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Meyer Sound CAL at Hong Kong University: Redefining the Musical Capabilities of Column Array Loudspeakers

The Grand Hall at the University of Hong Kong’s new Lee Shau Kee Lecture Centre has installed a sound system based around three Meyer Sound CAL™ column array loudspeakers. The power, clarity, and beam-steering flexibility of the CAL loudspeakers make them ideal not only for lectures, but also for musical performances and cinema soundtracks.

“CAL is the only steerable column array I’ve experienced that can reproduce music—even classical concerts—with such clarity and musicality,” says Y.H. Shum, director of Hong Kong-based China-Tech Engineering Co. Ltd., which handled system integration. “For spoken word or music reproduction, no other column loudspeaker comes close.”

The installation marks one of the first multi-manufacturer installations of the AVB (Audio Video Bridging) networking protocol, with the CAL loudspeakers interfacing seamlessly with the Biamp Systems Tesira platform for signal processing and networked audio distribution. The CAL loudspeakers are controlled by Meyer Sound’s Compass® control software.

The Hong Kong office of Shen Milsom & Wilkie handled audio specification for the project. “Because of the long lead time on the project, the contracts were all complete long before I first heard CAL at a trade show demonstration,” says David King, senior consultant at Shen Milsom & Wilkie. “But when I first heard them, I was not simply reassured; I was blown away.”

The hall’s reinforcement system comprises two discreetly mounted main left and right CAL 96 loudspeakers, in addition to one center channel CAL 64 loudspeaker that can be lowered into place behind a temporary cinema screen. Completing the system are 28 UP-4XP 48 V loudspeakers for surrounds, front fill, and balcony fill; seven Stella 4C installation speakers for underbalcony fill; and two USW-1P subwoofers.

“During the commissioning, we checked SPL throughout the empty room,” says King. “We measured less than 4 dB variance from FOH to the rear of the balcony, with no delayed speakers turned on. That was very impressive.”

The Grand Hall system is mixed on a Yamaha LS9 digital mixing console, which communicates with Tesira via an installed CobraNet card. An AMX control system allows efficient operator access to function presets for the hall’s different events.

“When we heard Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 through CAL, we knew right away CAL is the most powerful and musical column array in the market,” says Paul Poon of Audio Dynamic, system supplier and coordinator of project logistics. “We are very proud to be a part of this project showcase in Hong Kong.”

New York-based Jaffe Holden provided acoustical design for the 1,000-seat Grand Hall. The architecture firm for the Lee Shau Kee Lecture Centre was Wong & Ouyang (HK) Ltd.

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