Largest PA systems

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Just curious, has anyone here ever been in a position to recover the huge audio system from a stadium or major league hockey arena?

Just thinking about the racks of amplifiers.. maybe speakers, depending. When they imploded Cowboys Stadium in Irving, TX, the huge main speaker arrays hanging in the center went crashing to the ground. There's a video somewhere. I have to wonder if the racks of amplifiers were also crushed into nothing.

In the 1990s I worked as an engineer and occasionally field engineer for Sony Broadcast & Professional. I was fortunate to be assigned to the team refurbishing the 4-screen Jumbotron at Reunion Arena, home of the Dallas Stars*.

That thing was big enough to park 4 small cars inside and had a floor around the backside of the panels which included the video displays and large scoreboards. In the center was a hole. The main PA speakers hung from the ceiling by a winch system and were stowed inside the thing. They were lowered well below the display during games.

The speakers, 8 of them, covering 360 degrees. They were easily 6 FT wide and 12 FT tall. This was not a bunch of PA horns but huge boxes with cone drivers suplemented by multicellular horns. IIRC the power was 4 or 6 KW. I never saw the amplifiers, just the speakers.

* At the time, that display was quite old and the little CRTs used as pixels were no longer made, and in short supply. For one last season the team wanted it repaired and the best screen facing the reporters' (and rich folks') boxes. We tested, repaired, and calibrated all of those things, and consuming the remaining global supply of NOS and good used pixel CRTs, fixed the display. It took several months. Each display was 12x16 FT and made of 192 modules 1x1 FT, each having 16 approx. 1x3", 3-color CRTs composing 3 or 4 pixels. Strange and very cool little tubes, ran on only 900V, a few are still around.

Very bad images of this are here:
What I do for fun
The camera was a Kodak DC40, just about the first ever consumer digital camera. It stored 48 756x504 images and used a CCD. So don't be too harsh..

I was glad to have been off duty the one time some boob employee of the hockey team decided to test the PA system while the speakers were stowed and my colleagues were inside the display with them. That little incident was discussed at the highest levels of management on both sides before our engineers returned to the site. I believe the Jumbotron and speakers were destroyed by general demolition of the structure.

So, what exactly happens to all those big amps and speakers? Are they always randomly and uncaringly trashed? The horror of that..


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in most i've seen or been involved with tenders for salvage target equipment for removal, everything from lighting fixtures to electrical wiring along with fixtures and other easily removed things like doors and windows...i've gutted a few theatres and some roller rinks along with arenas.

it's questionable if the expenditure in labour is covered with the resale of the salvaged goods though...but in the process i've acquired some interesting bits.
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At least in the UK it would have peaked in the 90's. Anything outdoors has offsite noise restrictions that make a huge system pointless, I don't think things like this happen anymore:
??? SO ~ How loud is TOO LOUD ~ Half a Million Watts do it for you ??? - Guitar Discussions on theFretBoard

Saying that I was next to the mixing desk at Aphex twin at warehouse project last month and the long term average SPL was 120dB on all the meters towards the end of the set. That was (sort of) indoors though and energy concentrated in the bass, it was impressive that at that level there was no hint of bass fade or distortion over a sustained period of time.
Some thoughts about that castle donington Turbosound Event:
There were even 2 guys killed by the crowd dancing above them. What a chaos!

Besides classical and may be wind or jazz music, there is basically 2 forms of modern music:
1. the hard rock / metal tribe that is always full of skulls, hells, satan, goats and other occult ********. I do not believe in that selling soul to the devil etc. stories but - although sometimes listening to some softer rock ballades - I am somehow disgusted by the whole crazy community following distorted guitars and devils or monsters grimaces.
2. the 150BPM folks that is worshipping DJs from techno to trance or hands-up at clubbings etc.
Interestingly, the 2 forms of music seem abolutely incompatible, as I do not know any person listening to both kinds of music. It is like being a member of this or that tribe, never both. I absolutely cannot understand how resources equalling several average live's salaries ("360 turbosound cabinets" plus amping) can be put together at events just to amplify annoying distorted guitar and screaming noise, while it seems, that the 150BPM community cannot do the same - at least not in that scale.
Hah! There's a limit to how much variation one can bring to bragging about prositutes, cash, drugs an claimed sexual prowess etc. And still actually being able to bring something new to the table.

I have nothing against Rap/ Hip-hop, but I think it was slightly better in the 90's. Still a few good ones come out now and again, I kinda like this one from Shy FX that came out this year.
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