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Lovers Lane UMC Acoustical Upgrade A Perfect Fit

Lovers Lane UMC Acoustical Upgrade A Perfect Fit

With a sanctuary of glass walls, this church's challenge was to improve intelligibility while maintaining a low profile.

In the late 1940s, a small group of faithful congregants founded Lovers Lane United Methodist Church on a Dallas street called Lovers Lane. Though the Church has since moved several blocks away, the name remains a part of its history and culture.

The sanctuary was recently upgraded with loudspeakers from Fulcrum Acoustic to overcome acoustical challenges created by reverberant glass walls and a 36-foot ceiling that wreaks havoc with intelligibility.

As Shawn Slocum of Ford AV explains, "we couldn't do anything to impact the sanctuary's unique aesthetics, therefore a ceiling-hung line array was not an option.

"The previous loudspeaker system approach, installed in the late 1990s, included large-format point source loudspeakers recessed into the ceiling, front fills in the forward organ towers, and a pew back system to fill in the outer seating areas," says Slocum. "After looking at several alternatives, we determined that the same approach would be utilized. The challenge was how to improve intelligibility and SPL using the existing design."

The solution: Fulcrum Acoustic's AH-Series horn-loaded loudspeakers.

"The previous point source speakers were medium-long throw systems, but they lacked the tight pattern control the space required, particularly in the mid and low-mid frequency range," says Slocum. "The AH 65's 60 x 45 degree pattern covers the seating area but ends just inside the angular side walls, limiting early reflections and improving intelligibility." The pew back system adds coverage for the far outside seats, and a pair of Fulcrum Acoustic US212 subwoofers are installed in the front organ towers, adding low frequency reinforcement that the sanctuary had never previously enjoyed.

"The new system delivers a marked improvement in both intelligibility and frequency response for parishioners seated in both the main floor and balcony areas," Slocum reports, adding that the next phase of the project will include several Fulcrum DX896 loudspeakers to provide greater forward imaging for the front third of the main floor. "The new system has already made a dramatic difference, and will be even better when the front fills are installed next year."

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