Playing Fair - AvNetwork.com

Playing Fair

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Campbell-Shaw Incorporated Multimedia has been involved in the design and installation of the Pomona Fairplex project, which has included an assortment of Community R-Series loudspeakers in various locations.LOS ANGELES, CA-From its rural beginnings in 1922 as the L.A. County Fairgrounds, the Pomona Fairplex has grown to become the fourth largest fairgrounds in North America. The Fairplex grounds are home to more than 325,000 square feet of indoor exhibit space, 12 acres of carnival grounds, numerous parks, plazas, picnic areas, a historic train exhibit, a Sheraton Hotel, and a KOA recreational vehicle park. Also calling the Fairplex home is Pomona Raceway, the Wally Parks NHRA Motor Sports Museum, and the Fairplex Park horse racing facility. Both racetracks also host numerous concerts and performance events.

Not surprisingly for a facility of its size, the Fairplex is more or less constantly evolving, growing, and modernizing its infrastructure, most recently including a high-end revamping of the complex's audio systems. Woodland Hills-based Campbell-Shaw Incorporated Multimedia (CSI) has been involved in the design and installation of project, which has included an assortment of Community R-Series loudspeakers in various locations.

"We were originally approached to offer a proof-of-concept demonstration for one of the nine exhibition buildings," said CSI president Rick Shaw. "We set up three Community R.5 speakers at one end of the hall, powered by an MC2 amplifier, and it outperformed the 30 or so horns they had been using for the same space. Once they'd heard the R.5s, they immediately asked us to do the racetrack and grandstands as well. Then we got to talking about the trams, and it's been onward and upward from there. We're implementing a system to provide wireless updated announcements for the trams. Each of the 13 trams is using Tramtracker a GPS tram tracking and location triggered MP3 announcement system designed by CSI Multimedia. The trams are sporting four Community I/0 5 speakers each powered by JL Audio Marine Amplifiers."

Convention Hall 9, the first building to be completed, is covered by 80 R.5-94TZ two-way full-range loudspeakers, with low end enhanced by six R.5SUB 12-inch subwoofers. Outside there are 16 R.25-94TZs and 5 R.5s with five more channels of amplification. The next slated project is the largest building at the Fairplex: at 105,500 square feet, Building 4 covers more area than the next two buildings combined, and will receive 135 R.25s and 14 R.5SUBs early in 2008. Convention Halls 5, 6, 7, and 8 are projected to receive a total of 320 R2.5-94TZ units and 36 R.5SUBs over the next few years. Another 86 R.25-94TZs and 20 R.5s will cover the outdoor areas between buildings. MC2 amplifiers power all the distributed systems.

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The racetrack and grandstands at the Pomona Fairplex are slated to receive 26 Community R-1 units, with eight more in auxiliary areas.
"We knew the R-Series would be a good choice in terms of their power and range, but I think the client was mainly impressed with their voicing," observed CSI engineer Terry Galati. "The sound is very consistent across the entire range, both up close and far afield, and they have a really pleasant voicing that people pick up on. Very few systems can deliver both intelligibility and musicality equally well, but the Community R-Series does it."

The racetrack and grandstands are slated to receive 26 R-1 units, with eight more in the auxiliary areas. As Shaw explains, ultimately each area's system will be designed as a separate entity, with the entire complex tied together via fiber to provide for a park-wide announcement system. The racetrack will be getting a dedicated satellite uplink as well, for worldwide broadcasting of horse racing events.

"One thing that really impressed us was how accurate Community's documented specifications were compared with our own results," Galati observed. "We hooked up an oscilloscope and did full power testing on the R-1 and the R.25, running sine waves through it and bringing up the gain slowly. We were able to ramp the speakers up to full power with no sloppiness and no high-frequency anomalies, and that's very uncommon. And across the entire range, Community's published specs agreed with our own test results."

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