Is Martin Audio MLA the solution to the four-year silencing of Big Ben?

Martin Audio’s MLA system could be the solution to the planned silencing of Big Ben’s bell for four years while essential restoration work takes place.

That’s according to the company’s managing director Dom Harter, who has written to the Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt. Hon. John Bercow MP with a suggestion that he feels will enable the bell to continue to sound during the repair work.

The Great Bell has sounded on the hour for 157 years, but the bongs will be heard for the final time at midday on Monday 21 August before being disconnected.

The deployment of MLA would enable the bell sounds to emanate external to Big Ben while at the same time offering ‘rear rejection’ in order to provide protection for the workers during refurbishments, writes Harter.

A copy of the correspondence can be found below and Martin Audio is currently awaiting a response.

Dear Mr Speaker,

 My name is Dominic Harter and I am the Managing Director of a UK loudspeaker manufacturer and international exporter – Martin Audio.

We have been listening to the ongoing debate around the silencing of Big Ben with some interest, and believe we have an innovative solution that can enable the bell sounds to emanate external to Big Ben while at the same time offering “rear rejection” so as to provide protection for the workers during refurbishments.

Martin Audio manufactures professional loudspeakers for the entertainment industry. This includes our premium large format MLA system which our customers and partners use to provide the sound for large format concerts and festivals around the world.

One of the features of MLA is that we are able to steer sound accurately; in addition to this we are able to generate very high sound pressure levels in front of the loudspeakers whilst maintaining a dramatic reduction in sound behind them. This is unique to Martin Audio.

Therefore, theoretically, we could replace the bell over the 4-year period with four hangs / stacks of our MLA units and generate the same kind of level and output as Big Ben by playing a recording which could be fired off on the hour by a computer all this whilst maintaining safe working levels around the clock tower.

I look forward to your reply.

Many thanks

Dominic Harter

Martin Audio Managing Director