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HARMAN’s JBL CBT Series Column Loudspeakers Provide Powerful Outdoor Sound for the Prophet’s Mosque In Medina, Saudi Arabia

ORLANDO, Florida — The Prophet’s Mosque is one of the largest and oldest mosques in the world, built by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the year 622 and enlarged over the centuries to where it can now accommodate up to one million worshippers during peak periods. Many devotees listen to services on the piazza outside the mosque, which is an integral part of the Prophet’s Mosque and was recently renovated with a number of upgrades including a HARMAN’s JBL loudspeaker system comprising more than 200 CBT Series column loudspeakers.

The previous loudspeakers had limited frequency response, especially in the low end, but had delivered adequate speech reinforcement until a series of canopies were installed around the outside of the mosque to shield worshippers from the heat and sun. These canopies were placed in front of the existing speakers and blocked the sound from them, resulting in the need for a new loudspeaker system. Ahmad Tekin Topuzdag, owner of Istanbul, Turkey-based A/V systems integrator Topuzdag, who is currently employed by Saudi Bin Laden Group (the company contracted to handle the operations and maintenance of the Prophet’s Mosque), was tasked by SBG to supervise and execute the system upgrade.

Topuzdag saw the opportunity to improve the system’s frequency response, coverage and overall sound quality. Because the piazza was more than 2,760,000 square feet in size, a large-scale loudspeaker system had to be deployed with amplifier power to match. After conducting an acoustic and architectural evaluation, Topuzdag determined that JBL CBT 70J-1 column loudspeakers and companion CBT 70JE-1 low frequency extension columns were ideal for the Prophet’s Mosque’s requirements. “The CBT 70J-1 and CBT 70-JE1’s specs indicated they would provide the full frequency response and bass performance we were looking for, along with powerful, intelligible sound over the entire area, which is very important,” said Topuzdag.

SBG installed 140 CBT 70J-1 loudspeakers to cover the piazza, along with 85 CBT 70-JE1 extension columns in areas where additional bass reinforcement was required. A key aspect of the CBT loudspeakers is their asymmetrical vertical coverage pattern, which sends more sound toward areas that are farther away than areas that are closer, resulting in more consistent sound levels at the various listening distances. Topuzdag noted that worshippers who are standing near the speakers don’t get overwhelmed with volume, while people who are more distant can still hear the speakers clearly. In addition, the CBT Series’ slim profile and white finish make them less conspicuous in blending in with the appearance of the mosque.

The speakers are driven by 32 Crown CDi 6000 amplifiers, connected to a BSS Audio BLU-160 Signal Processor with Digital Audio Bus, which provides system control, gain adjustment, delay compensation over the large outdoor area and control of other parameters.

The system has not only met but exceeded Topuzdag’s expectations. “The JBL CBT loudspeakers provide exactly what they were designed to deliver, with an excellent balance of volume and even coverage throughout the entire vast space of the piazza. Now, everyone who comes to the People’s Mosque can hear every word that is said clearly, whether they’re inside the mosque or worshipping outdoors,” he said.

HARMAN (www.HARMAN.com) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of audio, lighting and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson®, and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. The company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with Harman audio and infotainment systems. Harman has a workforce of about 14,300 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.4 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012.

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