Giovanni Bugari of Linear Sound, together with Adriano Conte, a church AV consultant.

www.meyersound.com

 

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