Big Palette Fukushima equipped with One Systems and Ashly Audio
JAPAN: Following the devastating Tóhoku earthquake in March 2011, Japan’s multi-purpose convention centre, Big Palette Fukushima in Koriyama resumed operations in November 2012 following 19 months of disruption. The 22,600sq-m facility hosts a variety of exhibitions, regional festivals, international conferences and sporting events during the course of the year. A new A/V system was specified for which the facilities management team relied on Morimoto Naniwa Sound Projects Co Ltd of Tokyo to design the system, working closely with local system integration company Esu Esu Techno Co Ltd.
‘This project was to renew their old infrastructure,’ commented co-owner of Morimoto Naniwa Sound Projects, Masaki Morimoto. ‘Big Pallete was built in 1998, and all of its facilities – including sound reinforcement – were beginning to show their age. We drew up the renewal planning early in 2011, but the project was obviously postponed due to the huge tsunami in the spring of that year.’ Mr Morimoto explained that the sound reinforcement systems in the exhibition and convention halls would primarily be used for voice announcements, so high intelligibility and plenty of power was of primary importance.
One Systems 112IM direct weather loudspeakers and 108IM 7-volt line ceiling speakers powered by Ashly ne800.70 amplifiers now serve the facility’s 2,955sq-m exhibition hall and the 100sq-m convention hall. The same speaker locations were used to blend with the existing lighting and catwalk areas. ‘For this facility we were trying to find speakers with incredible sound reproduction and the ability to deliver even sound pressure level as well, so One Systems was a perfect fit,’ explained Mr Morimoto. ‘The ability of One Systems speakers to change the coverage pattern on the horns to 105 degrees x 60 degrees was a huge plus for this application.’
One Systems multiple mounting options ensured ease of installation. In the convention hall the 108IM and 112IM speakers were mounted on either side of the catwalk using PT-38 and PT-76 brackets, whilst the 112IM speakers were ceiling mounted in the exhibition hall using 112IM-U U-Brackets. ‘Not only do One Systems speakers provide superb reproduction quality and flexible mounting options, but the flexible horn patterns in each and rotatable horns in the 108 and 112IMs, made the choice easy for us,’ furthered Mr Morimoto.
Existing inputs to the system include announcement microphones and BGM sources, which feed an existing mixing console at the technical position. They were also able to re-purpose some existing Panasonic DSPs for input and loudspeaker conditioning.
‘It was easy to reuse the large Panasonic low-impedance amplifiers for the 112IM loudspeakers, but the options for a high-impedance power amplifier with large output were limited,’ he said. ‘Ashly Audio’s low cost, reliability and sound quality made it the obvious choice.’
Three Ashly ne800.70 amplifiers power all of the 70-volt loudspeakers. Mr Morimoto tuned the system during commissioning, whilst Big Pallete’s engineers’ operate day-to-day functions from the mixing console. ‘The sound quality of the new system is very good,’ he concluded. ‘All announcements are clear and intelligible, even above the noise of an exhibition or event.’