Newmarket Racecourse was founded by King Charles II in 1636 and is still known as the equestrian world ‘Headquarters,’ and to this day hosts 9 of British racings’ 36 annual Group 1 races, along with other races and events held throughout the year.
Despite its equestrian pedigree, racegoers were not getting the best experience at this historic site due to the old sound system not being up to par with the spectators’ expectations. When you’re at a race you need to know which horse is in the lead, who has fallen, and most importantly – who won. Due to the poor sound quality, and the age of the previous sound system, the crowd simply couldn’t hear what was going on.
Audiotek was commissioned to carry out a full survey of their existing audio system, with a view to completely upgrading it.
Audio Visual Site Survey and Technology Solutions
Christopher Kmiec, our UK Technical Manager supervised the survey and found that due to ageing components, and limited frequency bandwidth, key areas of the building were suffering. It was agreed that these areas needed a complete revamp: the main spectator standing areas, Premier Enclosure, betting ring, and second and fourth-floor balconies. Due to varying weather conditions (including wind, rain, and snow), all of which can affect the hardware of sound systems, and the sound itself, choosing which products to use had to be a carefully made decision to ensure no quality is lost – no matter what the circumstances.
An entire refurb of the control and amp system was carried out, and we added new CXD amps to the previously installed Q-SYS system. This ensured that all lines are monitored, with the status of the systems available from screens around the site. We decided to use Community loudspeakers as they were able to model the system in advance, meaning we had confidence that Community loudspeakers were the best product available for the size and range of Newmarket Racecourse, especially as they have extreme weatherproofing.
After the installation was completed Christopher Kmiec was approached by Jordan O’Brien from essentialinstall.com and James Billington of stadia-magazine to discuss the Newmarket Racecourse’s recent upgrade and sound system revamp. Chris commented:
“We evaluated a number of different brands in EASE, and Community’s R SERIES gave the best acoustic results for the size, weight and budget of the project. The extreme weatherproofing of the loudspeakers as standard was also a big advantage. To its credit, the previous system was installed for a 20-year span, and we are confident we will match that with Community’s reputation for long-term reliability.
The main outdoor system comprises six high power Community R2-77Z-EN full-range defined coverage three-way loudspeakers, located under the main canopy at a height of 25m. These provide smooth coverage of the main spectator standing areas, Premier Enclosure and betting ring.
In addition to high intelligibility speech, the new system was specified to provide good quality music and the R2 delivers both.
Sixteen R SERIES R.35-3896 loudspeakers were also installed in the venue with the system being run from a QSC Q-SYS system. QSC CXD-Qn amplifiers provide power, monitoring and control of the system, as well as a redundant backup.
The Community loudspeakers allowed us to model the system in advance and be confident the results would be achieved in practice. Everyone who has heard the new system cannot believe how loud and clear it sounds.”