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Carnegie Hall – Isaac Stern Auditorium AV Shootout

New York, NY


Cosentini Associates, Electrical Engineer; New York, NY

Project Description

Beginning in 2007 Kirkegaard Associates began the process of working with Carnegie Hall to determine the best loudspeaker design for the iconic Stern Auditorium, known to most people simply as Carnegie Hall. The existing loudspeaker system had been identified in reviews of many events to be ineffective at overcoming the hall’s reverberation to provide clear and musical reinforcement for events using the system.

In coordination with Carnegie Hall, two complex loudspeaker demonstrations were conducted. The first demonstration in 2007 was a blind demonstration of six manufacturer’s ground stacks. Reviewers from Kirkegaard, Carnegie, and invited experts listened to all six loudspeaker systems over the course of two days. All of the reviewers rankings were tabulated to help select three systems to be demonstrated again in a larger deployment.

A second demonstration was held in 2008 which included complete systems comprised of a large center array and two ground stacks from three different manufacturers. These systems were again judged by a group of reviewers and the scores tabulated and analyzed by Kirkegaard. This second demonstration resulted in a preferred system which was then selected for design and integration into the hall.

The system was installed in 2010 by PRG based on Kirkegaard’s design. Initial tuning of the system was performed by PRG and overseen by Kirkegaard Associates. The project was coordinated by Josephine Marquez working as Project Manager. Initial and subsequent reviews of events using the new system have been very positive which was a gratifying result after such a lengthy and elaborate design process.

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