Photo Courtesy of Danley Sound Labs
East Carolina University Makes Some Noise
Before kickoff at each East Carolina University (ECU) football game, Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze” is played over the sound system at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. The crowd roars and the Pirates take the field. It’s just part of the gameday experience for ECU Pirate alumni, fans and students. It’s appropriate as the stadium dates back to the early 1960s.
The first football game at Dowdy-Ficklen stadium was played on Sept. 21, 1963. At the time, the facility consisted of a 10,000-seat grandstand. Now, the facility has a capacity of 51,000 including a club level, loge boxes and suites, and a new HD video/scoreboard completed in 2019.
All of these renovations and additions added up to a better experience for players and spectators, but one thing was missing. The audio in the facility needed to be upgraded.
“In 2010, we put in a PA system,” said Greg Pierce, associate athletics director of external relations at East Carolina University. “As time went on, we lost amps and speakers. “Before long, the band-aids were becoming more expensive than the surgery, so we decided to do something new.”
Given the facility’s recent renovations, the new sound system needed to match the quality of experience ECU Athletics was working to create.
North Carolina-based PC Sound and Danley partner Precision Audio were selected for the project.
“This is the first installation in the country of Danley’s new J8-94,” said Precision Audio’s Scott Carneval. “One of the incredible things about Danley loudspeakers is that we can cover the entire field from the scoreboard. With other products to get intelligible sound and clarity, it requires a distributed system, which means infrastructure and installing dozens if not hundreds of speakers. With Danley, we can generate that same quality with just a handful of speakers.”
The installation at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium consists of two J8-94 loudspeakers for far coverage, two J7-95 loudspeakers for near coverage, one SH62 loudspeaker for field coverage and three SH46 loudspeakers as down fills from the board. In addition, there are four BC415 subwoofers in the board all powered by Danley DNA20K4 amplifiers.
“For me, it’s wonderful as I don’t hear any complaints,” said Jon Gilbert, athletic director at East Carolina University. “We have new video boards, new LED ribbon boards, but I’d argue that the fan base is most excited about the new sound system.”
“The biggest change is the crispness of the audio,” said ECU’s Greg Pierce. “When you can walk into a facility like this, you can feel the hits, the cheers, the boos for the other team. Now, when you can feel the announcer say ‘First Down Pirates’ and the music, it makes a huge difference.”
“Everyone has been ecstatic about the new system,” said Harold Sexton, sports customer relationship manager at Danley Sound Labs. “When you can let the product speak for itself, you can hear the difference.”
For More Information:
East Carolina University: www.ecu.edu
Danley Sound Labs: www.danleysoundlabs.com