A number of requirements had to be met with the new system, among them integration with the voice alarm set-up to form part of a life safety system that would comply with various official regulations. The system also had to be able to relay information and safety messages from the Police Matchday Commander to a crowd of up to 22,000 football fans, and enable its use as a DJ-driven system for matchday entertainment.
Ultimately, Sounds Commercial - working in conjunction with audio consultant Steve Jones and Community's Technical Applications Group (TAG) - resolved around a specification of Community's full-range weather-resistant R-Series loudspeakers, powered by Crown CTS2000 amplifiers and controlled by a pair of BSS Soundweb London units connected on a fibre network. A total of 22 Community R1s and 25 Community R5s cover the Dolman, Attyeo and Williams stands; the Wedlock stand will shortly receive a new audio system as part of its redevelopment.
In addition, a pair of Community RSH462 Focussed Array voice range horns have been installed to provide coverage on the playing surface.
"We are very pleased to add Ashton Gate to the extensive list of international sports venues and stadia using Community R-Series," Stuart Thomson, EMEA sales manager for Community Professional Loudspeakers, told II. "In addition to Community's standards for world-class reliability and extreme all-weather ability, R Series has again proved that high SPL and intelligibility, delivered with accurately controlled dispersion, doesn't mean the client has to compromise on a system that is also required to provide really good quality for music and entertainment."