Medieval church installs Yamaha arrays
Tuesday, 31 August 2021
save-kyrka1The medieval church at Säve, near Gothenburg
Sweden - Improving the sound for the congregation in an ancient church can be a difficult task. But Yamaha’s VXL series slim line array speakers make it much easier, as demonstrated in the medieval church at Säve, near Gothenburg.
“The church’s audio system was at least 20 years old. It was outdated, with a non-standard mixer and speakers/amplifier designed for home use. So it could not possibly deliver sound of acceptable quality,” says Sten E. Ranwald of Gothenburg-based Ljud & Säkerhet.
Sten was asked to improve the 13th century church’s sound but, because of its historic structure and decor, it needed to be done very sensitively. “We could not interfere with the structure of the church or place any equipment that would have a visual impact,” he says.
“After the old system was removed and while the church’s electrical system was being upgraded, the staff were able to rent a Yamaha STAGEPAS 1K all-in-one, portable PA. This system alone almost filled the church with clear, seamless sound and it helped a lot in their choice of manufacturer for a new, permanent solution.”
The Yamaha system which Sten specified and installed comprises two VXL1W-24 slim line array speakers and a DXS12mkII 12” powered subwoofer for the main congregation sound, plus a UniVox induction loop amplifier for the hearing impaired. Two Yamaha VXL1W-8 slim line array speakers were installed as monitors for the clergy and church musicians, with an MSP5 powered studio monitor to relay the sound of the church bell to the clergy and congregation.
The main inputs comprise three wireless microphones and the inputs from a Tio1608-D I/O rack (with a nine-channel passive stagebox as slave), plus a wired microphone in the bell tower, all mixed on a TF-1 digital mixing console. PX3 and PX5 power amplifiers were installed to power the system, with remote control by Yamaha’s TF StageMix and MonitorMix apps.
“The local authorities said they were sick and tired of other line arrays which are tilted out from the walls at up to 10 degrees. Describing them as ‘ugly’, they were very happy when I showed them that the VXL series is not only visually very discreet, but can be installed vertically,” says Sten.
“For us, the only challenge was whether two VXL1W-24s would be capable of delivering even sound at sufficient SPL, including on the church balcony where the organ is and the choir occasionally stands. But, as always, I certified the sound according to the Speech Transmission Index (STI) intelligibility protocol, using the NTI Audio XL2 measuring instrument, and it passed easily.
“After a number of services with the new system, the church staff all said they are very pleased with its sound, functionality and TF-1’s ease of use. The congregation has also commented on the very natural sound quality and much-improved intelligibility.”

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