Crusader Stadium

ProjectCrusader StadiumLocationBelton/TX, United StatesManufacturersFulcrum AcousticInstallerDaktronics, United StatesSubmitted byFulcrum Acoustic

The AHS Series is a modular, scalable system targeted at applications where very high output and precise pattern control are required. For long-throw coverage, Daktronics deployed six Fulcrum Acoustic AHS Steerable Large-Format Array Modules in the 6’ horizontal “ribbon” above the video area of the scoreboard at Crusader Stadium.

Four high frequency horns (AHS440) or 3 high frequency horns (AHS460) are each paired with a coaxial compression driver; the horn stack is coaxially mounted in the mouth of a low frequency horn. The low frequency horn is driven by 4 high-power 10” woofers loaded by Oculus™ phase plugs. The Compression Head™ extends the low frequency horn length, allowing for low frequency extension to 60 Hz in a modest 28” of depth. The available space within the scoreboard structure allowed for 3 stacks of 2 modules each; this provides sufficient output to achieve the project’s sound level goals for the seating areas.

Two stacks of two AHS440 modules are splayed left and right of center to cover the far seating along the sides of the stadium. The 45° horizontal dispersion of the AHS440 maintains lateral uniformity within the coverage pattern. Fulcrum Acoustic’s TQ processing combined with beam-forming DSP algorithms configure the vertical dispersion as required by the specific geometry of the stadium. The middle stack features an AHS440 stacked on an AHS460 (60° horizontal) aimed down the centerline of the field to provide long-throw coverage of the far end as well as coverage of the playing field.

Daktronics upgraded the end-zone scoreboard and sound system at Crusader Stadium with the goal of doubling the size of the video display area while minimizing changes to the existing structure. The new, enlarged video display consumed all available space within the existing structure. Additional structure was required to house a new sound system; this structure was added above the video display. Due to wind loading concerns, the height of this additional structure was restricted to about 6’ tall, thereby limiting the space available for loudspeakers.

The compact enclosure of Fulcrum Acoustic’s AHS Series allows the modules to be incorporated within the available space above the video display and to be maneuvered on-site during installation more easily than other solutions. There are currently two available AHS models, the AHS440 with 45° horizontal dispersion and the slightly wider AHS460 with 60° horizontal dispersion. The horizontal patterns were specifically chosen to optimize the coverage for stadium-type applications without requiring an excessive quantity of loudspeakers to cover a typical stadium horizontal footprint.

The end-zone location of the speaker system necessitates a high-output solution to achieve suitable sound levels at the farthest seats. The high-frequency driver density of the AHS modules provides the output needed to minimize high-frequency air loss which becomes problematic over stadium-scale distances.

Strict pattern control is necessary to keep sound within the seating bowl, avoid excessive sound levels on the field and at the seats, and minimize sound reflecting off of the Bawcom Student Union building behind the seats on the east side of the stadium. The digitally steerable vertical dispersion allows the AHS to cover precise vertical angles of seating across the length of a stadium while avoiding sonic intrusion to neighboring facilities or energizing reflective surfaces.

Long-throw applications, such as those encountered in stadium end-zone/scoreboard/video display deployments, pose unique challenges. Substantial acoustic output is required to achieve SPL targets at distance. Additionally, high-frequency air loss can be significant at stadium-scale distances. All aspects of the AHS Series products were designed with these particular challenges foremost in mind.

Each AHS module packs a lot of output into a 31” tall package, with up to 4 coaxial compression drivers and 4 horn-loaded 10” woofers per module. The modular design allows for stacking multiple AHS speakers to create larger arrays, thereby achieving more vertical pattern control, higher output, and increased high-frequency projection. When multiple AHS units are stacked, the stack is configured as one digitally steerable array.

The 3-way AHS Series steerable array loudspeaker represents a leap forward in solving design challenges when installing systems in sub-optimal conditions and spaces. Harnessing the power of Fulcrum’s TQ processing combined with proprietary beam-forming algorithms, AHS Series products provide superior pattern control, and precisely-defined coverage for long-throw applications, all within a surprisingly compact envelope.

Maximizing video display size is a common goal for new scoreboards. When designing companion sound systems, smaller is always better. The fact that the AHS provides precise coverage and substantial output from such a small footprint is a benefit for any stadium. Even when stacked, Fulcrum’s AHS products easily fit within the space provided in the “ribbon” above the video area of the scoreboard.