B.B. King Museum Opens With Fanfare, Star Power & Peavey Sound

September 24, 2008

INDIANOLA, Miss. The B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center opened September 13 with a three-day celebration and an historic, Peavey-powered concert that paired the blues legend with several of the marquee artists he has inspired. 

Tracing King’s journey from the fields of the Mississippi Delta to Beale Street and beyond, the museum displays a trove of memorabilia to illustrate the artist’s life and inspiration. Among the guitars and artifacts are 1950s-era 78-rpm recordings from the personal collection of Peavey Electronics Founder and CEO Hartley Peavey, a lifelong blues aficionado. Even the $15 million facility itself is part of the collection, built onto the cotton gin where King worked as a young man.

The 83-year-old King, who still performs more than 100 shows a year, headlined the celebration with a defining set of hits and standards featuring guest guitarists Robert Cray, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Keb ‘Mo. The main stage, provided by Nashville-based TMG Production Services, featured twin ground-stacked Peavey Versarray™ 212 line-array arrangements, configured with four Versarray 212 line arrays and two Versarray 218 subwoofers per side and powered by sixteen Crest Audio® Pro 9200™ amplifiers.
 
“The Peavey Versarray 212 performs exceptionally well,” said Jim Wakefield, Audio Department Manager at TMG Productions. “I found that the 2x12 box focuses and couples really well. It has an extremely pleasant high end, with very smooth-sounding ribbon drivers that have no overriding side tones. They definitely keep up with the 12” woofers without a problem.”
 
For the ribbon cutting celebration, the more compact Peavey Versarray 112 line array—four per side flown on Vermette lifts—powered by six Crest Audio Pro 8200™ amplifiers projected the voice-only event with precision and clarity. A Peavey VSX™ 26 loudspeaker manager handled system processing, with mixing accomplished on a Crest Audio XRM® rack-mountable console.
 
Each Peavey Versarray VR212™ enclosure is outfitted with two 12” Black Widow woofers, four planar ribbon drivers and ten midrange drivers. The proprietary ribbon drivers are mounted to a manifold line source that works with the specially designed midrange drivers to create a high-energy field that enables critically damped operation with immediate transient response. All 16 line-array components utilize neodymium magnets that yield lighter weight and greater efficiency over traditional magnet designs.
 
Peavey’s patent-pending Ram Air Cooling design, a dissipation process that radiates heat away from the voice coil and speaker cone on the VR212, helps achieve enhanced efficiency and power handling, and overall improved performance over conventional cone-type transducers. The VR218™ subwoofer features the patented UniVent venting system, which uses an exclusive process to literally pump air through the enclosure, maintaining cool operating temperatures, increasing reliability and reducing power compression under heavy continuous-drive conditions.
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