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Title: High School stadium Sound System equipment comparison help
Post by: Mike Snyder on May 14, 2021, 02:26:28 PM
I have been tasked with replacing the sound systems at our high school's on-campus football, baseball and softball fields.  I feel I have received quotes from two quality providers, but I don't know squat about the equipment and can't make an educated decision on which is better.  Maybe you guys can help?  Assume the prices I received are very close to each other and within our budget.  Here is a high level overview of the components I need help comparing.

Provider 1
Atlas Speakers FS12T-99 and 94s
Alesis MultiMix 10 Wireless Rackmount Mixer
Crown CDi 1000 Power Amplifier
Juice Goose JG 8LED Power Distribution Center with LED Lights

Provider 2
Community Speakers COM-R.5COAC66 and 99's
Rolls Mixer
QSC GXD4 Light Weight Amp
Juice Goose JG11-15A Power Distribution Center
Denon Source Deck

I imagine both would sound great, and either will be an upgrade, but which one is better?
Title: Re: High School stadium Sound System equipment comparison help
Post by: Helge A Bentsen on May 14, 2021, 03:16:23 PM
Based on quick google search, I'd say none.
Call Fulcrum, they can help you with a proper system.

https://www.fulcrum-acoustic.com/contact/
Title: Re: High School stadium Sound System equipment comparison help
Post by: Corey Scogin on May 14, 2021, 03:39:36 PM
I imagine both would sound great, and either will be an upgrade, but which one is better?

As you have surmised, those are practically identical systems. If both providers came to the same solution, there's a good chance it's a good fit.

If you can determine which provider has better support, that can be your determining factor. I don't suspect there will be a significant difference in the sound quality of either speaker system but I have no direct experience with them so take that with a grain of salt.
Title: Re: High School stadium Sound System equipment comparison help
Post by: Scott Hofmann on May 14, 2021, 03:46:28 PM
I have been tasked with replacing the sound systems at our high school's on-campus football, baseball and softball fields.  I feel I have received quotes from two quality providers, but I don't know squat about the equipment and can't make an educated decision on which is better.  Maybe you guys can help?  Assume the prices I received are very close to each other and within our budget.  Here is a high level overview of the components I need help comparing.

Provider 1
Atlas Speakers FS12T-99 and 94s
Alesis MultiMix 10 Wireless Rackmount Mixer
Crown CDi 1000 Power Amplifier
Juice Goose JG 8LED Power Distribution Center with LED Lights

Provider 2
Community Speakers COM-R.5COAC66 and 99's
Rolls Mixer
QSC GXD4 Light Weight Amp
Juice Goose JG11-15A Power Distribution Center
Denon Source Deck

I imagine both would sound great, and either will be an upgrade, but which one is better?

And you know the two vendors are quality providers because (pick only one)....
a) they install great home stereo systems
b) they go to my church.
c) they are the only two PA vendors in my city.
D) they have provided addresses and contact info for venues where they have installed similar systems.
Title: Re: High School stadium Sound System equipment comparison help
Post by: Don T. Williams on May 14, 2021, 04:04:24 PM
I have been tasked with replacing the sound systems at our high school's on-campus football, baseball and softball fields.  I feel I have received quotes from two quality providers, but I don't know squat about the equipment and can't make an educated decision on which is better.  Maybe you guys can help?  Assume the prices I received are very close to each other and within our budget.  Here is a high level overview of the components I need help comparing.

Provider 1
Atlas Speakers FS12T-99 and 94s
Alesis MultiMix 10 Wireless Rackmount Mixer
Crown CDi 1000 Power Amplifier
Juice Goose JG 8LED Power Distribution Center with LED Lights

Provider 2
Community Speakers COM-R.5COAC66 and 99's
Rolls Mixer
QSC GXD4 Light Weight Amp
Juice Goose JG11-15A Power Distribution Center
Denon Source Deck

I imagine both would sound great, and either will be an upgrade, but which one is better?

