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Fargodome Upgrades With JBL

The newly upgraded Fargodome in Fargo, N.D., features a highly integrated sound system comprising technologies from JBL Professional, BSS Audio and Crown International. Designed to serve a range of applications from sports to municipal events to commercial trade shows and theatrical productions, the 29,000-seat Fargodome, which is home to the North Dakota State University Bison football team, now has a sound system that can adapt according to the event, as well as synchronize with the arena’s four large video displays.

The system was designed and specified by Synergistic Design Associates (SDA) of Minneapolis; installation and integration was done by AVI Audio, a division of AVI Systems of Bismark, Minn., which also was the dealer for the equipment sales.

The main sound reinforcement system comprises Crown CTs amplifiers powering 22 fixed clusters and six additional clusters located on ceiling-mounted motorized pulleys featuring JBL Precision Directivity Series’ PD5212/64 (24 total) and PD5212/95 full range loudspeakers (48 total), as well as eight JBL Vertec VT4882DPCN powered subwoofers to add additional punch to music through the system. BSS Soundweb London Architect provides digital signal processing for the system, including delays and equalization to all 28 clusters and coordinates them with distributed audio throughout the rest of the arena. This delay and processing is complemented by the Crown and JBL HiQnet products that provide speaker processing and additional delay flexibility.

Other equipment used in the installation includes 17 Crown CTs 600 amplifiers, 31 Crown CTs 1200 amplifiers, two Crown CTs 3000 amplifiers, 48 Crown PIP-USP3/CN modules (HiQnet and CobraNet Interface), two Crown I-T6000 amplifiers, 10 BSS London Architect BLU-80 digital signal processors and 10 BSS London Architect BLU-32 I/O expanders. System Architect software is also being used to provide additional flexibility, as well as control and monitoring to complement the London system.

“The predictive coverage of the JBL PD Series horns is excellent, both horizontally and vertically,” says Robert Oswood, principal consultant on the project for SDA. In the most recent measurements he took at the Fargodome, its Speech Transmission Index (STI) came in between 0.57 and 0.64 in seating areas, extremely high results for a venue that large. Furthermore, Oswood stated, the system’s price/performance ratio was exceptional. “We put the design together as a performance specification and took it to four major manufacturers,” he says. “The Harman Pro Group components were by far the best for both performance and price. As a system, it represents a very high-value proposition for the arena’s owners.”

Dean Eberle, sales engineer at AVI Audio, says the BSS Soundweb London Architect enhanced the cost-effectiveness of the entire system thanks to its simplified programming capability and user-friendly GUI. “Despite the complexity of the mission it was given at the Fargodome, the London Architect was programmed in such a way that users could simply select the appropriate macro setting for any application, from sports to a convention, and instantly have the best sound possible for that use,” he said.

For more information, visit Harman Pro Group at