Fox Performing Arts Center Upgrades Audio System With HARMAN’s JBL VERTEC® Line Arrays

07 July 2011, Northridge, CA

Founded in 1929 as Fox’s Riverside Theater, the Fox Performing Arts Center is one of southern California’s most historic cultural landmarks and host to a wide variety of musical artists, performers and theater presentations. The venue recently underwent a total renovation that took two years to complete. A completely new sound system features more than 50 HARMAN JBL loudspeakers, highlighted by JBL VERTEC® line arrays.

The new system includes 20 JBL VERTEC VT4888 midsize line array elements, 10 each for the left and right main stage arrays, plus a center cluster of six VERTEC VT4887A compact line array elements. Also included are 10 ASB7128 dual-18-inch subwoofers, 11 VRX928LA compact Constant Curvature loudspeakers for front fill and under-balcony coverage, four VRX928LAP powered Constant Curvature loudspeakers for side fill, six AC26 compact speakers in the rear upper balcony, and numerous Control 25T surface-mount and Control 26CT in-ceiling speakers in the lobby for public address and background music.

The system design specifications included initial input from Ted Leamy of Pro Media/UltraSound in Hercules, California and veteran audio consultant Stanley Miller. The size of the theater and the height of its proscenium arch mandated the use of a left-center-right line array format for the main loudspeaker configuration. Depending on the type and volume requirements of the performance, the center cluster can be used on its own for basic events, or the full left-center-right system can be employed for more demanding productions. The JBL VERTEC line arrays were chosen by the designers for their ability to handle various types of program material equally well including live music, theatrical performances, comedy acts and other types of presentations.

Systems integrator Sound Image of Escondido, California, headed by system designer and project manager Mike Martin, completed the installation project and as-built documentation for the venue. Having successfully implemented VERTEC systems in numerous similar venues, the company was well prepared to address the challenging project.

“This installation was more challenging than most because we had to install the audio system after all the other renovations had already been done, instead of working with the other trades at the same time during the renovation,” Martin noted. “On top of that, we had to take great care to ensure that the loudspeakers were not visually obtrusive, while still delivering the proper sound coverage. Because JBL offers such a wide range of loudspeaker sizes and configurations, we were able to choose the models we needed to accomplish this without overly impacting the architectural integrity of the venue.”