With an upbeat, contemporary service to suit its energetic congregation, the South Coast Christian Church in San Juan Capistrano, California, was being let down by and aging sound reinforcement until local A/V integrator Tech Arts designed and installed a new system centred on Danley Sound Labs loudspeakers and subwoofers, along with new video and lighting systems.

South Coast Christian Church ‘Our original sound reinforcement system was decades old and worn out,’ confirms church Technical Director, Jeff Wallace. ‘We were running at 25 per cent of capacity.’

Alongside a larger architectural remodelling that would remove the soffit that housed the loudspeakers, a phased work programme saw the Tech Arts team install the system before Covid-19 shut things down.

‘The room seats 500 people and is wider than it is deep; that ruled out line arrays,’ explains Tech Arts CEO, Chuck Mitchell. ‘We found that models of the Danley SH60 gave us the width we needed to cover the seating from end to end without requiring front fills. Moreover, the pattern control would keep energy off the walls and ceiling.’

‘The Danley price-point-to-performance is phenomenal,’ adds Jason Vandergrift, designer/programmer at Tech Arts. ‘They punch way above their cost. The sound quality is solid, big, and modern.’

In terms of loudspeakers and subwoofers, the new system is straightforward and benefits sonically from its simplicity. Two clusters, each of two SH60s, cover all seating with a pair of flown TH118 subwoofers to round out the low end. Symetrix DSP and Linea Research amplifiers power the system, with a new Allen & Heath dLive console for mixing. Tech Arts redid the stagebox infrastructure and, at the church’s request, relocated the FOH position.

‘Using two TH118s is a little more than we might use normally,’ says Vandergrift. ‘We’ve used two TH118s in much larger rooms. Here, it’s like driving a Ferrari at 55mph, there’s so much headroom! The low end feels effortless, like it’s never going to run out of gas.’

‘We spent a lot of time making sure we minimize the number of A/D or D/A conversions,’ Wallace says. ‘Once signal becomes digital, it stays digital until the amplifier output. Dante throughout makes for a very clean, phase accurate sound system. Even though we’re dealing with top-end digital equipment and converters, you can still hear a noticeable difference when we A/B the analogue failsafe.’

In addition to a new audio system, Tech Arts gave South Coast Christian Church new user control, video, and lighting. Extron control systems link audio, video, and lighting with selectable presets depending on the level of technical details required. At one extreme, users can simply press a few buttons and get audio, video, and preset lighting schemes in place without any need for the audio console. At the other extreme, the full power and flexibility of the system is made available to Wallace and his capable team. ETC lighting and lighting control, an Epson laser projector, Panasonic cameras, and a full Black Magic production system add deserved polish to South Coast Christian Church’s services and events.

‘Tech Arts has brought us into the 21st century,’ says Tom Westerfield, lead pastor at South Coast Christian Church. ‘The new system sounds fantastic. It sounds like we’re in a high-end movie theatre.’

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