When Montana Pro Audio was called on to replace a 15-year-old sound system at the Beaverhead County Fair Rodeo Arena, they faced a scenario that limited their installation options leaving them to search and source the right product to both provide the coverage they needed and endure the outdoor elements of the rodeo arena.

“The only placement options for the bleacher seats were light poles which are irregularly spaced with respect to the bleachers,” notes Montana Pro Audio Integration Manager Ryan Johnston. Plus, “the existing speaker wire to the far side of the arena was buried and would have to be reused for the updated system,” leaving them with pre-specified speaker positions.

With that in mind, “We needed to select a loudspeaker system that would withstand the weather with fairly high output and low power ratings. We also needed a series that had different horn patterns that we could deploy based on throw distance, as due to the bleacher/pole layout we had to vary between shorter and medium distance throws.” Johnston continues, “We were also looking for a bracket mount option to simplify rigging and supply a stable mount for the speakers.

“Plus the far side speakers would have to be powered with a 70-volt amplifier and stepped back down using an autoformer at the speaker end to maximize the amount of power we could send over the long, smaller gauge wire runs from the existing infrastructure.”

Their decision? “The RCF Acustica P Series satisfied all these needs,” says Johnston.

The RCF Acustica P Series is an IP55-rated weatherproof series of products specifically designed for outdoor applications providing both good speech intelligibility and music reproduction.

“We ended up using a combination of the P3108 (8” 2-way with a 90x60 coverage pattern) for shorter throws, and P5228 (dual 8” two-way with 2” HF compression driver with a 90x20 coverage pattern) for longer throws,” Johnston explains.

“The speakers were surprisingly easy to install, so much so that a planned seven day installation window between events only took four days. Additionally, the stainless steel mounting brackets, and watertight Amphenol connectors gave me confidence in their ability to stand up to the abuse of the harsh weather conditions they would experience.” He goes on to note, “In fact, the night before the first operation of the new system we had a fairly heavy rain and hail. Naturally, the speakers didn’t miss a beat, and the client was extremely pleased with the look and sound.”

The total system utilized RCF IPS Series amplifiers and Symetrix processors for all system control and time alignment.

Montana Pro Audio (www.montanaproaudio.com) is a full service sound, lighting and video production and integration company with offices in Butte and Missoula, Montana. 

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