TSURUGA, FUKUI PREFECTURE, JAPAN: Ryokaku-ji Temple is located in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, three-hundred miles west of Tokyo in central Japan. Although it was founded nearly five hundred years ago – literally centuries before the advent of sound reinforcement! – Ryokaku-ji Temple has never hesitated to embrace new technologies. When the temple moved to a new building fourteen years ago, it installed a sound system for the 100-seat hall of worship that promised clear speech and moving music reproduction. But, much to the disappointment of the family that owns Ryokaku-ji Temple that promise was never delivered. Speech sounded boxy and music dribbled out, drained of its vitality. EMU and ENU, a nearby Tokyo-based pro audio sales and sound reinforcement integrator, came to the rescue when the family had finally had enough. Company president Masaki Morimoto designed a new cost-effective system centered on the powerful processing and robust performance of an Ashly
ne8250pe eight-channel amplifier plus DSP, combined with an Ashly WR-5 remote controller for intuitive user control.
The new system consists of six loudspeakers and one subwoofer. A stereo pair of One Systems full-range boxes is located where the ceiling meets the wall above the main riser, and four Tannoy ceiling speakers distribute audio over the seating area. Adept at many of the tools of the pro audio trade, Morimoto built a subwoofer to specification for the temple. He custom-sized the dual five-inch to fit under the furniture in front of the statue of Buddha.
“I wanted to deliver a reliable, long-lived system that would sound full and musical,” said Morimoto. “In addition, the system had to be compact and cost-effective. In my pro audio experience, which is now stretching into its fifth decade, the Ashly products represent a unique combination of performance, reliability and economy. I was confident that the two-rack space Ashly unit would result in the improvements that the owners were expecting.”
The inputs to the system consist of four wireless microphones, two wired microphones, a CD player, and a DI from an electric organ (ably played by the wife of Ryokaku-ji Temple’s chief priest). The microphones are used primarily for the sutra of a few priests and the spoken word of a sermon on the weekends. The inputs feed a TOA 12-in/2-out analog mixer, which in turn feeds the Ashly ne8250pe. With the easily-connected Ashly WR-5 wall remote control, users can control the overall volume and select between speech and music modes, which reconfigure the loudspeaker’s relative volumes and equalization. Morimoto made good use of the Ashly ne8250pe’s integrated DSP, which contains a well-implemented list of processing modules that are available in any custom configuration via easy-to-use software.
“The sound quality is now perfect for both speech and music reproduction,” enthused Morimoto. “The family that owns Ryokaku-ji Temple is very pleased. We’re now drawing up plans to revamp the sound system in their early-childhood education wing. Once again, Ashly Audio’s technology will form its core.”
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PHOTO CAPTION Masaki Morimoto designed the new cost-effective system for Japan’s Ryokaku-ji Temple centered on the powerful processing and robust performance of the Ashly ne8250pe eight-channel amplifier plus DSP, combined with an Ashly WR-5 remote controller for intuitive user control and tastefully hid the equipment so not to distract from the beauty of the room.