The speakers listed are decent, but I agree with Helge.  You probably need to be looking to more powerful solutions. It would help if we knew how many people you are trying to cover and if you are trying to cover the playing fields also.  Outdoors eats up sound!  If there is wind, things really get bad.  The one thing is for certain : Attempts will be made to try and make these speakers as loud as an outdoor comcert!  I have had several requests from athelitic directors and others at a school who attended a concert and said: I want the system to be almost as loud as ***** was last week because the teams like it loud for practice on the field.  As loud is $200,000.00 and up. Almost as loud is $50,000.00 and up.  The students and staff have no concept about what is too loud or too much distortion.  The will not pay attention to the clip/protection LED's on the amplifier.  If you are only trying to cover a small bleacher (maybe 200 people) with voice and low level background music, the systems quoted might work.  In any case, it will be important to have some that really know what they are doing to set limiters and filters in the amp DSP, especially a high pass filter on the low frequency end of the system.  That is the only chance you speakers will have to survive!
Title: Re: High School stadium Sound System equipment comparison help
Post by: Mike Snyder on May 14, 2021, 04:30:51 PM
And you know the two vendors are quality providers because (pick only one)....
a) they install great home stereo systems
b) they go to my church.
c) they are the only two PA vendors in my city.
D) they have provided addresses and contact info for venues where they have installed similar systems.


i doubt me answering this makes much difference to you, but:
Not A or B
I am in Houston so there are plenty of vendors.  One is from the area and one is not.
My research indicates they have installed these in similar applications.  That and referrals from other schools.

Title: Re: High School stadium Sound System equipment comparison help
Post by: Mike Snyder on May 14, 2021, 04:42:26 PM
Based on quick google search, I'd say none.
Call Fulcrum, they can help you with a proper system.

https://www.fulcrum-acoustic.com/contact/

Just contacted the rep for my area.  Thanks for the referral.
Title: Re: High School stadium Sound System equipment comparison help
Post by: Mike Caldwell on May 14, 2021, 04:47:49 PM
Read Don's comments and then read them again, he said just about what I was going to say!!!!

The Alesis mixer has too many knobs on it for your everyday I want it louder user. A Rolls strip mixer is a better choice.

Amps with built in DSP processing are a good choice but I would also add an outboard DSP for some compression and an additional layer of limiting.

If any of your proposed systems are not set up properly and really clamped down they will be blown up in with in years time.

Read Don's post again!
Title: Re: High School stadium Sound System equipment comparison help
Post by: Matthias McCready on May 14, 2021, 04:57:51 PM
I have been tasked with replacing the sound systems at our high school's on-campus football, baseball and softball fields.  I feel I have received quotes from two quality providers, but I don't know squat about the equipment and can't make an educated decision on which is better.  Maybe you guys can help?

Welcome Mike,

+1 to everything Don said.

As you are new to audio lets put it in non-audio terms:  :)

So instead your school athletic department needs to buy a vehicle.

Right now you are looking at 4 door car (Geo Metro). Which will work, and effectively transport a small amount of people from place A to place B. What the car will not do is to effectively transport your entire football team at the same time.

If that is what you want to do you will need a bus (a well ventilated one at that... jeez take a shower you guys!  :o )

----

What Helge and Don are getting at is they want to make sure your expectations and needs are in line with the solution.

When you expect too much out of a small system it is much like expecting that small little car frame to handle the entire football team. Not only will your little system not handle it, it will likely be broken in the process; making it not a great investment.

Keep in mind a bus costs more than a small car.

