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A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor


Supercharged snowmobile engines issue high pitched screams at 130 dB, pushed to piston-pummeling extremes as they tear around the track, 600cc, heavily modified machines running race fuel… It‘s LOUD. The crowd is nearly as noisy, loving every minute of it. Being heard above all this is easier said than done. And then there‘s the mud, the slush, the dirt… That‘s why making live sound reinforcement happen on the WPSA (World Power Sports Association) Racing Sno-X snowmobile and ATV tours–as seen on the Speed Channel and ESPN–requires some seriously tough loudspeakers. Enter Electro-Voice…

Rob Powers and Faron Meeks of PowerSports Entertainment (Exec. Producer and Managing Director of Sound & Talk, respectively) rely upon weatherproof Sx600PI dual element line array speakers from EV to cut through the massive din at these grueling events. Whether in a portable application or a permanent installation, the Sx600 is one sonic powerhouse that won‘t stop working, whatever the weather.

Along with his duties as Managing Director of Sound & Talk, Faron Meeks is PowerSports Entertainment’s Host Announcer on the Sno-X snowmobile and ATV circuits, joined on air by a team of specialized Sport Announcers. As well as providing high quality broadcast audio at the studio end of things, Meeks explained how the PowerSports Tour Team use Sx600s to reliably deliver loud and clear sound for the live audience–a critical element of the complete race experience.

“We travel around the USA on tour, pretty much non-stop,” says Meeks. “This world is loud and dirty. And each venue we visit is unique, with a different layout–especially in the ATV realm. We‘ve raced at Lambeau Field; we‘ve raced at Michigan International Raceway. First off, on any given day, we‘ll go into the venue and assess where the sound needs to be. We set up the studio, we set up the wireless systems, and we set up our Sx600s.”

“The Sx600s are custom-mounted in eight-feet tall aluminum frames,” Meeks continues, “which allow them to be precisely moved into position by heavy loader to address the seating areas from the race tracks, while protecting them from the inevitable physical abuse they encounter, being so close to the action. The Sx600‘s characteristic long throw makes them ideal to reach the uppermost seats in the largest bleacher blocks. There can be over 40,000 people in one of these sections–take Lambeau Field in Green Bay, for example. We put eight of these speakers in front of the east side, spaced them out over the entire 120+ yards, and left the stadium‘s installed north-end system turned off all weekend. The fans had never heard such a high level of intelligibility in the stadium before; it was perfect all the way up to the top, right by the legends of Lambeau Field banners… Vince would have liked it!”

“The speakers have seen over 1500 hours of use at over 36 events–around 160 days of solid use–and have held up above and beyond anybody‘s expectations,” Powers adds. “Whether over the high pitched noise of snowmobiles or the more midrangey thump of ATVs, they cut through and they throw. They‘ve been buried in snow, caked with mud, run at -30 F in the winter and 105 F during the summer. Faron and his team simply walk up, brush them off and fire them up–good to go. The boxes have never been removed from their frames to be repaired or taken apart, not once. It‘s a testimony to EV quality that these boxes are still going strong despite being road worn in our semi’s and covered with mud and snow, day after day”.

Powers was so impressed with the Sx600s that he worked with his hometown of Steamboat Springs, CO, to install six of them at the historic Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Howelson Hill base lodge in SkiTown USA. “As a retired two-time Olympic Team Coach, I’ve listened to my share of stadium sound over the years,” Powers says. “The Sx600s are pure gold when it comes to durability and world class sound–there’s nothing better out there for these types of installations. Faron and the guys have torture tested them for over four seasons and they’re as good as new. I always laugh at the end of a long tour weekend when Faron has the closer music playing and everyone is leaving; it’s -20 F and the snow‘s blowing sideways, but the music sounds like we’re in a studio–you’ve got to hear it to believe it!”



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