Virginia International Raceway has a new Harman PA system courtesy of systems integrator Choice AVTech.
The new system includes 13 JBL AWC129 compact all-weather loudspeakers and 17 AWC82 all-weather loudspeakers, driven by a Crown CDi 6000 and two Crown CDi4000 amplifiers. The speakers are mounted on their included metal U-brackets atop 30-foot high poles that are deployed around the perimeter of the racetrack.
A dbx DriveRack 4820 Loudspeaker Management System provides EQ, time alignment, signal routing and other system processing and control functions. Four AKG D5 dynamic vocal microphones and two AKG K271 MKII professional studio headphones are used by the track announcers.
David Miller, Choice AV president, commented on the biggest challenge of any racetrack installation: “It’s incredibly noisy. The sound pressure levels from the engine noise are very, very high, and you have the crowd noise on top of that. Because of the sheer basic need to be heard over all that noise, and because they’re cheap, most racing facilities and especially Nascar tracks have been built around old-school horn loudspeakers.”
Miller added: “We chose these JBL AWC loudspeakers because they combine exceptional clarity for speech with extended frequency response for music, and their high power handling and sensitivity make them incredibly loud and powerful for their size. The speakers are more competitively priced than other brands we considered. They look good and blend in inconspicuously into the surroundings – you can hardly notice they’re there.”
Miller went with the Crown CDi Series amplifiers because of their power and efficiency. “Right now we only require three amplifiers to power the system, which I think is a testament to their effectiveness.”
Connie Nyholm, owner and CEO of Virginia International Raceway explained: “VIR is a premium venue and we challenged David and his team at Choice AVTech to upgrade our PA system so it reflects the same quality as the overall facility.
“When people come here, they expect the best, and that’s what we asked them to deliver. We couldn’t be happier with phase 1 and look forward to working with Choice AVTech and Harman on its continued development.”