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Community raising the audio standard at US speedway

Paddy Baker 19 July 2010

More than 100 Community speakers have been installed at the legendary Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama, US. The project complements a growing trend by NASCAR events to incorporate a wide variety of entertainment, including performances by major name acts before the races commence.

Following a highly successful demo late last year, Oxford, Alabama-based Sound Solutions installed a system comprising 101 Community R.5HPT loudspeakers and 50 R.5-SUB subwoofers. As Sound Solutions’ Chris Ogles explained, the three-way, full-range R.5HPT provides the necessary audio quality and voice intelligibility – unlike many existing racetrack systems, which may be able to offer "nothing below 300Hz or above 4kHz. That prevents the crowd from hearing key elements like the bass drum and bass guitar during a pre-race concert."

While the previous speakers were mounted on the fence, obscuring the view of some spectators, the new equipment is mounted on 12ft-high poles behind the wheel fence – yielding a better and safer fan atmosphere. All told, the installation was completed in less than five weeks and covers an area nearly a mile in length with a seating capacity of over 50,000.

"There’s never been anything close to what they have now. Even in the suites or anywhere else, nothing compares," concluded Ogles.

Regarding the suitability of the R.5HPT for racetrack applications, John Wiggins, VP of Community Professional Loudspeakers, told IE: "Community Professional Loudspeakers has addressed the needs of racetrack owners by packaging the R.5HPT in an attractive molded compact 16in square horn pod that easily attaches to poles for an easy-to-install, "point and shoot" race-ready package. No other manufacturer provides such a robust weather-resistant horn-loaded entertainment- and voice-capable loudspeaker with such uniform, high impact intelligible coverage. The Community R.5HPT has a unique warranty as well: 15 years on the loudspeaker structure and five years on the electrical components enhances its legendary reliability."

The past year has seen a number of NASCAR tracks upgraded to Community loudspeaker systems. In addition to Talladega Superspeedway, R2 and R.5HP systems were installed at Michigan International Speedway and the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Other racetracks to use Community systems include Mugello Circuit (Italy), Chicagoland, Singapore Formula 1, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Fuji International (Japan), Kansas Speedway, Dover International and Miami-Homestead.

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