Or perhaps a car is exactly what you need, you just have to remember it is just car and use it accordingly.
Title: Re: High School stadium Sound System equipment comparison help
Post by: Mike Snyder on May 14, 2021, 05:30:41 PM
The speakers listed are decent, but I agree with Helge.  You probably need to be looking to more powerful solutions. It would help if we knew how many people you are trying to cover and if you are trying to cover the playing fields also.  Outdoors eats up sound!  If there is wind, things really get bad.  The one thing is for certain : Attempts will be made to try and make these speakers as loud as an outdoor comcert!  I have had several requests from athelitic directors and others at a school who attended a concert and said: I want the system to be almost as loud as ***** was last week because the teams like it loud for practice on the field.  As loud is $200,000.00 and up. Almost as loud is $50,000.00 and up.  The students and staff have no concept about what is too loud or too much distortion.  The will not pay attention to the clip/protection LED's on the amplifier.  If you are only trying to cover a small bleacher (maybe 200 people) with voice and low level background music, the systems quoted might work.  In any case, it will be important to have some that really know what they are doing to set limiters and filters in the amp DSP, especially a high pass filter on the low frequency end of the system.  That is the only chance you speakers will have to survive!

Really appreciate the feedback.
Baseball and softball stadiums are each 500-600 capacity.  Football is about 1500.
I wish I could spend $200k...
Title: Re: High School stadium Sound System equipment comparison help
Post by: Mike Caldwell on May 14, 2021, 07:46:34 PM
Really appreciate the feedback.
Baseball and softball stadiums are each 500-600 capacity.  Football is about 1500.
I wish I could spend $200k...

The systems you listed properly set up and protected could kind of get by at the baseball and softball fields but stand no chance at the football field with the stands full of spectators and the band playing.
Title: Re: High School stadium Sound System equipment comparison help
Post by: Dave Garoutte on May 14, 2021, 10:31:02 PM
What IS your budget.
Danley does this kind of thing well.
Title: Re: High School stadium Sound System equipment comparison help
Post by: Scott Hofmann on May 14, 2021, 10:41:49 PM
Really appreciate the feedback.
Baseball and softball stadiums are each 500-600 capacity.  Football is about 1500.
I wish I could spend $200k...
There is also Community outdoor speakers; perhaps a little lower in cost.
https://www.biamp.com/products/product-families/community
Title: Re: High School stadium Sound System equipment comparison help
Post by: Rich Wirz on May 14, 2021, 11:03:54 PM
I completely agree with Don's assessment.  The high school I work at recently re-did the football field/bleachers, and as much as I campaigned for a Danley install, they decided to go with the Community R5's a local company gave a steep discount on (as a contribution to the project).  For announcing and up to medium level music they do a decent job - but I would never try to put anything substantial through them.  With 4 of them mounted on top of the press box the coverage pattern basically covers the stands and the track - beyond that you can obviously hear them but the energy diminishes quickly walking out onto the field.  So proper coverage area for whatever uses they foresee the system being utilized for is a must.

 I have an event coming up in a week where the whole student body will be in the bleachers - and the choir department will be on the track performing multiple songs with keys, drums, bass, guitar, and 18 wireless mics. Other than the miserable time they and I would have with the delay and the sound being shot back at them, there is no way I am even going to attempt to tie everything in to an aux input on the field system.  I don't really know for sure where it is high passed at, but from listening to it I can't believe it would be anywhere under 100.  I am kind of getting attitude for planning a system set up on the track firing into the stands, but I'm not willing to fry anything with sub par audio for the application just to placate people who don't get it.  Maybe not something that would apply to you, but food for thought nonetheless.  I guess what it comes down to is to run every scenario everybody thinks this system could be used for, try to accommodate with a proper set up, and then get ready to deal with providing something else when the situation over runs the capabilities.       
Title: Re: High School stadium Sound System equipment comparison help
Post by: Mike Caldwell on May 15, 2021, 07:29:06 AM

   I don't really know for sure where it is high passed at, but from listening to it I can't believe it would be anywhere under 100.     

