With a history that dates back to 1854 when it was founded by the Greenbrier Agricultural Society on approximately two acres of land in Greenbrier Valley, VA., today’s State Fair of West Virginia is located in Fairlea—near Lewisburg—encompassing a large open field for carnivals and exhibitions, a horse track, grandstands, and several exhibition buildings.
In anticipation of 2017’s edition, the fair’s operators decided to improve the sound reinforcement capabilities. This ultimately led to the deployment of loudspeakers drawn from the WorxAudio Stadium Series catalog of Baton Rouge, LA-based PreSonus Audio Electronics.
Alpha Music of Lewisburg, WV, a multi-generational family owned music store that also operates a design / build division for the AV installation market, was contracted to handle the deployment of the new loudspeakers at the State Fair of West Virginia. Charles Hatcher, Alpha Music’s president, handles both system sales and design for the company. He discusses the project and his decision to use PreSonus WorxAudio loudspeakers, which included three S-XL5 all-in-one compact line arrays and six S-XL2 all-in-one arrays.
“All of the loudspeakers were installed attached to the various buildings throughout the fairgrounds,” Hatcher reports. “This is a distributed system used for both announcements and music, so it was crucial that the system be capable of delivering both natural sounding speech intelligibility and music reproduction. Depending upon the size of any given area, we placed the 5-element S-XL5 enclosures and the slightly smaller, 2-element S-XL2 enclosures accordingly. With their broad horizontal dispersion, excellent throw, and rugged weatherized design, these loudspeakers proved outstanding for this project.”
“These loudspeakers required custom-designed hardware for their installation,” Hatcher continues. “The fact that the loudspeakers have multiple integrated rigging points made it that much easier for us to angle the enclosures to achieve the best coverage in any given area. All the loudspeakers are bi-amped and driven by QSC CDX4.5Q 4-channel amplifiers, with system processing handled by QSC’s Q-SYS audio management system.”
“The Stadium Series loudspeakers are terrific sounding, ruggedized and weatherized enclosures that are designed for outdoor use. Most significantly, they sound terrific. Their clarity sets them apart from other competing systems. At any volume, it’s as if you’re having a one-on-one conversation with the person next to you—even though the speaker may be 30 feet up in the air and 40 yards away. Upon completing the install, I received a phone call from a friend who lives approximately three miles from the fair property. He was glad I got the job completed, but jokingly asked if I could I please turn the system down so he could go to sleep.”
Hatcher was equally complimentary of PreSonus Commercial Division’s customer and technical support services. “PreSonus was an excellent partner on this project from design to completion,” he reports. “From an onsite visit to view the scope of the job and demo the product, to the follow-up and assistance in the voicing and tuning of the loudspeakers, they were a tremendous help.”
The new PreSonus WorxAudio loudspeakers were installed in early August and placed into service on August 10th. Since that time, Hatcher reports he has received numerous compliments. “Our client commented that the clarity of the system and the fact that the seamless installation has made the property an easier sell to potential parties seeking to rent the property for events outside the scope of the State Fair,” he says.
“The fact that people can now hear an announcement anywhere on the property is a major plus. The system ran flawlessly for the ten consecutive days of the fair and it was really a spike of adrenaline to see how positively everyone responded. Quite frankly, this new system can be heard throughout our town.”