Dorset Sound & Communications

Sound and AV system design for the 21st Century

A full service sound and video contractor

Systems Integration / Audio   Video  Data

Sales   System Design    Installation   Service

Houses of Worship  Business, Local and Federal Government projects

Serving the Washington DC Metro, Virginia, Maryland Region

We hope you will see some things here that interest you and help you to communicate better using your sound and A/V systems. Dorset Sound & Communications is a full service sound contractor and supplier to the Washington, DC Metro area. Our loyal clients include churches, synagogues, restaurants, US government facilities, fitness centers, bowling centers, community association pools, public and parochial schools, ball fields and a municipal stadium. If you need active help with your system and are not in the Washington, DC Metro area let us know. We may be able to refer you to a qualified contractor or consultant in your vicinity through our worldwide network of similarly trained professionals.

The communications systems we configure today to meet the challanges of the future, integrate sound, video, telecommunications and computer control. While many older analog technologies will continue to have a place, they have often been displaced by digital solutions. At DS&C, we keep up with the latest developments and products to offer you the most innovative options. Look to the future. Put Dorset Sound & Communications to work for your organization.

Please check out the Products and Manufacturers pages. Remember, anything you are interested in can be shipped anywhere in the United States. We have a client based in Northern Virginia with facilities in Florida to whom we regularly supply equipment.

Also check out Sound Tips, a series of short, helpful articles on sound reinforcement and other aspects of sound, A/V, video and network systems.


Dorset Sound & Communications is available on the two most popular social networking sites, Twitter and Facebook.  Visit us, Friend us, Follow us.  We are posting tips, blog entries, current jobs, job pictures, cool ways we are solving problems and items of interest to our clients.  We despise spam and promise not to bombard you.  Come on in and meet us, clients like you and some of our manufacturers.

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New Federal Rules That Matter to You

January 15, 2010 the FCC has prohibited ALL wireless microphones, wireless in-ear-monitor (IEM) systems and wireless audio link systems in the 700 MHz UHF band. Users must absolutely cease operation on June 12, 2010. See the DSC Sound Tip page on wireless microphones.
Check your wireless microphone operating frequencies. You must be in compliance or risk nasty letters from the bandwidth auction winners (Verizon and ATT), legal action by the FCC, and lots of interference. If you are not sure how to check your systems and are in the Washington, DC, Virginia and Maryland region give us a call and we can help you stay legal.

February 15, 2010 the FCC has mandated the following warning be attached to all wireless microphone equipment, data sheets and ads.
Most users do not need a license to operate this wireless microphone system. Nevertheless, operating this microphone system without a license is subject to certain restrictions: the system may not cause harmful interference; it must operate at a low power level (not in excess of 50 milliwatts); and it has no protection from interference received from any other device. Purchasers should also be aware that the FCC is currently evaluating use of wireless microphone systems, and these rules are subject to change. For more information, call the FCC at 1-888-CALL-FCC (TTY: 1-888-TELL-FCC) or visit the FCC’s wireless microphone website at

Contractors are now responsible for lead paint abatement.
April 22, 2010 the EPA has mandated that any contractor work that will involve painted surfaces in buildings built before 1978 and disturbing more than 6 square feet of surface must be trained in lead paint abatement or engage a licensed hazardous materials sub-contractor to remove paint and cut holes in affected surfaces. This will appreciably increase the cost of installing many sound systems for our clients. Most likely it will result in many designs resorting to surface mounted speakers and equipment that would have otherwise been recessed. If you have had to deal with asbestos on a project, you know the headaches of hiring abatement contractors, sealing off rooms and paying exhorbitant fees for disposal. While this may be a useless endeavor in 99% of cases built after the mid-60s, all will have to comply or face the risk of crippling federal litigation and enourmous fines. Violation of this rule may bring a fine of up to $32,000 per violation, per day. It would not take much to put most small sound contractors like us out of business. We will be asking ages and looking for cornerstones. While the present regulation relates to facilities occupied by children under 6 and pregnent women more than 2 days a week, the EPA is seeking to extend it to all occupied facilities.

An example: A typical 8" ceiling speaker requires a 9-10" hole in a plaster or drywall ceiling. That hole disturbs a little over 1/2 square foot of surface area.  Any specification for more than 10 to 11 speakers in a room built before 1978 will require an outside lead paint abatement subcontractor to cut the holes or strip the surface where cutting will be done A typical single electrical box for a microphone receptacle is about 8-1/2 square inches, 14 square inches for a double box. It would take 96 single boxes to reach the threshhold, but 9 single  boxes or 5 double boxes would equal 1 speaker cutout, further reducing the number of speakers before a subcontractor must be hired.

Site Note: 12/09. We have been having a great deal of trouble with the yellow radio buttons linking when using Microsoft Internet Explorer. All other browsers - Firefox, K-Meleon, Opera, Safari, Chrome - make all links correctly.
Safari looks really great. If you have a problem with button links, please try another browser. We are working on it. 

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