Among the oldest and largest churches in Stockholmy, Maria Magdalena kyrka has a unique layout with a particularly long nave. In an extensive renovation begin in 2013, the church upgraded its sound system and needed to accommodate its architecture oth acoustically and aesthetically.

Maria Magdalena kyrka SoundCop Consulting provided consultation as well as handling the installation. At the time the specs for the project were being finalised, SoundCop Consulting was not yet aware of d&b audiotechnik’s xC-Series column loudspeakers and had chosen another option for the installation. In 2014, this changed when d&b’s local partner Arva Trading held a demonstration at another of Stockholm’s churches – Stefanskyrkan (Saint Stephens church) – prompting SoundCop to revisit the Maria Magdalena specification and adopt a combination of d&b’s xC-Series passive column loudspeakers, xS-Series loudspeakers and B4 cardioid subwoofers, along with the 10D four-channel amplifier.

‘The passive cardioid function of the xC-Series column loudspeakers results in excellent dispersion control, which makes them particularly good for an environment like Maria Magdalena,’ says Arva Trading AV/Pro Audio Sales & Support, Natanael Lyckelind. ‘SoundCop Consulting was very impressed with the results that they saw – or rather heard – at the demo.’

‘We were totally blown away by how good it sounded at the demo,’ agrees SoundCop Consulting co-owner, Jacob Julin. ‘So, we went back and changed the whole specification for Maria Magdalena. This is the first two-way passive column speaker that we have seen that actually sounds like a proper PA system. The sound is coherent and warm, not like it’s coming from a flimsy speaker, which is so often the case with the sound set-up in a church.’

As Lyckelind explains, in a church the size of Stockholm’s Maria Magdalena, which has such a long nave, reverberation can be a significant barrier to speech intelligibility, but the cardioid dispersion pattern of the xC-Series significantly reduces the level of the reverberant field, maximizing speech intelligibility.

In all, SoundCop Consulting installed six 24C and 18 16C column loudspeakers, eight 4S loudspeakers, two B4-SUBs and six 10D amplifiers. The entire sound system is controlled by a QSC Q-SYS audio control platform, using the d&b plug-in for the integration of the 10D amplifiers. The plug-in allows access to d&b amplifier parameters (Gain and Mute status, AmpPresets, Power On/Off status, etc) directly from the Q-Sys interface.

‘This is the first big installation we’ve done with d&b xC-Series in Sweden; there have been some smaller churches but nothing on this scale, so now we have a lot of technicians talking about this project. The results have been really good. A lot of choirs come to perform at Maria Magdalena Church and they like to bring their own sound systems, but when they see how well the in-house setup works, they prefer to use that instead,’ Lyckelind says.

‘The system has actually ended up being used for a bit more than originally expected – what they wanted for the church was really a sound reinforcement system for vocal (speech), but it actually works really well for smaller concerts – so long as they aren’t too loud – and choir concerts,’ Julin adds. He also reports a number of other church projects in the works resulting from the success of the Maria Magdalena kyrka installation.

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