Latest Project:FedEx Forum, Home of the Memphis Grizzlies, Upgrades Its Audio System With HARMAN BSS Audio Soundweb London Processing

The FedEx Forum, an 18,119-seat arena home of the Memphis Grizzlies NBA basketball team and the University of Memphis NCAA college basketball team, has completed a major renovation of its audio system, which included the retrofit of more than 100 BSS Audio components including a host of BSS BLU-160 processors.

The 805,850 square foot facility was built in 2004, and featured BSS Soundweb 9088 devices in the original audio system. However, ownership decided it was time to undertake an upgrade of the audio system. As part of the retrofit by Memphis-based systems contractor Audio Communications Consultants, Inc, 25 BLU-160 processors, 24 BLUCARD-IN and 53 BLUCARD-OUT modules three BLU-BLU10 Programmable Controllers, two BLU-BOB1 Output Expanders were installed.

The BSS devices had to provide processing not only for the main arena, but also for several other systems in the suites, lobbies, concourse, press and interview rooms, gym, gift shops, restaurants, bar, and for the delay speakers under the balcony in the upper seating area.

“There were a number of things we needed to accomplish with the upgrade,” stated Walter Wilhelm, President of Operations at Audio Communications Consultants, Inc. “We had to use the existing equipment racks and locations – this was a constraint we could not work around. Also, we had to complete the job in a very short time frame, so the products we needed had to be deliverable from the factory in a short time.”

“Working with the existing cable and fiber backbone was also a big concern,” Wilhelm continued, “but we were able to interface all the new gear with the existing system, with the exception of a few new fiber cables that we installed to some areas that originally had copper, because fiber was a better, more reliable option. We did have to replace some of the existing fiber converters and replace several network switches.”

“We run the new system using the BSS BLU-Link networking protocol and London Architect system design software. This enabled us to do the programming offsite, and retrofit, test and tune the system onsite in only 10 days, which is pretty fast for a project this size,” stated Wilhelm.

“The owner set very high standards for sound quality,” said Wilhelm. “He wanted the audio quality to be even better than the original. I have had several people tell me that the system sounds better than ever, although the speakers and amplifiers are still the same. That’s because the newer BSS Soundweb London products are much better sounding, and the existing JBL loudspeakers and Crown amplifiers are excellent products, but can now be heard to their full capabilities.”

“The bottom line result was that the project was a big hit with the owner,” concluded Wilhelm.

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For additional information, contact:

Jason Kunz

HARMAN Signal Processing