16 March 2006, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

Australian sports facility installs extensive audio system.

Preparing for the 2006 Commonwealth Games, Melbourne Cricket Club undertook a substantial renovation to the Melbourne Cricket Ground, which included building a new Northern Stand and the installation of a new property-wide public address system featuring Harman HiQnet communications protocol technology. The previous public address system consisted of a single speaker cluster positioned at one end of the facility, providing limited speech intelligibility. Answering the call for complete and intelligible speaker coverage for every seat in the stands, Rutledge Engineering and Acoustic Directions, in conjunction with audio consultants Marshall Day Acoustics designed a new fully distributed sound system featuring networked Harman HiQnet products from BSS and Crown, reinforcing loudspeakers from JBL Professional. Rutledge Engineering was contracted to supply and install the new public address system.

Jands Australia provided the custom JBL cabinets for the upgrade. A total of 164 custom JBL PA speakers were utilized in the massive installation. The speakers were distributed among 55 clusters to cover the arena seating area. Multiple Control 25AVs were placed under balcony, along with a combination of Control 26s and Control 19 in- ceiling subwoofers installed throughout the facility in the function rooms, dining areas and walkways, providing a clear, property-wide PA system.

The HiQnet enabled system includes 128 Crown CTs amplifiers, located in communication rooms throughout the property, which power all the speakers. A BSS Soundweb London system controls the audio, allowing MCG tech staff to control the system via computer interface. The CobraNet™ communications protocol allows transmission of high quality digital audio on a single network cable, enabling the Soundweb London units and Crown amplifiers to be accessed from remote locations around the facility grounds.

The new system made its successful debut in December 2005 for the Boxing Day Cricket test match. Founded in 1838, the Melbourne Cricket Club, whose membership waiting list exceeds its current member list, has a long and prestigious history. Home to the 1956 Olympics, the MCG expands its exceptional events resume by hosting the 2006 Commonwealth Games, whose first day of athletic events is this Sunday, March 19th.