In a classic example of modern technology making its home in an ancient environment, the new NEXO ID84 column loudspeakers have been installed in the historic Aula Magna of the University of Bologna, in northern Italy.
The University is the oldest in continuous operation in the world: indeed the word ‘universitas’ was coined when it was founded. It continues to be one of the most prestigious in Italy, and is consistently ranked amongst the leading academic institutions in the world. The Aula Magna of Santa Lucia was a 13th century church, which has seen many uses over the centuries. After renovation in the late 1980s, it became the Aula Magna (or Great Hall) of the University of Bologna, and is now used for institutional meetings and cultural shows, and ceremonies to confer honorary degrees upon some of the most important people in the world.
In previous years, the Aula Magna handled its sound reinforcement requirements with two hangs of NEXO’s compact GEO S8 line arrays. When it was time to upgrade the system, the client returned to the NEXO brand and, on the advice of installation specialists LG Integrated Service srl, looked at the high-performance ID84 column speaker launched just weeks before.
“During this restructuring phase in the Aula Magna, the client wanted to eliminate the central structures that were blocking the view of the room, in particular the line array hangs,” explains Alberto Vandini from LG Integrated Service. “We opted for a distributed system, mounting the elements on the columns of the nave. The choice of the ID84 loudspeaker seemed to us to be the most logical for this space, which is approximately 80×40 meters, accommodating about 1,000 people.”
Ten speaker positions now surround the nave of the Aula Magna, in each of which is a single column formed by coupling an ID84 column speaker with its companion low-frequency extension module, an ID84L.
The ID84 is a performance loudspeaker which offers an outstanding Peak SPL output of 135dB, and a frequency response of 90Hz-20kHz delivering a smooth and musical sonic signature that is equally competent at speech and music reinforcement. Inside the 2-way passive box are eight of NEXO’s powerful 4” long-excursion Neodymium LF drivers, and eight 1” HF drivers in a unique arrangement which maximises the efficiency of these units.
Standing one metre high, the ID84 modules are paired with ID84L LF extension cabinets, an arrangement that is especially suitable for long-throw applications. This powerful extension cabinet has almost exactly the same footprint as the ID84, and contains eight 4” LF components. By doubling the line length, the vertical directivity of the assembly is increased in the low frequencies, leaving horizontal directivity unchanged.
The amplification system comprises 2x NEXO NXAMP4X2MK2 and 1x DTDAMP4X1.3 + DTD-TN processor, all running Dante. Magnelisâ side covers and a front grille complete the sleek contemporary aesthetic of the cabinets, which are presented in white to match this installation environment at Aula Magna.
“When the speaker modules were installed, even before we turned the system on, we received so many compliments on the beauty and elegance of the product,” says LG’s Alberto Vandini. “Having such an aesthetic makes an importance difference in an environment of historical interest.”
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