d&b xC-Series in the Landhaus, Linz.
In the center of Linz, the state capital of Upper Austria, is the Landhaus. Built between 1568 and 1658, the ceremonial and administrative building is the seat of the federal state’s legislative assembly and government.
The first floor is home to the “Steinerner Saal,” which has largely survived the centuries in its original form and beauty. Since 1691, the pilasters in the imposing assembly hall have been lined with reddish-brown Salzburg marble, which explains the name – the German word “steinern” means lithic. The hall, now listed as a historic building, underwent extensive renovation work on the occasion of the city's status as European Capital of Culture in 2009 and has shone in a display of majestic splendor ever since.
Tone-on-tone sound system
Since 2020, the Steinerner Saal has been equipped with a modern sound system. The main sound system consists of d&b 24C loudspeakers mounted on the left and right above the podium, each powered in combination with a 24C-E extension. The extensions round off the slender columns toward the top, extend the lines, and increase directivity. The cardioid effect of a 24C loudspeaker is extended downward by an octave by the extension, enabling directional dispersion from a frequency of just 190 hertz, which is advantageous in an acoustically complex setting like the Steinerner Saal. The swivel-mounted 24C loudspeaker high-frequency clusters in Linz are directed downward by five degrees.
Concealed beneath the stage are four d&b B8 high-performance subwoofers, each with two 6.5" low-frequency drivers in a bass-reflex design. Areas immediately in front of the podium are covered at events by four d&b E5 loudspeakers, arranged horizontally along the front edge of the stage. The wish for monitoring has been granted in the form of d&b E6 two-way coax loudspeakers, two of which are available at the location in Linz. Two powerful E12 wedges are also available as stage monitors.
Two d&b 24C loudspeakers are used as delay lines in Linz, wall-mounted on the left and right in the rear third of the hall. Two additional positions featuring d&b 24C loudspeakers on both sides of a portal can be explained by the fact that the stage is occasionally set up on the right-hand side of the hall and the room is then used in landscape format.
The amplification is provided by three four-channel Type 30D amplifiers (up to 4 x 1,600 watts into 4 ohms) and another d&b four-channel Type 10D model (up to 4 x 700 watts into 4 ohms). The amps are mounted in a 19" cabinet in a technical room away from the hall.
As a special feature, the d&b xC-Series loudspeakers were painted in colors that perfectly match the environment at the request of the architect responsible for the project: A white shade was chosen for the wall-mounted units, while near the stage backdrop, the dark gray tone of the fabric is exactly matched by the loudspeaker cabinet. The NCS (“Natural Color System”) developed by Sweden’s Skandinaviska Färginstitutet was used. Its color mixing possibilities allow for finer differentiations than the widely known RAL system.
Need for action
The new d&b sound system in Linz has replaced a 100-volt system with aging line speakers that had been used for more than three decades.
In order to find the best sound solution for the exacting setting, a shoot-out was arranged in the Steinerner Saal in mid-May 2020 under the direction of an independent engineering office, in which three competitors participated. SAM-Music Linz (www.sam-music.at) prevailed with a coherent overall concept and a range of products from d&b audiotechnik.
The sound system components were installed by the SAM-Music Linz team, overseen by managing director Martin Samhaber. The system was calibrated with the support of Markus Pemsel-Hammerschmid (d&b team leader for sales, D.A.CH.). Since the beginning of September 2020, high-quality audio technology from Backnang has been providing a previously unheard level of sound quality in the Steinerner Saal at all kinds of events.
“The improvement is more than clearly audible!”
Home to historic architecture, the Landhaus in Linz (http://www.ooe-landtag.at/das-landhaus/das-landhaus-entdecken) is currently used as a modern administrative building serving its citizens. The Steinerner Saal hosts a wide range of events: It is used for presenting honors to deserving personalities, holding award ceremonies for apprentices and high school graduates who have achieved outstanding qualifications, and hosting speech competitions for schoolchildren. On election days it also serves as a studio environment.