For legendary blues guitarist BB King, the thrill isn’t gone when it comes to touring. The 83-year-old “King of the Blues” is still on the road with his famous Gibson guitar “Lucille” performing 100 concerts per year.
And King gets from gig to gig on more than just a simple set of wheels.
King rides in a $1.4 million, 45–foot luxury motorcoach that has more than $200,000 worth of electronics inside, making it a center of inspiration for laying down tracks, reviewing audio and video, keeping up to date on news and communicating with his fans and crew. But, most importantly, he’s entertained by a first-class A/V setup.
The interior design of the Prevost XL motorcoach was done by Superior Coach Interiors in Nashville, Tenn., while the electronics were installed by Digital Home Lifestyles of Phoenix, Ariz.
The tour bus, which took 100 hours of design time and 300 hours of installation time to complete, has seven miles of of cabling from Liberty Cable, five miles of Cat5 wiring and 3,000 feet of CresNET. The pre-wiring was done before the walls on the tour bus went up, requiring large bulks of wiring in channels and luggage bays that run the length of the vehicle.
King has a music and video server system that allows him to access a collection of more than 20,000 CDs, 6,000 DVDs and “more VHS tapes than I have ever seen,” according to Daniel Henderson of Digital Home Lifestyles.
The electronics on the bus would make any electronics lover blush. There’s a distributed audio/video system with eight zones of video and nine zones of audio. The front and rear lounges have 7.1 surround sound systems that are fed through a combination of dedicated and distributed sources. The sources include:
- 4 DirecTV HR21-PRO DVRs (1 dedicated to the rear lounge, 3 for distributing audio and video)
- 4 Kaleidescape 1080p players (1 dedicated to the rear lounge, 3 for distributed A/V)
- 1 Kaleidescape 3U server
- 1 Crestron iPod dock that is distributed throughout the coach
- 4 individual iPod docks for each bunk
- 1 Crestron XM tuner (distributed to all zones with feedback on all the touchpanels
- 1 AM/FM radio (distributed with feedback on all the touchpanels)
- 2 Integra Blu-ray DVD players (1 dedicated to the rear lounge and 1 dedicated to the front lounge)
- 1 PS3 and 1 Xbox 360 in the front lounge
- 1 Sony Professional DAT Player (dedicated to the rear lounge)
- 1 Aiphone back-up camera (for driver’s touchpanel)
- 1 Aiphone PTZ front door security camera (distributed to all TVs and touchpanels)
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