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Clair Systems And HARMAN JBL Loudspeakers Bring Bryn Mawr College’s Goodhart Hall Into Class Of Its Own

Clair Brothers recently installed an extensive HARMAN audio system at the Goodhart Hall at Bryn Mawr College.

NORTHRIDGE, California – Illustrating the power and configurability of HARMAN JBL Professional loudspeakers, the newly renovated and expanded Goodhart Hall at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania now has a multifaceted new sound system that complements the hall’s multi-use theater space, courtesy of Clair Brothers Audio Systems, Inc.

As part of an extensive renovation, a new JBL sound system was also added. Designed with Saben Shawhan of Metropolitan Acoustics and installed by Clair Systems, the system meets the very specific needs of Goodhart Hall. The venue’s stage is used for theatrical applications like theater and dance, classical music recitals, pop music concerts, civic engagement activities such as debates and lectures, and even commencement ceremonies, so the PA system had

to be incredibly flexible. “The system needs to handle both music and speech equally well, as well as provide excellent sound quality with a minimum of operator control and do it at a cost that an educational institution could afford,� explained Tim Mazur, Project Manager for Clair Systems and co-designer of the new PA systems at Goodhart Hall. “I was able to source just about everything I needed from HARMAN, which met all of those requirements and then some.�

In order to meet all of the theater’s application needs, Mazur designed what is essentially two completely separate PA systems – a center cluster that is designed for exceptional speech intelligibility and a left-right stereo system intended for music – that can also be combined into a single, completely integrated PA system. The center cluster is comprised of eight JBL VERTEC® VT4887 compact line array elements; the left-right system uses a flown pair of JBL AE Series AM6340 loudspeakers per side, rotated horizontally with a 90 x 50-degree dispersion pattern from the lower cabinet and a 60 x 40-degree pattern in the upper cabinet. Below each of these three PA sections is a JBL ASB6128 subwoofer. Five AC18 ceiling speakers for under-balcony fill complete coverage of the hall. Digital signal processing is accomplished using the BSS Soundweb London BLU-160 signal processor and BLU-120 networked I/O expanders, controlled from a BLU-10 wall-mounted programmable touchscreen remote controller. Crown CTs and MA amplifiers power the system. Onstage, performers use AKG microphones including six C1000 S condenser microphones, the D112 kick-drum microphone, a pair of classic C124 mics and two Crown PCC160 Phase Coherent Cardioid microphones, and have access to 16 channels of the renowned AKG WMS 450 Series wireless microphone system comprised of 16 D5 hand-held microphones and 16 matching beltpacks. Everything is configured modularly to meet the theater’s many user needs.

“The center cluster system and the left-right music system are each standalone PA systems, but they can be combined when both speech and music are needed for a performance,� said Mazur. The wireless microphones are similarly configured. “To get increased functionality, we configured them a four separate four-channel wireless systems, but arranged so that the antenna systems can be ganged together,� he explained.

Mazur noted the Hall’s technical and creative staffers were awed by the sound quality and appreciative of the systems’ ease of use and reliability. “In this renovation, they were essentially going from a typewriter to an iPad,� he said. “It had to be simple to use and not have a steep learning curve, and that’s what they got, at an excellent price that the college could afford but with no compromises in sound quality. This is an amazing and historic theater, and it now has a sound system worthy of the space.�

For more information on Clair Systems, please visit

HARMAN ( designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets – supported by 15 leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson®. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 20 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 11,800 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported sales of $3.5 billion for the twelve months ended December 31, 2010. The Company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NYSE:HAR.