Newark's new Prudential Center relies on network-controlled Crown amplification

NEWARK, New Jersey - March 2008 -- As a brand new construction, the impressive Prudential Center in Newark represents the Tri-State's first major entertainment venue to be opened in 25 years. Costing a reported $375 million and boasting seating for 17,500+ patrons, the sports and entertainment venue most notably serves as the new home for the NHL New Jersey Devils and the Seton Hall Pirates basketball team, as well as hosts MISL indoor soccer, internationally-touring concerts, family shows, and many other special events.

When considering power and flexibility requirements, the venue's sound system design team ultimately elected to utilize Crown I-Tech and CTs Series amplifiers, controlled via Harman's HiQnet™ network, to amplify the various PA and ancillary loudspeaker systems. Pleased with the decision, Andy Prager, senior project engineer with Diversified Systems, the contracting firm responsible for the audio installation, is quick to point out that "the Crown systems sound remarkably good and have been 100 percent reliable."

Major audio and video areas for the new state-of-the-art venue were designed by Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon & Williams (WJHW), one of North America's premier consulting firms. According to Kevin Day, WJHW's sound system designer on the project, Crown amplifiers were selected for Prudential Center following the normal bid process. "They were one of two brands specified to set up a competitive bid scenario in the hopes of getting the best value for the owner," Day notes. Consequently, a total of 126 Crown I-Tech and CTs Series amplifiers equipped with PIP-Lite cards now power a variety of JBL loudspeakers installed throughout the venue. "The rack-mounted amplifiers are installed on a catwalk platform," Day explains, "to reduce cable runs and avoid the need for a dedicated cooling system, as would be required if the amps were located in a closet." The PA system comprises multiple JBL PD743 40x30-degree and PD764 60x40-degree MF/HF coaxial cabinets, along with PD7164 LF cabinets, plus ASM6128 dual-18 subwoofers arrayed in four large clusters that are mounted just above and outside the footprint of the center-hung video/scoring display.

"For each of the four JBL-equipped clusters, we supplied a total of four I-T4000s for the low-frequency and three I-T4000s for the subwoofer cabinets, while five CTs 1200s feed the midrange and five CTs 600s the high-frequency cabinets." A delay ring of JBL PD5212/64 20x40-degree loudspeakers is further powered by a rack of CTs 2000 amplifiers. The remainder of the CTs Series amplifiers power various full-range loudspeakers located within bars, lounges, meeting rooms and other locations, some on 70-volt systems.

Crown I-Tech Series power amplifiers feature integrated DSP, peak-voltage and RMS power limiting to protect connected loudspeakers, and remote monitoring and control via integral Harman HiQnet™, plus a front-panel LCD readout that provides diagnostics plus preset selection for fast and easy system setup. "Remote control and monitoring of all of the amplifier channels via HiQnet is a great bonus," stresses Prager. "Using a [Crown-developed] GUI we can set input and output levels and turn groups of amplification on and off. During different events at the Prudential Arena, the owners might decide to run different PA configurations, dependent upon the audience size and location within the space. Two redundant control PCs--one at the sound mixing location and the other within the equipment racks--allow operators to re-configure the entire system within seconds."

And there is another benefit of remote monitoring, the project engineer adds. "Aside from checking input and output levels via HiQnet, the operators can monitor load and thermal conditions--and see error-reporting messages--which means they can tell when a speaker is removed from the system. While stealing loudspeakers isn't foreseen as a major problem, it's a very useful feature!"

The Prudential Center officially opened in late-October with a ten-night concert series headlined by hometown favorites Bon Jovi along with special guests My Chemical Romance, Big & Rich, Gretchen Wilson, Chris Daughtry and All-American Rejects. The venue, which is managed by AEG Live and features 76 luxury suites, 2,200 club seats, and an array of amenities, drew more than 150,000 fans during its opening week. For more information on the new facility, visit www.prucenter.com.

About Crown International: 
Crown International, a Harman International company, manufactures amplifiers, microphones, and systems control products for professional audio markets worldwide, with corporate headquarters located in Elkhart, Indiana. For more information, visit Crown online at www.crownaudio.com.

About HiQnet: 
Harman HiQnet™ is the world's first connectivity and control protocol that integrates all product categories in the signal chain for professional audio systems of all types, size, and applications. Harman HiQnet no longer requires the user to manage multiple disparate operating systems or be responsible for programming individual signal processors, speaker controllers, wireless microphone systems, and mixing consoles. HiQnet was developed by the Harman Pro Group System Development and Integration Group (SDIG), a team of dedicated systems specialists based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

About the Harman Pro Group: 
The Harman Pro Group (www.harmanpro.com) is the world's largest provider of professional audio products and system solutions for commercial sound, contracting, tour sound, recording and broadcast, musician, portable PA and cinema applications. The Group is headquartered in Northridge, California and includes industry leaders AKG Acoustics, BSS Audio, Crown International, dbx, DigiTech, JBL Professional, Lexicon, Soundcraft, and Studer. The Group is part of Harman International Industries, Incorporated (NYSE: HAR), a leading supplier of high-quality, high fidelity audio products and infotainment systems for the automotive, home and professional markets.

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Reader contact: 
Crown International 
1718 W. Mishawaka Road, Elkhart, IN 46517 
Tel: 574.294.8000 / Fax: 574.294.8250 
URL: www.crownaudio.com

Editor contact: 
Chris Shuler, Public Address 
Tel: 574.287.8410 / Cell: 574.514.7131 / Fax: 574.287.1522
Email: christophershuler@comcast.net

Related images: (photo credit: Bradford Benn) 
1) Prudential_Center_amps.jpg 
2) Prudential_Center_bowl.jpg 
3) Prudential_Center_ice.jpg 
4) Prudential_Center_exterior.jpg