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Community Seeks EN54-24 Compliance for R-Series Loudspeakers

Large venues of every kind need intelligible voice evacuation and mass notification capabilities, yet many typical fire-alarm voice-evacuation systems provide neither the voice intelligibility nor the sound levels (volume) needed to effectively communicate with very large numbers of people over the ambient levels of a real-life emergency situation.

Throughout Europe, venues such as stadia, sports and convention centers already have high intelligibility, high-level sound systems for entertainment and voice paging which can communicate effectively. For such systems installers could comply with the BS EN 60849 Standard for the installation, but there was no common laboratory test for the loudspeaker equipment. This remained subject to different requirements in every country. The introduction of the EN54-24 Standard dramatically changed this, providing a harmonized EU standard to test to.

To enable its loudspeakers to be used in voice alarm systems in venues across Europe, Community Professional Loudspeakers has applied for EN54-24 Certification of many of its large-scale loudspeaker systems through the international laboratory network of European Notified Body, Intertek. Their newly opened Life Safety & Security testing facility in Leatherhead UK had been developed to accommodate larger products used in fire detection and evacuation and had the capacity to test Community’s loudspeakers which weigh between 40 and 145 kilos.

EN54-24 specifies the minimum requirements for voice alarm loudspeaker as a component of a voice alarm system to provide intelligible warning when a fire emergency has occurred and provides a common method of testing their operational performance. It also specifies the common requirements for construction and robustness under climatic or mechanical conditions that might occur in a service environment.

With EN54-24 addressing the performance of products before and after they have been conditioned by factors such as corrosion, changes in temperature, vibration and impact, Intertek’s test and assessment engineers worked closely with the technical experts at Community to put various models through their paces.

Intertek’s newly built acoustic chamber enables test engineers to take audio readings at 4m as required by EN54-24 and their 998cm3 SO2 corrosion chamber (double the size of most corrosion chambers operating) is capable of conditioning larger products to simulate environmental aging.

Community is ahead of the compliance curve in this project having considered the EN54-24 requirements over a year ago and immediately initiating their plans, ahead of many other large-scale manufacturers selling into Europe.
“Sometimes new standards seem to result in nothing but red tape and bureaucracy”, said Chris Foreman, Community’s COO, “But EN-54-24 actually allows high quality professional audio systems – systems that often exceed the output capabilities of standard emergency products – to be used in emergency applications. Community systems, particularly R-Series Systems, are already the go-to product in Europe for outdoor entertainment systems. Given their exceptional voice capability, we expect that we will continue to enjoy great success as this directive progresses.”
– Ends -
www.communitypro.com
www.intertek.com/life-safety/

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Barber Motorsports Park is Loud and Proud with Community’s R-Series

Birmingham, AL – It was George Barber’s lifelong passion for racing that led him to become a driver with the Sports Car Club of America in the 1960s.

After his father’s death in 1972, the Birmingham native put his racing career on the back burner to take over the family dairy business. But by the late 1980s Barber’s obsession with collecting and restoring vintage cars and motorcycles eventually resulted in one of the most impressive collections in the world, and in 1995 he opened the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum.

In 2003 Barber sold his dairy business and invested more than $50 million to build the Barber Motorsports Park. The sprawling 740 acre park, just east of Birmingham, is home to the Museum, as well as a 16-turn, 2.38-mile racetrack that has hosted both motorcycle and car racing events ranging from Grand-Am and NASCAR to AMA Superbike and Mustang Club of America.

“The state of Alabama has never had a race course as pristine as this one,” says Lee Brock of Birmingham-based Music Alley, the designer and installer behind the track’s high-end audio system. “It started out as a motorcycle course, but in no time at all it evolved to become one of the area’s most unique racing rings.”

As Brock explains, the track’s fast-growing popularity inspired a series of upgrades including a large-scale sound system covering the entire area. “When Indy got involved a couple of years ago, management decided it was time to get away from those old horns they were using and put in a system with full-range, high-quality sound,” says Brock. “They demoed a whole bunch of different loudspeaker products, and when we showed them the Community R-Series, that’s what decided it.”

The system is comprised of more than 100 Community R-Series loudspeakers, including a mix of R.25, R.5 and R.5SUB models. The R-Series’ legendary power and intelligibility was key to its selection, Brock observes. “The R-Series is unmatched when it comes to getting the announcers’ voices out there so people can understand it,” he says. “It delivers without having to work very hard.” QSC RMX and ISA-Series amplification powers the system, with a Rane RPM-88 providing digital signal processing.

