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York Minster Goes All Out with New System

A new system installation inside the seventh century cathedral required more than 100 loudspeakers.

York, UK (November 14, 2019)—York Minster, a northern England cathedral built in the seventh century, recently installed more than 100 d&b xC-Series cardioid column loudspeakers, becoming the largest single installation of the xC-Series to date. The aim was to retain the space’s reverberance while allowing for intelligible speech.

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d&b partner Wigwam was commissioned work to create a solution that would tackle the spoken word without distraction, and reinforcing live music for a variety of events. Wigwam installation manager Phil Goldsworthy opted for the 2-way passive column loudspeakers from the d&b xC-Series and worked closely with Minster representatives, ultimately spec’ing d&b 24C cardioid column loudspeakers along with their 24C-E extension companions on each column, with the 24C-Es providing an additional octave of vertical pattern control down to 190 Hz.

Additional d&b xC-Series units in the form of smaller 16C loudspeakers were added around the altar and in the quire. All 108 loudspeakers are powered and individually processed by 10D amplifiers, with control via R1 and Q-SYS integration.

“The 24C features mechanically steerable high frequency drivers, which can be adjusted to direct the audio to where it’s needed,” says Goldsworthy. “This allows you to mount the units completely vertically, tight up against the pillar and quite high up, yet still achieve an even audio coverage to the congregation below.

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“The units are narrow enough to fit within the grooves of the masonry – helping to reduce the visual impact of the installation, which is vital in a listed building of this type. We further reduced the impact by color matching the speaker to that of the pillar. The sound quality is second to none in a building of this type and the installation is incredibly sympathetic to the Minster’s architecture. The system provides huge flexibility for a wide range of uses and is simple to operate.”

d&b audiotechnik •