ATLANTA, GEORGIA -MAY 2010: The Atlanta Braves' AAA affiliate, designated the Gwinnett Braves, recently moved from Richmond, Virginia to Gwinnett County, Georgia, and, in so doing, moved into a new $45 million stadium. Coolray Field seats some 10,000 fans in stands that wrap from left field to right field. An additional picnic area beyond the outfield wall adds to that number. To deliver a functional, yet cost-effective audio system, the ball club hired local A/V design/install firm Baker Audio (Norcross, Georgia), the same company that currently maintains Turner Field and designed the sound system in the old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium in 1966 that originally lured the big league Braves to the region. Surveying the field of loudspeakers capable of delivering big league sound at minor league prices, Danley SH-100s were the clear winners and now cover all of the main seating areas.
As usual budget is always a factor
in the design of a sound system, but the system at Coolray Field had a high level of both speech intelligibility and musical range. The organization had some existing 70-volt speakers from a previous installation that Baker repurposed in the concession areas at Coolray Field. For the outfield picnic area, Baker specified three Community R-series long-throw loudspeakers, one R2-52Z and two R1-66s. But by far and away, the largest component of the system had to cover the grandstands, and for that system Baker used an exploded array of sixteen Danley SH-100s, which feature broad dispersion patterns and the crisp, articulate voicing for which Danley is known.
"Of all the loudspeaker manufacturers out there, only a few make boxes that would have done the job and come in under budget," said Baker Audio. "We went with Danley because the SH-100, like other Danley boxes, delivers the greatest sound quality for the money. Our experience with Danley loudspeakers is that they sound great out of the box, even without any processing. The performance of these speakers made it really easy to have everyone 'ooohing' and 'aaahing' halfway through the installation. From there, a few tweaks take the system from great to outstanding."
A 32-channel Yamaha digital LS9 console serves as a front-end for the system, as well as an output mixer for the media. The console feeds a QSC Basis DSP, which has a straight 15-pin connection to a rack of QSC CX-series amps that provides not only audio, but also real-time data on the amplifiers' conditions and performances. The system also provides modest user control over zones to accommodate the needs of functions that differ from those of a ball game.
"The coverage and intelligibility are excellent," reported Baker. "It's as if the announcer were speaking in a finely tuned theatre. You don't need to work at all to understand what's being said. We've received numerous compliments about the improved intelligibility. The system delivers great music, too. For the money, Coolray Field has an excellent system that is certainly leading the league!"
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