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Electro-Voice Rides the Rodeo

The new Electro-Voice sound system at the Amarillo National Center Tri-State Fairgrounds (Texas) was designed by Little Orchard Sound Inc. ( The system sports 18 ZX5 15-inch two-way speakers and eight QRx218S dual-18-inch subwoofers aimed over the audience bleachers, with 10 ZX5s aimed over the arena floor.

“Rather than opting for central clusters, we designed a system that would aim high-output speakers, properly augmented with subs, closer to the audience around the perimeter of the venue,” says Dennis Grigsby, who co-owns Little Orchard Sound with John Ford. “This takes a considerable load off the full-range boxes, making for a more energy-efficient system that enables the subs to do what they’re supposed to do.”

These boxes are interspersed with 10 additional ZX5s covering the main floor. “The ZX5s precisely deliver smooth, intelligible sound with tons of headroom to spare,” Grigsby adds. “There’s some serious power handling and high-SPL stability in these relatively small and lightweight enclosures. In addition, the tried-and-true QRx subs seamlessly support the low end. This adds up to a P.A. that is as perfect for speech as it is for high-volume playback—plenty of punch!”

According to John Ford, “This is a large reverberant arena, but the audio inside is cohesive, consistent and clean throughout with no delays. On any given evening, there’s a combination of horse event music routines, event commentary, National Anthem singers and live performances, and the audience high up in the bleachers hears exactly the same thing as the folks on the floor. The rodeo world has very specific audio needs, and we spec’d the right equipment to address those needs exactly—our clients are extremely happy.”

The install crew comprised Dennis Patterson, crew chief; Jeromy Sarratt, rigger; Jack Robison; and John Samples.

For more information on the gear, visit