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Every year the Navy’s Blue Angels put on an air show at the Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar, located in northern San Diego County, California. Their breathtaking flight demonstrations are performed with music and narration on the ground, creating an interesting challenge for any public address system. Thanks to San Diego-based Listen dealer Tri-Media Pro Sound, there’s been no problem hearing what’s happening on the ground amid the roar of the F/A-18 Hornets overhead.

The show at MCAS Miramar is the largest military air show in the country, with more than 500,000 spectators in attendance over a three-day period. The primary spectator seating area covers 3800 linear feet, with another 600-foot area behind the grandstands.
The air base sends the project out for bid each year. For the past two years the contract was awarded to
Tri-Media, which supplied the Listen equipment through their rental division, an ideal arrangement for both entities.
“Tri-Media [has] provided better-quality equipment and services for the same price [we’d paid others],” said Lieutenant Colonel USMC (Ret), Edwin Downum, the air show’s coordinator, who indicated that a major challenge for the event is having cable on the ground. “It can be a trip hazard in high-traffic areas,” he said.
Tri-Media’s solution was simple: a wireless RF setup, with a Listen LT-800 Stationary FM Transmitter, LA-107 Ground Plane Remote Antenna, and LR-100 Stationary Receiver/Power Amplifier feeding into speakers.
Downum found that the Listen equipment delivered consistently high-quality sound, easily reaching beyond the grandstands to spectators walking around the displays and entering the gates to the flight line. With most systems, one would expect sound coverage like that to require volume levels so high that those sitting closest to the speakers would be less than comfortable. According to Downum, that’s just not so with Listen’s system, resulting in excellent customer satisfaction.
“We received outstanding support and excellent sound equipment,” said Downum, who added, “Tri-Media Pro Sound was outstanding, setting up, operating and tearing down the equipment in a professional and timely manner.”
The project is going out for bid again, and there’s no doubt it will be hard to match the quality and value provided by Listen equipment and Tri-Media.
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