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Japan’s 50,000 capacity Nagoya Dome upgrades sound system with NEXO GEO S12-ST

The upgrading project began back in 2011, but work had to be done in the very short off-season for professional baseball, so the loudspeaker installation took two years

Japan’s 50,000 capacity stadium, the Nagoya Dome – home to the Chunichi Dragons professional baseball team as well as being a concert venue – has completed its sound system upgrade, which included the installation of a NEXO GEO S12-ST line array system.

The upgrading project began back in 2011, but work had to be done in the very short off-season for professional baseball, so the loudspeaker installation took two years.

Yoshihiro Hattori from the Facilities Department of Nagoya Dome Co.Ltd explained: “The first step was to update the control console in the control room, installing a Yamaha PM5D digital mixer. The speaker systems had been in place since the Dome opened in 1997, and there was an increased incidence of failures as it became more difficult to get repair parts for discontinued loudspeaker models. On the fifth floor stands, there were some locations where we had difficulty with coverage. Making improvements to these seats was one of the goals of our upgrade.”

Hattori and his team, working closely with Yamaha Sound Systems, started the loudspeaker upgrade by replacing the centre cluster, and then the stand-facing satellite clusters, which are in 18 locations facing the upper stands in each direction. They chose NEXO’s GEO S12-ST extended throw line array modules: these cabinets have been developed from the standard GEO S12 concert sound design to deliver higher SPL (volume) and the enhanced speech intelligibility required for stadium and arena applications.

The main cluster in the centre of the arena consists of line arrays with four NEXO GEO S1210-ST units and one GEO S1230-ST unit, facing in six directions, and three GEO S1210-ST units facing straight down. The satellite clusters consist of two or three NEXO GEO S1230-ST units in a line array configuration, firing into the upper stands. All power and processing are provided by NEXO NXAMP four by four TD controller/amplifiers.

“The sensation and feeling of the sound has improved very considerably,” said Hattori. “Previously, there was the sense that sound echoed through the whole dome, but when I sat in the stands during a professional baseball game, I felt the sound had more impact than before. It was as if the sound was coming directly towards me; it felt close and exciting. I felt that way particularly when listening to the sound effects from the screen.”

The Nagoya Dome has a 106 metre-wide screen, the longest and biggest size for a home stadium in the Central League. “We expanded the screen, tripling the visual impact for fans, but the sound had remained the same, so we couldn’t help but feel there was something lacking. With the NEXO system, the feeling of the sound has dramatically improved, so the images and sound feel more united, and fans are experiencing images and sound with even more impact.”

Another stadium in Japan – Toyota Stadium – also recently installed a NEXO GEO S12-ST sound system, which you can read about here.