The track hosts a wide range of events, from high-testosterone to more family-oriented fare, and Brock adds that the sound system had to be versatile enough to deliver both power and musicality. “Of course, for a racetrack environment volume is critical,” he says. “But their program material also employs quite a bit of music, from singing the National Anthem to a lot of high-energy material, and sound quality was an important consideration.”

Another major consideration was durability, says Brock. “We don’t get a lot of snow here, but we do get a lot of extreme heat and humidity in the summer, and some heavy winds in the spring. The R-Series loudspeakers survived the tornadoes we had in April, and were still sitting on the wheel fence. Honestly, the system’s been in place for a year now and we haven’t had to replace a single component.”

The track’s wide acreage presented one of the project’s biggest challenges, says Brock. “We had a number of speaker runs that were going to be well over half a mile, and that just wasn’t feasible using copper wire,” he explains. “But we were able to use the park’s existing fiber connections from Race Control over to four corner stations around the park, and convert it to analog from there. There are a lot of nice hills and turns where the fans can sit on the grass, put out a blanket and have a picnic, and now we can get them good quality sound wherever they are.”

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Community Delivers Powerful Sound for Salvation Army Kroc Center

McDonald’s founders Ray and Joan Kroc were known for supporting a variety of charitable causes, and their legacy continues with a multi-billion dollar donation to the Salvation Army for the construction of several community centers in cities across America. The latest Kroc Center, recently opened in North Philadelphia, is one of the largest facilities of its kind on the East Coast. Its 130,000 square feet includes a world-class aquatics center, state-of-the-art fitness center, worship and performing arts facilities, café and culinary education center, as well as a wide range of programs for kids, adults and senior citizens.

Powerful sound was a big part of the plan for the facility, explains RTS Unified Communications’ Joe Zamborsky. RTS specified a selection of Community Professional Loudspeakers for the project, including R-Series, WET-Series and CLOUD6 in-ceiling systems to cover the pool areas, worship center, fitness center gymnasium and numerous other areas.

“In any major project like this one, there are a number of challenges,” says Zamborsky. Clearly, the project’s tight six-month schedule was a demanding one, as was the need to be exceptionally flexible in the face of numerous logistical challenges. On more than one occasion, plans had to be altered due to unforeseen surprises during the construction process. “The number one most important thing is communication,” he observes. “We maintained a daily, ongoing dialogue with everyone involved in the project, and that was key to our ability to keep things moving.”

The Community loudspeakers fit the bill on multiple levels, says Zamborsky. “Particularly in the pool areas, which combined a tremendously reverberant environment with an exceptionally high humidity, the R-Series was the only choice. Not only do they look great, but they sound terrific.”

The competition pool area offered up additional challenges as well. “Aside from having to cover the pool area itself, we were tasked with creating a separate system to cover the stands, which are tucked away in their own alcove,” says Zamborsky. “We chose the Community WET Series to cover that area, because they provided both a tight, focused coverage pattern and a high degree of intelligibility.”

Not surprisingly, the facility has been overwhelmingly embraced by the local community. “This is a great place and a tremendous asset for the city of Philadelphia,” says Zamborsky. “We’re proud to have been a part of it, and proud to be able to deliver a great sounding environment for everyone using the facility.”

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First Lutheran Church Finds “Solutions” with Community Loudspeakers

First Lutheran Church, Ellicott, Maryland

The leafy green hills west of Baltimore are home to First Lutheran, one of the area’s oldest and beloved churches. Established in 1874, the church has grown steadily over the years, moving to its current site in the mid-1950s. The campus is home to several buildings, including the Ellicott City Children’s House, Montessori School, and the current sanctuary, dedicated in 1996.

The octagonally-shaped sanctuary is as beautiful as it is acoustically challenging. Designed to feature the church’s exquisite pipe organ and choir, the building’s wood and glass ceiling, brick walls and rock and tile floor create a reflective environment that wreaks havoc with spoken word intelligibility. As Senior Pastor Eugene Kern explains, the issue was one that was initially not easy to discern.

“Since my arrival to First Lutheran in early 2009, there were complaints passed on to me about the sound system,” says Kern. “It took some time to interpret the specifics behind generalized statements like ‘I can’t hear,’ but we eventually determined that we did, indeed, have a number of ‘dead’ zones in the sanctuary where the quality of the sound was reduced. To make matters even more confusing, we also determined that we had a number of volunteers attempting to remedy the situation by making adjustments to the mixing console – with an astounding variety of results.”

