TALLADEGA, AL--It's a growing trend all across America - racetracks are taking the fan experience to the next level. NASCAR races have evolved to include events beyond what happens on the track. Racing venues now offer a wide range of entertainment, including top national acts performing before the gentlemen start their engines.
At the legendary Talladega Superspeedway, a new audio system has raised the bar, featuring 101 Community R.5HPT loudspeakers and 50 R.5-SUB subwoofers. As Chris Ogles of Oxford, AL-based Sound Solutions reports, a demo of the new system in September 2009 left quite an impression. "It made such an impact that the president of the speedway came to us right there on the spot during the demo and asked if they could have the system installed by the next race in November," he says.
Ogles, who has served on Talladega's track AV crew for five years, explains that the bandwidth of yesterday's horn loudspeakers limits their usefulness in today's racetrack environment. "The bandwidth of those older horns usually offers nothing below 300Hz or above 4kHz," he says. "That prevents the crowd from hearing key elements like the bass drum and bass guitar during a pre-race concert." The three-way R.5HPT is a full range system that delivers the audio quality and voice intelligibility of a true concert system.
While Talladega was redoing its wheel fence, they elected to move the loudspeakers as well. The previous loudspeakers were mounted on the fence, obscuring the view of some spectators and posing a safety risk in the event of a crash. The new loudspeakers are mounted on 12-foot high poles behind the wheel fence, creating a better and safer fan atmosphere. The weather-resistant R.5HPT's compact 16x16-inch dimensions don't block sightlines. The installation was completed in less than five weeks, covering an area nearly a mile in length with a seating capacity of more than 50,000.
The new sound system has made a night and day difference, says Ogles. "There's never been anything close to what they have now. Even in the suites or anywhere else, nothing compares."