In 2003, the Catholic parish community of Saint Sabina built an architecturally unique worship space that enables greater accessibility and versatility to serve its diverse and growing congregation. After numerous upgrades to its sound system failed to provide a satisfactory solution, A/V integrator Advanced Sound & Communication (ASC) was selected to design and install a system to make the church sound as remarkable as it looks.

Saint SabinaConsistent coverage and fidelity were required from compact, full-range speakers with minimal visual impact on church architecture and iconography. Precise pattern control and extended low-frequency control were also essential to keep sound off hard, reverberant surfaces lacking acoustic treatment.

‘Previous Saint Sabina Church sound systems using line array and column speakers failed to provide clear, uniform coverage throughout the sanctuary,’ explains ASC Systems Consultant, Brent Handy. ‘Rather than using a long 55ft throw to the back of the church, our approach was to get high-fidelity, point-source speakers as close to the congregation as possible to provide the same tone and sonic character to everyone.’

Handy based his design on Fulcrum Acoustic’s compact CX Series coaxial loudspeakers. To cover the centre liturgical area, he deployed four downward-firing Fulcrum CX896 8-inch coaxial speakers with 90° x 60° dispersion along the side wooden trusses. Each CX8 is backed by a CCX1265 12-inch cardioid coaxial loudspeaker on the opposite side of the truss directed at the horseshoe-shaped seating area. Two standalone CCX1265s with 60° x 45° horns provide even coverage for seating closest to the church entrance.

‘Fulcrum had just launched the cardioid CCX product family, applying its patented Passive Cardioid Technology to their best-selling line of compact coaxial installation loudspeakers,’ states Handy. ‘The timing couldn’t have worked out better for us as this truss-speaker design approach demanded cardioid patterns to minimise LF blowback and work within the architecture rather than fight against it.’

‘When Father Jeff Stephan uttered his first hello with the new system, parishioners had never heard such volume and clarity in their church,’ remarks Handy. ‘Saint Sabina’s diverse musical styles include traditional keyboard with choir, contemporary instrumentation with praise singers, and Hispanic Ministry Masses with four guitars, two keyboards and drums playing upbeat Mexican arrangements. Church members love the musicality of their new Fulcrum system, which made their older systems sound like AM radios. And as far as Father Jeff’s homilies, well, he had them at hello.’

More: www.fulcrum-acoustic.com

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