al-4 Subcompact Line Array System Provides Harmony at SGI-USA New York Culture Center

When the SGI-USA New York Culture Center needed a major sound system upgrade in its main auditorium, project consultants SIA Acoustics recommended the VUE Audiotechnik al-4 Subcompact Line Array System, which was then installed by systems integrator Panavid, Inc. The installation at the Buddhist organization’s Union Square center in Manhattan features custom-painted white VUE al-4 speakers paired with VUE V4-i install versions of the V Series systems engines.


Four al-4s take care of covering the main sanctuary

Coming into the project, SIA Acoustics knew that there was a unique multi-concave ceiling that caused audio anomalies, resulting in a sound that was muffled in the rear of the facility — particularly problematic with spoken word. With the new VUE al-4 system installed, sound in the back of the auditorium became clearer. “The al-4 system combines the unique accuracy and fidelity of VUE’s beryllium full range compression drivers with the dispersive control and low frequency impact of a line array system,” says Jeffrey Friedlander, senior consultant at SIA. “These qualities combined with the small form factor made the al-4 system an ideal match for the cultural center’s programming, audience layout, physical geometry, and sensitivity to visual aesthetic.”

The VUE-developed compression drivers featuring Materion Truextent® beryllium technology allows for a noticeable difference in HF extension and response linearity by moving the first break-up modes well above the audible range. In SGI’s unique space this resulted in more defined high frequencies at higher SPL levels and enabled the sound to reach the back of the auditorium without any loss of clarity.

Friedlander adds, “Intelligibility of spoken word and sibilant clarity are paramount for the system’s day-to-day use. The al-4 system outperforms many solutions that sit at significantly higher price points.”

Jeffrey Friedlander and Sam Berkow of SIA Acoustics

Jeffrey Friedlander and Sam Berkow of SIA Acoustics

“Due to size restrictions and audio demands, VUE Audiotechnik’s al-4s were the ideal selection for this venue,” comments Dennis Mitchell, client relations executive, Panavid Inc. “Panavid was very excited to be a part of this project.”

SGI Cultural Center Main Hall with VUE white al-4s

The SGI-USA New York Culture Center hosts a variety of events from prayer meetings to lectures and musical performances. Its musical selections are quite diverse, from acoustical and jazz to rock. The VUE system’s flexibility allows for it to provide excellent sound, regardless of the genre or the speaker presenting.

“Panavid did a fantastic job with the installation and room tuning the VUE system,” says Robert Miller, sound engineer for the SGI-USA New York Culture Center. “We do many different events at SGI, such as Artists for Peace concerts, Culture of Peace Distinguished Speaker lectures or a World Peace Prayer meeting, where we might have 300-plus people chanting. The sound is always clear and consistent everywhere in the room.”
Soka Gakkai International-USA (SGI-USA) is the most diverse Buddhist community in the United States, with more than 500 chapters and some 100 centers throughout the country. SGI members base their practice on the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren Buddhism, which teaches that each person has within him or her the courage, wisdom and compassion to face and surmount any of life’s challenges.

logo-shorty SIA Acoustics addresses sound critical concerns of both new and existing facilities through design, consulting and advisory services. To learn more about SIA Acoustics, please visit

Panavid Inc. provides a wide range of professional services, from production events to system integration. With audio, video, staging and lighting equipment, as well as personnel for any event, meeting, conference and concert, Panavid’s staff has years of experience in production, consulting, installation and design work at any level from simple to very complex programmed systems. To learn more about Panavid, please visit