Baseball bat company Warstic Sports recently opened its state-of-the-art headquarters and retail space in Dallas, which features a comprehensive networked audio system from HARMAN Professional Solutions.
Founded by former baseball player and entrepreneur Ben Jenkins in 2011, Warstic specializes in state-of-the-art metal bats and customizable wood bats, along with batting gloves, fielding gloves and other baseball and softball accessories. In 2016, four-time All-Star second baseman Ian Kinsler and musician Jack White became co-owners alongside Jenkins, and in November 2021 the company officially opened its flagship store and headquarters in Dallas. In addition to a retail space and batting cage area, the facility also features a cafe, a conference space known as the War Room, and a live performance space in the basement. To meet Warstic’s current needs and anticipate future plans for the space, HARMAN Professional Solutions provided design assistance and installation guidance for the highly versatile audio system featuring JBL Professional, Crown, BSS and Soundcraft solutions.
“The building itself is not only our central office but also a retail store, batting cage, speaking and event center, factory, coffee shop and a place for live music,” said Christine Edgington, President, Warstic Sports, Inc. “There are so many components packed into our 10k foot space. We started the process with a detailed explanation of how we would be utilizing all of the different spaces, and HARMAN matched our needs with their extensive list of products.”
“Each space had its own individual needs as far as audio was concerned,” added Nick Mourn, Production Application Support Specialist, HARMAN Professional Solutions. “What made this installation unique was that Warstic wanted each space to share the same audio for things like background music, as well as the option for each space to have its own audio source. There’s a considerable amount of flexibility in the design so that as time goes on, the company will have an easier time launching future plans and projects. The retail space has a big projection screen, for example, and the plan is to eventually be able to play things on the screen and have the video’s sound run through the audio system just within the retail space. So this design was all about maximum flexibility without making it too complex.”
The retail space features JBL Control 65 P/T compact full-range pendant speakers with Radiation Boundary Integration technology, ensuring immersive background music, legible communications and wide coverage throughout the spaces. A Crown DCi 4|600N amplifier with BLU link and DriveCore technology provides power to the Control 65 speakers in the retail space, cafe and War Room.
The batting cage space required a more dexterous audio design to both maintain audible sound during batting sessions and provide full-range live sound for acoustic shows, events and classes planned for the space. The area consists of JBL AM7212/95 two-way loudspeakers, featuring a rotatable horn and waveguide for versatile placement and coverage, as well as JBL Control 31 two-way monitor speakers for additional monitoring during shows or outdoor events. A Crown DCi 2|1250N amplifier powers the speakers, and a Soundcraft Ui24R digital mixer offers simple wireless audio control for Warstic staff.
“The AM7212/95 is a higher-output speaker compared to the pendant style used in the other spaces,” added Mourn. “The reason behind this is not only for music playback purposes, but also when they start to do batting workshops and even small concerts in that space, the speakers can operate as a true sound reinforcement system.”
The basement is an intimate, speakeasy-style live music area similar to the stages found in Jack White’s Third Man Records locations in Nashville, Detroit and London, all of which feature HARMAN audio systems. This space features JBL AM7215/26 high-power loudspeakers and ASB6128 high-power subwoofers for impactful dynamics and complete coverage for the entire audience. Additionally, JBL SRX812P self-powered speakers and SRX818SP subwoofers offer pristine and concentrated onstage monitoring, and both can also be used as a portable sound system for pop-up or outdoor events.
“We wanted the equipment in the stage area to make a statement,,” said Edgington. “The JBL speakers provide massive sound that explodes off the stage and looks great while doing so. Across the board, the sound quality is beyond our wildest expectations in every corner of the building.”
For the stage’s backend, a Crown DCi 4|1250ND amplifier provides ample power and a Soundcraft Vi1000 digital mixing console with a Soundcraft Vi Stagebox allows for easy and accurate sound mixing across more than 100 available inputs. Finally, JBL Control 65 P/T speakers powered by a Crown DCi 2|600N provide background audio for the basement.
For the entire facility, a BSS BLU-101 signal processor ensures high-bandwidth processing and low-latency audio. BSS BLU-BIB input expanders in each area also allow for individual inputs in any part of the facility for events or live shows. Finally, BSS EC-8BV wall-mount controllers in each area provide easy-to-use and responsive audio and input control, which in turn allows for each area to operate and play different audio independently from one another.
Warstic celebrated its opening with a surprise performance by Jack White, and the cutting-edge audio system created an inviting and engaging experience for new visitors and customers.
“It was a very exciting night; Jack and the band played a great set and we got a lot of compliments on how good it sounded, especially given that the space is extremely small,” said Mourn. “We look forward to seeing where Warstic takes this system from here.”
“The reality is that they had their work cut out for them,” added Edgington. “HARMAN was patient and incredibly informative throughout the journey to complete this project. They listened carefully to our goals and ensured that we had an end result that would serve the needs of our location perfectly.”