Once the problems were identified, the church turned to Frederick, MD-based Audio-Video Group, who designed and installed a system based around Community Professional Loudspeakers’ Solutions Series SLS920 three-way high performance loudspeakers. A ring of eight SLS920 cabinets flown over the stage provides consistent, even coverage to the entire sanctuary.

“The system covers every seat, with no dead zones,” says Kern. “The sound is clear, and volume is controlled electronically. Intelligibility is vastly improved, and we are able to expand our inputs to two, three, six or even seven microphones just by turning a knob. The automation is an unexpected plus – we come in on Sunday morning, turn on the system, and we’re ready to go. We no longer have to rely on volunteers to turn knobs and adjust levels.”

As is often the case, aesthetics also played a key role in the system design. “When this sanctuary was completed in the mid-1990s, it won awards for its design – it really is a special place,” says Kern. “The original sound system, which I’m told was state-of-the-art for its time, was designed to make the loudspeakers look like light fixtures. In fact, visitors sometimes commented on how many lights were out in the sanctuary. But while it was interesting from a visual perspective, it wasn’t very effective, and AVG’s engineers made it clear that the best solution was a radically different approach, with a ring of speakers projecting out toward the pews. The new system sounds great, and you can hear clearly from every seat.”

Kern gives high marks to the AVG crew as well. “Eric Johnson and his team were a great fit for us,” he says. “They understand church – what goes on here, and what the needs are across multiple generations. They really listened to us, and took the time to get to the root of the issues affecting us. They offered us the best solution, and stood behind it with integrity, competence and professionalism.”

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Community Expands its Range of VLF Subwoofers

Community has introduced three new products to its VLF Series of Versatile Low Frequency systems. The dual 8-inch VLF208LV, the single 15-inch VLF115 and the single 18-inch VLF118 join the existing VLF products to create a comprehensive family of high performance subwoofers featuring a compact, low profile design.
more

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Yakima Valley SunDome Boosts Sound with Community R-Series Loudspeakers

Located in Central Washington’s State Fair Park, the 6,195-seat Yakima Valley SunDome is an impressive stadium that hosts touring concerts, basketball, wrestling and volleyball tournaments, truck-pulls, trade shows and other regional events.

As Leo Lee, owner and General Manager of Sousley Sound & Communications explains, the SunDome’s sound system was historically a bit of an Achilles Heel for the venue. “The SunDome was built in the 1990s, and at the time it was fairly typical to install center-cluster loudspeaker systems in domed stadiums,” he says. “Most center-cluster technology isn’t able to meet the current audio demands for a venue like the SunDome.” As Lee observes, to achieve the volume levels they needed, the cluster system was throwing sound too far, causing major reverberation problems within the SunDome’s largely concrete environment.

Sousley Sound & Communications was contracted by the city of Yakima to design and install a new distributed audio system capable of providing the zoned coverage needed for the venue’s various events, without compromising speech intelligibility or musicality. The newly commissioned system includes 24 Community R-Series Loudspeakers and six iHP Series dual-15″ subwoofers. The weather-resistant R-series, a popular choice for outdoor venues, is also frequently selected by designers for indoor arenas and other reverberant spaces because of its sound projection, pattern control, exceptional clarity and high quality music reproduction.

The loudspeakers are powered by 13 Ashly Audio amplifiers, with matrix routing and configuration presets provided by Ashly Protea DSPs. In addition, the system was the first installation to utilize Community’s new dSPEC 226 Loudspeaker Processor. dSPEC is an Ethernet-controlled processor that provides the standard functions expected of a high-quality DSP, while implementing a number of unique features to speed up the process of system configuration, multi-level limiter setting, and system commissioning. Among these is the first commercial-audio application of RealSoundLab’s CONEQ technology. Effectively a high-resolution tuning tool, as implemented in dSPEC, CONEQ processing provides loudspeaker presets that optimize frequency response while making each speaker’s sound-field more consistent. In practice, the dSPEC features enabled the various speaker types within a difficult venue to be quickly optimized, balanced, and commissioned.

Lee reports that the new Community system works exactly as it was designed and that everyone involved is very happy with the sound quality. “We’ve received many accolades about the new audio system,” he says. “You can hear every word clearly no matter where you sit in the arena. The sound distribution is exceptionally even. We’re very pleased, and more importantly, the SunDome management is very pleased.”