That's about right, depending on the R.5 model the recommended high pass is about to 60hz to 90hz.
At least it sounds like the installer actually applied a high pass to the system, many times they are left wide open and the speakers get shredded over time!
Title: Re: High School stadium Sound System equipment comparison help
Post by: Steve-White on May 15, 2021, 09:52:14 AM
I completely agree with Don's assessment.  The high school I work at recently re-did the football field/bleachers, and as much as I campaigned for a Danley install, they decided to go with the Community R5's a local company gave a steep discount on (as a contribution to the project).  For announcing and up to medium level music they do a decent job - but I would never try to put anything substantial through them.  With 4 of them mounted on top of the press box the coverage pattern basically covers the stands and the track - beyond that you can obviously hear them but the energy diminishes quickly walking out onto the field.  So proper coverage area for whatever uses they foresee the system being utilized for is a must.

 I have an event coming up in a week where the whole student body will be in the bleachers - and the choir department will be on the track performing multiple songs with keys, drums, bass, guitar, and 18 wireless mics. Other than the miserable time they and I would have with the delay and the sound being shot back at them, there is no way I am even going to attempt to tie everything in to an aux input on the field system.  I don't really know for sure where it is high passed at, but from listening to it I can't believe it would be anywhere under 100.  I am kind of getting attitude for planning a system set up on the track firing into the stands, but I'm not willing to fry anything with sub par audio for the application just to placate people who don't get it.  Maybe not something that would apply to you, but food for thought nonetheless.  I guess what it comes down to is to run every scenario everybody thinks this system could be used for, try to accommodate with a proper set up, and then get ready to deal with providing something else when the situation over runs the capabilities.       

You're definitely on the right track.  I've worked assisting another contractor doing HS graduation ceremonies out in the football stadium.  On the field in front of home bleachers was rows and rows of infield seating, then the stage.  We used mains on pole mounts on either side of the stage to cover the field seats, of course setup some monitors - front and side-fills, and then time delayed ground stacks for the main grandstands.

It sounded great and Bob got called back every year.

It can't be done correctly any other way - maybe indoors, but never outdoors without delay fills.
Title: Re: High School stadium Sound System equipment comparison help
Post by: Aaron Cole on May 28, 2021, 02:09:11 PM
I'm not a pro here, but am an educator in a similar situation to yours.  We ended getting some community speakers that are pretty meh.  They do a mediocre job at play by play announcement for the home side and forget the away side.  It's bad.  Then, the dance team always wants it louder and the system can just not handle it.  I wish we would have contacted Danley or another big install name.  At this point we'll probably just be begging for another system in a few years time and then we've paid for two systems when we probably could have just paid for one the first time.
Title: Re: High School stadium Sound System equipment comparison help
Post by: Doug Fowler on May 28, 2021, 02:50:19 PM
I'm not a pro here, but am an educator in a similar situation to yours.  We ended getting some community speakers that are pretty meh.  They do a mediocre job at play by play announcement for the home side and forget the away side.  It's bad.  Then, the dance team always wants it louder and the system can just not handle it.  I wish we would have contacted Danley or another big install name.  At this point we'll probably just be begging for another system in a few years time and then we've paid for two systems when we probably could have just paid for one the first time.

Community has been a leader in the install market for decades. It's likely the wrong choice of Community loudspeaker rather than the particular loudspeaker.   Or a bad install. 

What are these Community loudspeakers and how are they deployed?
Title: Re: High School stadium Sound System equipment comparison help
Post by: Aaron Cole on May 29, 2021, 06:26:32 AM
Community has been a leader in the install market for decades. It's likely the wrong choice of Community loudspeaker rather than the particular loudspeaker.   Or a bad install. 

What are these Community loudspeakers and how are they deployed?

I'll check it out more this week and get back to you.  Could be a deployment problem.  The install company that did it also did our auditorium (EAW system) and didn't load the greyboxes for the speakers onto the dsp or do any sub to mains alignment.  I ended up having to do all that myself.  So I wouldn't count out a bad deployment at our stadium.

I can tell you right away that the away side sounding terrible is just because those bleachers are not in the pattern of the speakers which are all on the home side on the lighting poles aimed at the home audience.  So maybe the powers that be knew that going into the purchase of the system.
Title: Re: High School stadium Sound System equipment comparison help
Post by: David Sturzenbecher on May 29, 2021, 01:19:25 PM
I'll check it out more this week and get back to you.  Could be a deployment problem.  The install company that did it also did our auditorium (EAW system) and didn't load the greyboxes for the speakers onto the dsp or do any sub to mains alignment.  I ended up having to do all that myself.  So I wouldn't count out a bad deployment at our stadium.

