My InfoComm 2016 began with what has become an annual tradition: a private concert with Billy Joel. All I have to do is walk in to the Community Demo Room (N113), and the musical red carpet is rolled out for me, with Strategic Development Manager Rich Bellando cuing up the greatest hits of my InfoComm spirit animal. And suddenly I’m psyched to be back in my natural habitat, the audio demo room.
Community R6-51MAX It’s fortunate that three years ago InfoComm started opening these rooms the day before the trade show goes live. It gives me plenty of time to wander in and absorb as much as I can, much like an acoustic panel or some strategically placed pipe and drape.
Community was a good first stop, as they had a bevy of new products built to impress the installation market. The I Series of premium compact loudspeakers has now been made more complete, with the addition of new IC6-1062, IC6-1082 and IC6-2082 models to fill out the range from small to large. All of these are available now, and even more impressively, are also available in weather-resistant models constructed in-house with Community’s exclusive PolyGlas material.
This isn’t just any ol’ weather resistance, this was a process and a material several years in the making, with Community investigating a multitude of materials before settling on the super high-tech PolyGlas, which is a rigid polymer material that combines all the best attributes of fiber with the ability to be applied using the same form factors and production lines as the manufacturer’s wooden cabinets. That means weather-resistant speakers can be built in house on the same timelines and without alteration to the shape and dimensions of Community’s wooden cabinets. So now weather-resistant doesn’t mean a longer wait for product.
Community Director of Product Marketing Chris Barrow talked to me about the R&D process, and also extolled the virtues of the hydrophobic nanotechnology coating used on the company’s outdoor speaker grilles since 2013. Combine all of that with Community’s BalancePoint Flyware, and you’ve got gear that works well in the field.
Also on show is the mega product from Community’s MAX Series, which is almost too big for a demo room to contain. “If you need to throw 96dB across 622 feet, we can do that with the R6-51MAX—and those are conservative numbers,” Barrow quipped. The three-way mega horn-loaded speaker had just gone silent after a demure demo that tastefully exercised the musicality of the speaker rather than its brawn.
If you want to hear a variety of tracks played with an array of L/R and distributed setups, definitely check out the playlist at Community. Bellando nailed it again, with tracks from Adele, Liquid Soul, Shawn Mendes, Robben Ford, Meghan Trainer and good ol’ Rush, with “Tom Sawyer” as the finale. And be sure to pick up one of the three new design guides that Community released for stadiums, houses of worship and performance venues.
It was a great show down at Club N113. Next year, I’m going to ask Community play “Big Shot” when I arrive.
Kirsten Nelson is editor-at-large for Systems Contractor News.