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Church Overcomes Curved Walls

Church Overcomes Curved Walls

Faith Evangelical Free Church upgrades low-quality PA system to JBL 70J column loudspeakers to compensate for "deeply curved wall."

In an audio system redesign that marks the transformation of a former cinema to a house of worship, the Faith Evangelical Free Church of Waterville, Maine is now equipped with a pair of JBL Professional CBT (Constant Bandwidth Technology) 70J column loudspeakers, each with three CBT 70JE extender cabinets.

After Faith Evangelical moved into the cinema space seven years ago, it was served only by a low-quality public address system. A deeply curved wall behind the stage dampened the sound even more, making it very difficult to hear anything on or off the stage.

"The CBT product is a great fit in terms of coverage and sound quality," explains Heidi Samuel, owner of Maine Pro Audio, the integrator behind the installation. "We were amazed at the smooth horizontal coverage and the well-defined vertical coverage. When fully extended with the CBT 70JE, we finally have a system that provides pattern control well down in the low voice range, which we would have never accomplished with the previous installation."

Click image to enlarge

One of the biggest challenges was the inner construction of the church. Multiple fabrications were engineered to ensure the safety of the congregants as well as proper equipment fit.

After determining the mount height of the CBT, holes were cut in the walls for subs and blocking was added to the steel framing to further support the mounting brackets. An independent fabricator built the mounting brackets to allow for a few degrees leeway for horizontal aiming.

With limited space, the cabinets were assembled on the ground, as opposed to being constructed on the mounting bracket itself, and lifted into place.

"The CBTs keep going, clear out of the far wall of the lobby, 120 feet away,” Samuel says. “If the wall wasn't there, you could hear them well into the yard, another 50 or 60 feet away."

Using an SPL meter, there is only a 2 dB difference between the area directly under the loudspeaker and the rear of the auditorium, 80 feet away. The ratio between the highs and lows remains consistent, and the two CBT arrays cover 100 percent of the seating area with zero front fills.

TAGS: Gear Audio
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