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Sweetwater Installs New Sound System in Indiana University’s Legendary Assembly Hall!

In Indiana, basketball is huge, especially Indiana University basketball. So it stands to reason that when IU’s fabled Assembly Hall, one of the most famous sports venues in the world, needed a sound system overhaul, nothing but the best would do. Sweetwater and All Pro Sound teamed up and won the bid to reinvigorate the sound system in this historic sports venue, located in Bloomington, Indiana.

Built in 1971, Assembly Hall’s audio system hadn’t been updated since Nixon was in the White House. Speech intelligibility was a big issue for fans attending the games. Sweetwater and All Pro Sound partnered with New York-based SIA Acoustics to design the sound system. The system upgrades resulted in a significant improvement in speech intelligibility.

This dramatic improvement in sound quality was made possible by a slew of new amps, speakers, and processing units. Among the new gear were 90 specialized PA speakers. Six JBL Vertec VT4888DP self-powered line arrays plus four subwoofer arrays were installed to provide speech reinforcement. The system also incorporated five BSS BLU160 audio processors, along with Crown CTS and Crown I-Tech amplifiers to power the fills and the subwoofer arrays. Clean power for the entire system was provided via a LynTec Sequential Power System. All of this power and sound was implemented by using a completely new rigging and hanging design, new hardware, and SIA Acoustics’ sound design.

Under normal circumstances, a job of this scope typically takes 3–6 months. But due to the scheduling issues presented — namely IU’s teams needing access to the facility for practices — this project was fast-tracked and completed in about 30 days. Getting a project of this size done so quickly was no small task. But, thanks to our strong relationships with many vendor partners, Sweetwater and All Pro Sound were uniquely qualified to coordinate the project within the tight schedule.

There was also a special local connection to the project, as Sweetwater is located in Indiana. Sweetwater founder and president Chuck Surack said, “With Fort Wayne, Indiana, being the home of Sweetwater, I felt a particularly strong desire to see the sound system in this incredible sports facility be installed by an Indiana company. From sales to merchandising, our team worked around the clock to put together a winning bid. And with our existing relationship with All Pro Sound, plus our incredible partnerships with audio manufacturers, we knew that, together, we would be able to meet the challenges of this huge project.”

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