Issue 26



5 May 2016


Founded in 1539, the Banco di Napoli (Bank of Naples) is the oldest bank on the Italian peninsular. Its historical archive is an impressive time capsule of Italian history, part of which has recently been opened as a visitor attraction. A Yamaha audio installation plays a key role in telling the story.

Covering 14,000sqm, the archive has 330 rooms and is filled with bank documents dating from 1539 to 1870, which feature 17 million names. The Fondazione Banco di Napoli has now opened several of the rooms to the public, creating a high quality multimedia experience which explains how the archive was used and what historians have learned from its contents. Audio for the installation is supplied by Yamaha Commercial Installation Solutions (CIS) products, supplied by Neapolitan system integrator Start Up Audio & Broadcast.

The AV elements are activated dynamically and creatively  — there’s even a book which, if the pages are turned, activates a video. The audio includes sounds from the past (the scratching sound of writing, people talking about the transactions, etc), historic sounds of the city (such as the noise of earthquakes caused by the nearby volcano Vesuvius) and narrators telling stories about the exhibits.


The installed system features 28 VXS5 loudspeakers and four VXS10S subs, driven by two XMV8140-D, one XMV8140 and one XMV8280 power amplifiers. The system is managed by an MRX7-D matrix processor with two EXi8 input expanders and is controlled from a wall-mounted DCP1V4S panel.

“Six rooms feature audio, but there are up to six different audio systems in each one, running in Italian or English,” says Tony Verkuijl of Yamaha Music Europe Italy. “In total the MRX7-D is providing 36 different audio streams, all processed individually. All XMV amplifiers are digitally connected to the MRX7-D, using both Yamaha’s Y-DIF CAT5 cabling protocol and Dante, the signal being converted by the amplifiers’ internal D/A converters before being sent to the loudspeakers. The MRX7-D is always on, but at night the Archive’s personnel press ‘Off’ on the DCP1V4S, which makes the processor send the amps to standby mode until awakened in the morning by staff pressing ‘On’.”


The ability to provide central control operable by unskilled Archive personnel is a key part of the system. The loudspeakers have all been carefully camouflaged to blend in with the archives, in many cases being covered with hessian to match the historic ledgers on the shelves.

“The quality and flexibility of the CIS series meant that we could change the minds of Stefano and his Audio Supervisor, Bruno Troisi, to upgrade to a fully professional, centralised Yamaha system. Stefano is so enthusiastic about the system that they have included the Yamaha name on the list of contributors to the project — the only manufacturer included,” says Tony.

“We are very proud to have contributed significantly to this prestigious project. Michele Signore is very happy because he has delivered a flawless project for another satisfied customer, which will last for many years!”

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