Philadelphia, PA (December 7, 2021)—Since opening 20 years ago, Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts has been a cornerstone of the city’s arts scene, hosting performances from the world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra, the Philly Pops, and artists in the Kimmel Campus Presents series. After an extended pandemic hiatus, Verizon Hall reopened to the public in September and debuted a new Meyer Sound system with an amplified Philly Pops concert series showcasing the music of Frank Sinatra.
With 360-degree seating for 2,500 patrons, Verizon Hall needed to ensure every seat would hear performances clearly, and that’s where the new Meyer system comes in. Although The Philadelphia Orchestra itself is not amplified through the system, the new loudspeakers are utilized for dialogue and effects in a film series where the Orchestra performs the score. Concerts for the Philly Pops and Kimmel Campus Presents series normally are amplified.
The new system, based around LEOPARD line array and ULTRA-X Series point source loudspeakers, in fact replaced the original Meyer Sound PA that the venue opened with in 2001, based on a center cluster of MSL-4 loudspeakers. Director of Production Andre Barette said the time had come to upgrade to contemporary audio technology as well as accommodate a video upgrade.
“The new system has been extremely well received,” said Barette. “The comments have been overwhelmingly positive. The loudspeakers put out a lot of sound for their size, and we love how controlled and directional they are. With our excellent concert hall acoustics, it’s critical that the amplified sound be crisp and clear in every seat, with the same response from the front row to the upper balcony.”
Most of the hall seating is covered by the twin arrays of 12 LEOPARD line array loudspeakers, with nine LEOPARD-M80 versions for the longer throw over three standard versions for nearer seats. The wrap-around seating is accommodated by mirror image flown subsystems on each side, each with single ULTRA-X40 and ULTRA-X23 loudspeakers on the upper bar with two ULTRA-X40 loudspeakers and a single ULTRA-X20 on the lower bar. Deep bass reproduction is supplied by six ground-stacked 900-LFC low-frequency control elements, three per side in cardioid configuration.
System design was a repeat performance by Meyer Sound Director of System Optimization Bob McCarthy. DBS Audio Systems of nearby Coatesville was the integrator, under the direction of Dave Brotman, with custom rigging for the side hangs engineered and fabricated by Mountain Productions of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Project and acoustical consultant was Chicago-based Threshold Acoustics.