I can tell you right away that the away side sounding terrible is just because those bleachers are not in the pattern of the speakers which are all on the home side on the lighting poles aimed at the home audience.  So maybe the powers that be knew that going into the purchase of the system.

The did a poor job on the first project… so let’s hire them again on the second.  Sounds completely logical to me.
Title: Re: High School stadium Sound System equipment comparison help
Post by: John Hiemburg on May 29, 2021, 01:35:40 PM
The did a poor job on the first project… so let’s hire them again on the second.  Sounds completely logical to me.


Sounds like your typical committee/municipality/government job, unfortunately.
Title: Re: High School stadium Sound System equipment comparison help
Post by: Steve-White on May 29, 2021, 01:48:37 PM

Sounds like your typical committee/municipality/government job, unfortunately.

Yep.  Any problem can be solved, if it fails simply pour more money into it until it works.  The boilerplate for our government.
Title: Re: High School stadium Sound System equipment comparison help
Post by: Mike Caldwell on May 29, 2021, 02:58:33 PM
I'm not a pro here, but am an educator in a similar situation to yours.  We ended getting some community speakers that are pretty meh.  They do a mediocre job at play by play announcement for the home side and forget the away side.  It's bad.  Then, the dance team always wants it louder and the system can just not handle it.  I wish we would have contacted Danley or another big install name.  At this point we'll probably just be begging for another system in a few years time and then we've paid for two systems when we probably could have just paid for one the first time.

I'm With Doug on this.

Community makes speakers.. the R2 series that will cover the visitors side from the home side press box. Short of the R series subs none of the R series are designed to be stadium shaking full range speakers.
If someone tries to do that with them you will end up with broken speakers.

I mean stadium shaking as in low frequency, they have plenty of models that will get loud and at distance.

Post a couple pictures of the install.

Title: Re: High School stadium Sound System equipment comparison help
Post by: Scott Hibbard on June 17, 2021, 05:26:46 PM
Mike,

I have done a number of these designs and installs, and the design is really as important as the selected products.  The design should drive the product selection (not the other way around). 

As an example, the systems you listed many work quite well in a distributed system, but neither will have enough get-up-and go to cover 1,500 people in a football stadium at any appreciable levels.  Budget plays into it as well, as many have noted here. 

I've attached a few pics of a recent installation that probably comes close to your 1,500 seat high school stadium.  I used (4) Community R.5MAX and (2) Community R.35-3896.  I placed (2) R.5MAX speakers and (1) R.35-3896 on lighting poles on the home side. (3) Ashly KLR amps drive the systems with DBX processing.   

The R.5MAX's cover the field and the visitor side, while the R.5-3896's cover the home-side as "in-fills".  The press box was brand new and I was told absolutely no mounting of speakers on the PB, hence this design.  Also, as with MANY school systems, budgets are not unlimited - you have to deliver on a budget that may not be what you would "want". 

I am not here to promote any one brand or speaker - simply to indicate this was one design.  I've done others using One Systems speakers mounted on press boxes (and poles) and other combinations.  Irrespective, all are driven with multiple amplifiers and DSP.  If an amp fails, announcements can still be made albeit at lower volumes.  I am not a fan of relying on a single amplifier unless no other choice exists financially.

ScottH 

 
Title: Re: High School stadium Sound System equipment comparison help
Post by: Brian Jojade on June 17, 2021, 06:42:08 PM
The design should drive the product selection (not the other way around). 


