The first deployment of JBL’s new all-weather AWC stadium speakers has taken place at one of the oldest professional football clubs in the UK – Preston North End (PNE).
The 125-year-old Deepdale stadium has relied on the services of public address specialists TG Baker to keep its audio fit for purpose for nearly two decades. The new JBL AWC129 loud all-weather loudspeaker system was selected by the firm for the 8,100-capacity Sir Tom Finney stand, which was built in 1995 at a cost of £4.4m.
“We were sent a couple of speakers for evaluation by [Harman Professional UK & Eire distributors] Sound Technology and we put them through their paces and really liked them,” said Jason Longworth, regional manager, TG Baker and project manager. “The AWC129 itself is a compact, coaxial-driver, two-way, highly weather-resistant (IP56) full-range loudspeaker which is ideal for speech and music."
TG Baker proposed the new JBL enclosures to the client to form part of a complete PA/VA upgrade for the entire stadium. Eight of the AWC129 enclosures were specified and spaced equidistant along the top of the terrace.
The speakers are mounted onto the existing girders via U-brackets, with secondary safety ropes and chains — providing a straightforward swap-out with the old system, which after 15 years had reached end of life.
At the same time TG Baker has upgraded the voice alarm front end with a digital system for match day control — although line and mic feeds into the new JBL system are from the existing DJ equipment, mixing desk and radio mic.
Longworth finished, “We are already talking to another client about adopting the same solution, as the acoustic engineers — including commissioning engineer Craig Bibby — were delighted with the audio clarity of the new JBL All Weather speakers.”