St. Patrick’s Cathedral located in midtown Manhattan has been an iconic national landmark for New York City for more than 130 years and is one of the most visited churches in the US.
Today, the Cathedral serves more than five and a half million visitors each year as a house of worship and a place of architectural inspiration, and has been used to honor those fallen in our September 11 attacks with hundreds of 9/11 family members and firefighters from the city and around the world filled St. Patrick's Cathedral for the FDNY Memorial Service.
Recently, St. Pat's underwent a massive, multi-year renovation that included interior and exterior restorations of the gallery organ, the Cathedral's pews, stained glass windows, exterior stonework, altar niches and ceiling plaster work and was completed in December 2015. Along with these extensive structural renovations, the Cathedral audio system was in need of an overhaul as well.
The church required a system with minimal visual profile and high intelligibility in very reverberant environment. Ben Bausher, senior consultant at JaffeHolden, was chosen as the system design consultant. His selection for the project was K-array.
54 KK102 Kobra line array elements in white were installed throughout the Cathedral powered by 31 KA10PC Class D power amplifiers. The loudspeakers amplify spoken voice with clarity and the occasional musical accompaniment that originates from the altar.
"The Kobra was chosen for its low profile, performance for its size, mounting hardware, and its vertical pattern control," explained Bausher. "They fit perfectly within the width of the fluted columns on which they are mounted and looked like a natural fit once installed."
Given the relative ease of the installation, the biggest challenge that JaffeHolden and Installers Masque Sound encountered was commissioning the audio system between the hours of 10pm and 6am so as not to disrupt tourist traffic or the multiple daily masses that are performed in the Cathedral.