The 11-hour Isner/Mahut match might have broken records on-court this year, but RG Jones has been working at the home of the Wimbledon championships for a quarter of a century. The London-based company was initially called in to revamp host venue the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club’s audio system in the mid-80s, since when the company has been refining and adding to the infrastructure to create one of the most comprehensive systems in a UK sports facility.
RG Jones liaises closely with multiple departments across the large Wimbledon site as it ensures the quality and consistency of an audio infrastructure that is based around a vast DSP network comprising 35 BSS Soundweb London devices, 10 BSS Soundweb Original devices, Yamaha DME4ioC and Bose ControlSpace DSPs.
The main distributed system for the Centre Court bowl is based on 73 Martin Audio AM10 two-way mid-high loudspeakers, driven by 12 QSC ISA 800Ti 100V line amps and split into 24 four-wire speaker circuits, with control from the BSS Soundweb London system. They form the core of a site-wide system that also includes: public address announcements to the 16 addressable zones, which are split into numerous operational zones throughout the complex from seven control positions; priority emergency announcements, zoneable to each area; media feeds of umpires’ announcements; and relay of a court mix to spectators on each court.
Further integration allows localised systems to function such as competitors’ calling systems, referees’ office relay and umpires’ calling systems. Each one is integrated with the emergency announcement priority override.
The audio system at the All England Club ground is a blend of permanently and temporarily installed equipment, and new features for this year’s event included a freshly upgraded Bose MA12EX and MB4 PA system for the Junior Tennis Initiative display, while Duran Audio AXYS T-2112G2/UB-25G2 loudspeakers and a Roland RSS M-400 with digital snake were chosen for the Bandstand on the Tea Lawn.
The ongoing installation programme is managed by RG Jones’s Tim Speight and Jon Berry, with the latter remarking: “To work with a client for as long as 25 years is a great privilege, especially one as high profile as the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. Matching their desire to host the world’s number one tennis tournament, with the technical aspects required to achieve that, along with maintaining a solution that can meet the ever-changing regulations and trends, is a challenge that we relish.”
The 2010 event saw the Queen attend the Championships for the first time since 1977 – a particularly significant moment for RG Jones as it is the only sound company in the UK to hold the Royal Warrant.