The Christian Life Assembly church in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, has a wedge-shaped sanctuary thatseats approximately 2,000. However, the church struggled to deliver high-impact services and feedback-free performances from its 38-box distributed loudspeaker system.

Local AVL integration firm Emmaus Media & Design recently all of them with just five Danley boxes, including two J2-96 Jericho Horns, as well as new systems in the youth and the kids’ rooms – for less than half of what other firms bid for the sanctuary system alone.

Christian Life Assembly‘Danley’s point source loudspeakers can do the work of numerous line array elements – way less expensive than a comparable conventional system,’ confirms Emmaus Media & Design owner, Tim James. ‘On top of that, their phase coherence and fidelity make the boxes sound better than conventional designs. The pattern control is amazing. In short, Danley boxes cost way less, sound way better, and give me all the pattern control I need, so why mess with anything else?’

James had served as the technical director at Christian Life Assembly for six years, and knew the frustrations caused by the old system. ‘The 38 loudspeakers fired straight down from the ceiling in three concentric delay rings and were original to the now-15-year-old sanctuary,’ he says.

‘The comb filtering was terrible. You were effectively hearing multiple speakers no matter where you sat. When the church was doing more choir and orchestral support, it was passable as true reinforcement, but as they asked more of it in support of more contemporary music, its worst qualities came out. The sound was indistinct and distant.’

Christian Life Assembly had been considering an upgrade for years and was finally pushed to act as the existing system’s components failed. When the other companies that bid couldn’t come close to James’ quote, he set about designing the system he had always wished for when he was the technical director.

The main sanctuary has a stereo pair of J2-96 Jericho Horns, each powered by its own 20kW DNA 20k4 Pro amplifier with integrated DSP and model presets. A pair of SH60s provide mezzanine fill, and a single BC415 subwoofer flown in the center of the room gets underneath the already low response of the Jericho Horns. Ashly DSP provides the front-end conditioning and Powersoft amplifiers power the fills and subwoofer.

Additionally, four SM100M loudspeakers serve as monitors. The youth room benefits from two SM96s and two SM60Fs, combined with a repurposed subwoofer. Even the kids’ room – the church’s original sanctuary – has four SM100 loudspeakers.

Where the old system required six tall racks of amplifiers and their own, climate-controlled room, the new system only requires a single rack. James was able to move that rack closer to the catwalk, minimising cable runs – the Emmaus Media & Design crew removed more than 3,000ft of loudspeaker wire that was no longer needed. The church has reclaimed the old amp room and is renovating it to serve as a greenscreen video production studio.

‘When we first fired up the new system in the sanctuary, I had to verify that the close-fields at the mix position weren’t actually on – it sounded that present,’ James says. ‘We were able to do away with balcony and under-balcony fill, and things sound way better in both of those locations. This was no small improvement.’

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