The grandstand/clubhouse at the Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans has undergone a sound system refit with the installation of 50 Radian Audio 508/2B-8 coaxial ceiling loudspeakers with Radian Audio transformers and crossovers. Locally based contractor David Humphreys and his New World Resources Corp. performed the upgrade to the 70V system.
Humphreys reports that he was first called in to install a ceiling system at the race track when the multistory grandstand/clubhouse was rebuilt after a 1993 fire. The Fair Grounds Race Course, opened in 1872 and the third oldest racetrack in America, is well-known for having hosted the Louisiana Heritage Fair (more typically referred to as Jazz Fest) on its 145-acre infield every spring since 1972.
The 24-zone system is controlled and powered by an IED 8000 mainframe system that senses and compensates for ambient noise levels. The problem with the previous setup, Humphreys reveals, was that the speakers were unable to overcome the indoor crowd levels, which varied daily and could be considerable in bad weather. "The speakers that we used initially just capped out at a certain point and didn't go near the level of the crowd noise, whereas the Radians just cut right through and really give you that punch to get over the crowd noise. We were able to use the same amplifiers, because these speakers are so much more efficient that we didn't have to upgrade the amps."
Humphreys, who has installed systems at a number of horse racing venues round the country, comments, "The problem that I've run into at these race tracks is that you've got normal crowd noise between the races and then it goes from idle chatter to everyone in the whole facility screaming at the top of their lungs, especially when the horses are on the final stretch.
"The high-end and the vocal range is incredible," Humphreys continues. "Even for music playback they sound really good. We used a Lowell DX108 back can as well as a Lowell 8-inch steel speaker grille. The Lowell products are heavy-duty, well-made steel products that hold the extra weight of the Radian speaker with no problem."
For more information, please go to the Radian Audio Website at www.radianaudio.com.