USA - After struggling with a challenging acoustical environment and a sound-reinforcement system that couldn't distribute sound consistently throughout all areas of their sanctuary, Prescott, Arizona, United Methodist Church decided enough was enough. After all, if the congregation can't hear clearly, the message is lost. To solve the problem, church management upgraded to a line array system drawn from the TrueLine catalogue of Greensboro, North Carolina-based WorxAudio Technologies, a division of PreSonus.

CSD Group was contracted to design and install the church's new sound system. Working in close coordination with the WorxAudio Technologies' engineering team, CSD president Doug Hood and his crew ultimately deployed two WorxAudio X3i-P compact, all-in-one, powered line arrays as the primary loudspeaker system.

"Prescott United Methodist's sanctuary proved to be a challenging environment," Hood explained. "The room is very live, which compromised speech intelligibility and caused music reproduction to suffer. There are hard surfaces everywhere, with drywall, hard floors, and glass doors and windows across the back end of the space. The room is also quite wide, making it considerably more difficult to gain even sound dispersion throughout the space for the approximately 300 worshippers. Furthermore, the church didn't want the loudspeakers to be visually distracting. Hence, the compact X3s made a great choice for this project.

"Music plays a huge role in the church's worship services and consists of both choir and instrumentalists for a blend of traditional and contemporary music," Hood continued. "Considering the importance of music in their programs, we elected to improve the acoustics of the space and deploy the WorxAudio line arrays in place of the point-source loudspeakers that were installed previously."

Acoustic treatment of the room was the first priority. To address these issues, 96 4 x 2-foot panels were strategically placed throughout the room, with another 16 panels for the choir loft. Additionally, the old video screens were replaced with acoustically transparent screens to allow the organ's loudspeakers to "breathe."

To minimize line-of-sight considerations, the CSD crew flew the two white coloured WorxAudio X3i-P line arrays in a left-right configuration over the front edge of the stage area, using WorxAudio's X-Minibeam 3 suspension system for each array. The X3i-P loudspeaker system incorporates three modules, each with a medium format, 1-inch-exit compression driver and dual 8-inch cone transducers. It is powered by WorxAudio's highly-regarded PXD-2580 digital power amplifier.

In summarizing his experience with the WorxAudio products on this project, Hood offered the following, "The folks at WorxAudio are top notch. We consistently receive excellent tech support, great followup, and timely responses to our questions."

Prescott United Methodist Church's technical director Joel Bump is equally enthusiastic about the new WorxAudio loudspeaker system. "I believe we've struck the right balance between music and voice, with the room still seeming quite live," says Bump. "When I ran the sound during the contemporary service for the first time, the instruments were each individually audible. All the musicians immediately noticed the clarity. Several critical choir members reported they could hear everything crisply and at a good listening level. The spoken word is very intelligible and well-articulated. The sermon was crystal clear throughout the room. We are all very pleased."

(Jim Evans)

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