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PowerSports Tour Gets Down and Dirty with Electro-Voice

FOH Staff • News • November 13, 2007

DULUTH, MN — Supercharged snowmobile engines issue high-pitched screams at 130 dB, pushed to piston-pummeling extremes as they tear around the track. 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 and the dirt. That’s why making live sound reinforcement happen on the World Power Sports Association (WPSA) Racing Sno-X snowmobile and ATV tours — as seen on the Speed Channel and ESPN — requires some tough loudspeakers.

Rob Powers and Faron Meeks of PowerSports Entertainment (executive 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.
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,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,” Meeks says. “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.”
"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 semis and covered with mud and snow, day after day.”

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