Malaysia’s new Fo Guang Shan Hsing Ma Buddhist Temple (佛光山新馬寺) recently opened in its southernmost city of Johor Bahru. At its core is a grand, soaring Main Shrine Hall, capable of accommodating more than one-thousand people.
The Fo Guang Shan Chinese International Buddhist monastic order is well-known for its use of world-class technology in its temples across the world, including New Zealand, Canada and the UK, and the new Johor Bahru branch is no exception. Its size, shape and materials presented acoustic challenges, leading the technology team to a permanently installed d&b audiotechnik loudspeaker and amplification solution.
Kuala Lumpur-based Chan Lee Sound and Light were first on the scene to identify a system that would fit the bill. Having served as Fo Guang Shan’s rental contractor for a number of years, Chan Lee Sound has used d&b systems on several of the monastic order’s past events. As the decision-makers at Fo Guang Shan had been happy with the sound quality produced during those events, they agreed that a solution from the same manufacturer would be a good choice for the new temple.
With this being a permanent installation at a brand-new temple, Chan Lee Sound brought in long-time partner Search Music, the d&b distributor in Malaysia, to assist on the project.
“The sound requirements in the new Main Shrine Hall were focused on clarity, to ensure everyone in the room could hear speech and chanting clearly and with dynamic tightness,” explained Gilbert Seng from Search Music Malaysia. “The entire space is clad by tiles and hard surfaces, hence the reverb is very strong. We made some changes to the room, adding a wood partition and absorbent, acoustic material, but the choice of loudspeakers was the key decision in delivering a successful install.”
Seng and the team specified d&b Y-Series – both the Y8 and Y12 models – in left-right vertical line arrays. These were augmented with Y-SUB cabinets.
“Y-Series gives the audience great clarity and offers excellent coverage from a compact cabinet, so it was perfect for the Main Shrine Hall,” Gilbert continued. “The sound is clear and warm at the same time and the client is very satisfied with the tone for all functions, including – crucially – chanting and speech, as well as musical performances.”
In addition to eight Y8 and four Y12 dual eight-inch two-way line array cabinets and a pair of Y-SUBs to provide low-end reinforcement, a pair of Ti10L installation-specific line array speakers form a centre cluster above the stage. The system is powered by two d&b 30D amplifiers and a 10D unit.
Gilbert concluded: “This installation of Y-Series set the benchmark in Buddhist Temple project history in Malaysia. It’s the best in terms of brand, quality and investment, accelerating the standard of audio system usage, and setting examples for other Buddhist organisations in the country.”