Clarity comes to Thai temple

Published: WORSHIP

Clarity comes to Thai temple

THAILAND: Originally built in the Ayutthaya period, which dates from 1351 to 1767, Wat Tha Sung or The Glass Temple takes its name from the spectacular roof made from mirrors and crystals. By the mid-1700s the temple was derelict, but in 1789 monk Luang Pho Yai restored it, with more buildings later added to the complex. It now has many pavilions with accommodation for meditation.

One of the newer main halls, Sala 12 Rai, has recently undergone extensive renovation in preparation for being renamed 100th Birthday of Pra Rachapromyan Cathedral. The 30 year old hall needed a system to be primarily used for chanting, sermons and meditation teaching. It required even SPL coverage of ±3dB across its entire area, a challenge made more complicated due to a large number of pillars located relatively close together. Bangkok-based Vision One was called in for the project. It decided on an L-Acoustics loudspeaker system which combined Kara line arrays, Arcs Focus line sources and coaxial X-Series cabinets.

‘Mr Alvin Koh, L-Acoustics applications engineer for Asia, was involved in the project from day one,’ said Vision One’s Tanapat ‘Tony’ Mongkolkosol. ‘He visited the site and discussed the requirements with the temple’s committee, including the project manager monk Mongkolwate, the senior advisor/architect Chumnumporn Chavananont and the interior designer. The support from L-Acoustics helped us to convince the committee that our solution would be the best one to solve the many challenges that the hall presented.’

These challenges included the central part of the hall being around 100m wide by 120m long, with a ceiling height of 23m. The speaker system also needed to be as discreet as possible, in order not to intrude upon the atmosphere of the temple.

Using Soundvision software, the Vision One team produced over 20 system designs to ensure that all of the potential solutions had been covered. The final design comprised 48 Kara, eight SB18i, 50 X12, four Arcs Focus and six X8, all powered by 30 LA4X amplifiers.

‘Most of the loudspeakers were flown from the main beams, so we specified the white version of the cabinets to match them,’ explained Mr Mongkolkosol. ‘For the main system we split the Kara into six clusters of eight in three zones, with each zone comprising two clusters, and coupled four SB18i with eight Kara (for both left and right hangs) in zone one at the front of the hall.

‘Avoiding reflections is the key to achieving a low-level, dispersed sound that still provides an “in the face” sensation,’ he continued. ‘With 48 pillars, curtains and side walls to take into account, a lot of attention was paid to determine the best locations for the speakers. We installed 34 X12 as aisle-fills and 16 X12 as stage monitors. Four X8 provide front-fills and two X8 are control room monitors. Finally, four Arcs Focus have been deployed as front stage-fills.’

The result is one that Mr Mongkolkosol is proud of. ‘The Abbot, the project manager, architect, interior designer and all responsible are very happy with the sound quality that the L-Acoustics system has delivered. They all agree that the hall now enjoys the best sound quality of its 30-year history.’

‘We are very grateful to everyone at Vision One and the L-Acoustics team for all of their hard work,’ added monk Monkolwate. ‘We now have the ideal solution for delivering the best ever sound in this incredible hall.’

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