Yes, 100% yes!!!  The detail of equipment choices is pretty much irrelevant as long as what gets put in fits the design criteria.  Different installers likely will have preferred equipment and brands primarily due to familiarity.  For the most part, the end result differences are not going to impact the outcome.  Eg, brand A amplifier vs brand B amplifier both do the same job.  The installer likely will pick the brand they personally are comfortable with.  Speakers tend to have more variety in what they can do, so here you're far more likely to find brand loyalty from the installer.  If someone installs Atlas stuff, that's where they will start with their design. The installer that does community will probably pick from that pool of gear when building their design.  Neither is right or wrong, as long as the equipment fits within their design.  And no, you probably can't take the design from one installer and the equipment from another and expect it to work!

Now, when it does come to design, there are ALWAYS compromises that need to come into play. What should be done is first specify what's required out of the system, such as where you need inputs and how many, and where you need coverage and at what levels.  It's also a good idea to note where you do NOT want coverage, if that's important. Sometimes you need to design a system that makes noise in the stands, but doesn't bother the neighbors across the street. Get that in the spec list!!  Then, if you are working within a budget, make sure that's known.

Now the designer can help make decisions on what corners can be cut out of the specs to help build a design that could fit within the budget, or they could say that it's impossible to put something in that would even come close to what you want for the money you planned to spend.  Saves everyone a ton of frustration if you can do that!
Title: Re: High School stadium Sound System equipment comparison help
Post by: Mike Caldwell on June 17, 2021, 08:26:50 PM
Mike,



I've attached a few pics of a recent installation that probably comes close to your 1,500 seat high school stadium.  I used (4) Community R.5MAX and (2) Community R.35-3896.  I placed (2) R.5MAX speakers and (1) R.35-3896 on lighting poles on the home side. (3) Ashly KLR amps drive the systems with DBX processing.   

 

Your equipment rack is a classic high school football field system, I done a few that were identical short of the Ashly amps.
 
Title: Re: High School stadium Sound System equipment comparison help
Post by: Chris Jensen on June 30, 2021, 01:32:12 PM
Modern systems are now much more than speakers.  I would agree that the speakers are the priority so program material can be heard.  However not far behind is the operation of the system for your nontechnical users. 

It is easy to get caught up on the speakers, but I would also advocate that the front end of the system is just as important.  I would really look at something like a Qsys front end to handle all DSP and interfacing.  Being able to create a really clean front end is key, and for those that are a bit more advanced you can have other views that offer more.

 While something like dynamic touch screen interfaces are candy on a system, feeling out your decision makers is important.  Sometimes they are the people that when they find out things like being able to have the system controls on their iphone peak their interest and they find more money.

From a functional perspective to help all the considerations above about misuse, one could program a simple mode off a single button press for practice, or games or whatever.  If able you could even schedule these events to happen on their own.  Things like power sequencing on and off could save your system too.  When the system gets left on after use being able to program off commands in the middle of the night is great, or at least a simple way for the janitor who gets stuck turning it off to interface.

I think the important point is that even if the system won't perform to what you need, think the car analogy above, at least you can build in some safe guards so you don't destroy it.  Just beucase the car can't carry the whole football team, the car can have a self managed system to protect itself.

Chris
Title: Re: High School stadium Sound System equipment comparison help
Post by: Brian Jojade on July 06, 2021, 09:41:11 PM
Modern systems are now much more than speakers.  I would agree that the speakers are the priority so program material can be heard.  However not far behind is the operation of the system for your nontechnical users. 

100% yes!!  So many times you see systems that end up having too many options for end users that have a hard enough time understanding ON and OFF for the system.  Once the system is designed, making sure that the end user can use it and not destroy it is critical.  Designing in a way for experienced users to make adjustments is a bonus, as long as everything goes back to idiot resistant mode the next time it is used.

The reality is, most of the time, an on off power switch for the system and a volume control for the music source(s) is all you need.  An on/off switch on the mic itself is sufficient and easy enough to understand.  A volume control on the mic should be a usable range, so even turned all the way down, it would still work, and all the way up, even with someone screaming into the mic should not cause damage to the system.

Anything you can do to keep stuff from blowing up is key.  And yes, people will try to find creative ways to blow stuff up!