High Kirk Presbyterian Church in Ballymena
Ireland - High Kirk Presbyterian Church in Ballymena has upgraded its PA system with a Martin Audio MLA Mini Multi-cellular Loudspeaker Array, supplied and supported by Ireland distributors, Rea Sound.

After two years of research - visiting trade shows and suppliers, reading specifications and reviews, and listening to systems - it was going to take something special in a speaker system to please the church's technical team; and they found what they wanted in Martin Audio's award-winning MLA platform.

The requirement had been for a complete replacement of the PA system in the 600-capacity church. According to Rea Sound's account manager, Roger McMullan. "Shifting emphasis to modern worship music meant that the old system, which was 20 years old, could no longer cope."

After extensive listening tests, the team came down unanimously in favour of the MLA Mini.

Restricted ceiling height meant limiting the hangs to four elements per side. "But in any case, software modelling demonstrated that this would provide near perfect coverage," said McMullan. Since head height at the rear of the gallery is above the highest hanging point at the front of the church, Martin Audio DD6's have been used as fills in the upstairs gallery.

The church did however, depart from the normal installation methods for MLA Mini - partly due to aesthetic requirements, and partly due to physical constraints. With this limited headroom, flying the subs along with the Line Array was never an option, and although a variety of solutions were considered, in the final analysis the existing subs (situated below the floor) fitted perfectly, and have more than enough power handling to complement the MLA Mini.

This did lead to a new problem however - where to locate the amps, which normally reside in the rear of the MSX Power Plant. Fortunately adapting the amps to fit in a 19" rack was an easy option - unusually the team decided to mount them in the back of the rack, behind other shallow depth equipment, rather than use up valuable space at the front of the rack, which is located in a room beside the main church sanctuary.

In conclusion, team leader Brian Adams confirms that everyone is delighted with the implementation. "Undoubtedly our decision to go with the MLA Mini was made so much easier because of the co-operation we received from Rea Sound, who were clearly committed to making sure we made the right choice; we would be happy to recommend both Rea Sound and MLA to any church in a similar position to ourselves."

(Jim Evans)

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