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Community Appoints Mittelmann for Asia-Pacific Region Sales

Thomas Mittlemann

Community Professional Loudspeakers is pleased to announce the appointment of Thomas Mittelmann as Director of Business Development, Asia-Pacific.

A well-known industry figure, Mittelmann most recently worked with Powersoft, successfully concentrating on global brand building and marketing while overseeing sales in the Asian region. However, it was during his years with Lab.gruppen when rapid growth led from managing all overseas sales to focusing primarily on Asia, prompting his relocation from Germany to Singapore in 2007.

Mittelmann previously had spent eight years with Community handling European sales. His return to the company is well-timed as Community continues to see significant growth in international markets and expand its already comprehensive product range.

Julia Lee, Sales and Marketing Director of Community comments, “Thomas brings invaluable international sales experience and market knowledge to Community. He is joining our team at a pivotal time for our company, which has been experiencing strong growth despite the economic climate. We’re excited to have him on board to help us grow our presence in the Asia-Pacific region, especially in important expanding markets like China and India.”

Thomas Mittelmann adds, “I’m very happy to be re-joining Community and in many ways it feels a bit like coming home; most of the same great people and spirit. But ten years is a long time and Community has grown on all levels and with a much expanded product range. During this time I have also had the privilege of learning a lot, much of which I look forward to using in my new role and the markets I will be working in. Together we will serve the needs of the region even better, to the benefit of all existing and future Community customers.”

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Community Expands Distributed Design Series with Surface Mount Models

Distributed Design Series Surface Mount Loudspeakers

Community Professional Loudspeakers has expanded the Distributed Design Series of high-performance ceiling-mount loudspeakers with the addition of several new surface-mount models.

The 5-inch DS5 is a two-way compact system, ideal for installations where space is a premium. For larger installations, the 8-inch DS8 provides higher sound pressure levels, higher sensitivity and greater bass extension. The 8-inch DS8SUB subwoofer complements the DS5 and DS8 full-range models with extended low frequency performance for musical applications.

“We’ve received great response on the performance of our Distributed Design Series ceiling-mounted systems, but there are certainly applications where a surface-mounted system is more appropriate,? explains Julia Lee, Community’s Director of Sales and Marketing. “Our new surface-mount DS line is designed to deliver the same voicing and performance as the ceiling models, along with a range of features to make the installer’s job easier and more efficient.?

The DS-Series is equipped with built-in more

Community R-Series Powers New Moravian College Sports Complex

Moravian College - Close-up of Community R-Series
Moravian College Sports Complex

Bethlehem, PA – The athletes at Eastern Pennsylvania’s Moravian College returned to school this September to find their familiar Steel Field complex radically transformed. The $2.6 million renovation project created a new state-of-the art sports facility, including an expanded and resurfaced Timothy Breidegam Track, a new playing surface on Rocco Calvo Field, renewed bleachers, a new scoreboard, and a brand new high output full-range, horn-laded R-Series loudspeaker system by Community Professional Loudspeakers.

Pat Conneen of AVSG/HiFi House Group, audio designer and installer for the project, explains that the college had some very specific requirements for their new audio system. “They needed a solution that could be easily configured for a wide range of activities, from football games to track meets and special ceremonies,? he says. “It also had to enable Moravian’s audio engineers to control and direct the sound to prevent it from carrying into homes in the surrounding more

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Bell County Expo Center Enhances Sound with Community Pro Loudspeakers

Bell County Expo - Interior
Bell County Expo - Exterior

Located deep in the heart of central Texas, Belton’s Bell County Expo Center is a domed multi-purpose arena that is home to the CenTex Barracudas indoor football team. The 6,559-seat regional event center also hosts the annual Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Central Texas State Fair, as well as more than 200 community events each year.

At just over 100,000 square feet, the main Exposition Building is the largest of its kind in Central Texas. The expansive complex also includes the Main Arena, used for trade shows and expositions, a luxurious Special Events Room that accommodates up to 250 guests, and an Assembly Hall where as many as 1,200 people can gather.

With a wide range of events throughout the year, the Expo Center recently decided to revamp their audio system. The original sound system, based around Community Professional Loudspeakers’ RS880 three-way systems, was still more

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Stay up to date on the latest technology news. Select press representatives post company news several times a day. Check back often to get the latest news on product releases, mergers and acquisitions, and product applications. To be included in this virtual press conference, please contact The Wire.

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