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Honda Center Audio System Gets Facelift

Newly installed Crown CTs amplifiers are helping fans at Anaheim, Calif.’s Honda Center ( hear the commentaries and stadium anthems during the Ducks hockey games. Formerly known as Arrowhead Pond, the 17,000-seat Honda Center is a major entertainment and sports arena best known as home to the National Hockey League’s Anaheim Ducks. Aside from hosting Stanley Cup playoffs and finals, World Wrestling Entertainment matches and other high-profile sporting events, the Honda Center has also long been a staple touring stop for many artists.

According to Honda Center head of audio, Nate Chivers, “Having updated our scoreboard a couple of years ago with 60-foot LED screens on the north and south ends, late last year we embarked on a major sound system upgrade.” Working in tandem with Chivers and the Honda Center staff, Houston/San Antonio-based Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon & Williams (WJHW, served as the design consultant on the upgrade project, with equipment supplied and installed by San Francisco’s Pro Media/UltraSound (

“We determined that the venue needed to upgrade the current sound system,” recalls WJHW senior consultant Mark Graham, who worked closely with managing principal Jack Wrightson. “The Honda Center had enjoyed a good experience with products from Harman Pro Group, so we decided on a Crown-powered main cluster, subwoofer, delay and fill system using JBL PD Series loudspeaker cabinets and BSS Soundweb London BLU-80 signal processing units.”

Crown amplifiers specified for the retrofit project comprise 12 CTs 1200 Lite, eight CTs 2000 Lite and 38 CTs 3000 Lite units. Sound distribution is via fiber-optic CobraNet cabling and HP ProCurve multiport network switches.

The new four-sided loudspeaker cluster around the scoreboard is supplemented by a balcony delay ring for the upper-dozen rows of audience seating, plus subwoofers. Each Crown amplifier is equipped with IQ-PIP (Programmable Input Processor) Modules that enable individual components to be controlled remotely using Crown’s IQ command protocol via a conventional CobraNet audio network. .

“The primary requirement for the new system was that it should provide high-impact sound coverage to every section of the arena,” recalls Pro Media/UltraSound’s Palavos. “And, because of the hockey season timetable and events being held at the Honda Center, we need to update the sound system mid-season. We had a 10-day window during which we first added the delay speakers and fills, plus the amp racks, and then we rigged the new central clusters and completed the Cat-5 and related wiring. Interestingly, we run both Crown IQ and BSS London [control and data transfer] over the same Ethernet network. In that way, the sound engineering staff can monitor the performance of each individual amplifier via a custom-designed application that was developed using Crown and BSS [Harman Pro HiQnet] GUI software. It dramatically simplifies any reconfiguration that needs to be done to the complex system and helps monitor the performance of all components.”

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