Las Vegas, NV—As InfoComm rolled into the end of its first day, visitors left the convention floor but instead of heading into the desert heat outside, they poured right into the demo room of Community Professional Loudspeakers, and with good reason: The venerable company was hosting a packed-house party, celebrating its 50th anniversary in style.
Founded by Bruce Howze in 1968 to develop concert-worthy loudspeakers, Community evolved its market focus from tour sound to MI and now to install, though Howze’s technical leadership has been the one constant throughout.
Howze recalls, “Everyone was making horns from wood, sheet metal or cast iron. We thought fiberglass would be an ideal material for small runs. It was lightweight, strong, portable and relatively easy to mold to shape. We could make horns that were far more accurate to mathematical equations, without the imperfections of wood, and with far less weight.”
Community Celebrates 50 Years in 2018, Jan. 30, 2018
“At the time, touring systems were mainly composed of large folded bass horns, topped with multicellular high frequency horns,” he explains. “There was nothing that could do 500 Hz well, which left a big hole in the midrange…. We focused on that midrange right at the outset, and it continues to be paramount in everything we do.”
Over the years, Elvis Presley toured with Community’s Leviathan in the ’70s; cities like Venice opted to use Community to provide audio flood warning; and the company’s systems are used at many Olympic and world-class stadia.
There’s other landmarks in the company’s history: Steve Johnson joined Community as CEO in 2013; the following year, Community updated its corporate brand identity, and in 2015, Audioprof Group International acquired a majority share in Community. Through the acquisition, Community became a member of their installed audio portfolio along with European-based Apart Audio. The company isn’t slowing down either, having kicked off 2018 with the launch of its new IV6 Modular Vertical Array system, intended for installed indoor or outdoor applications.
View from the Top: Steve Johnson, CEO, Community Professional Loudspeakers, by Kelleigh Welch, June 25, 2014
Community Professional Loudspeakers • www.communitypro.com