The First Southern Baptist Church, in Pratt, Kansas, which has a congregation of 800 people, recently had a new church building constructed by Builders for Christ, a non-profit that brings volunteers to construct church buildings for needy congregations. Advanced Sound & Communication in Kansas City, Mo., provided most of the church’s new A/V systems.
“The previous contractor did not perform an on-site scan," states Brent Handy, who is the company's Audio, Video, Lighting and Electronics Designer and Sales Consultant. "The quantity of simultaneous systems was not recommended by the manufacturer, and the frequencies chosen weren’t recommended for Pratt, Kansas, by the FCC.” Handy notes that the area’s agricultural enterprises use much of the UHF spectrum for field communications and wireless Internet. “After doing research and scanning for a week, we could not find enough UHF frequencies to work reliably.”
That was the situation when an Audio-Technica representative visited Handy’s office and suggested the A-T System 10 PRO rackmount digital wireless system, which promises interference-free operation in the 2.4 GHz range, well outside TV bands, and expands the features and versatility of the original System 10 wireless system.
The System 10 PRO features 24-bit operation, easy setup, clear, natural sound quality, and three levels of diversity assurance: frequency, time and space.
“When the Audio-Technica rep came to my came to my office, I was like, ‘I don’t know, guys, 2.4 GHz? I haven’t had good luck with that,’" Handy says. "But I took it to my own church where we have some frequency congestion issues, and it worked, and it didn’t slow down my networks, so I was sold on it at that point.”
Handy eventually brought the System 10 PRO to Pratt and installed six channels at the church: four handhelds and two body packs, including two cardioid earset microphones.
“It worked,” he says. “In fact, it worked so well that I didn’t have to break the receivers and the antennas out of the chassis and mount them closer to the stage; they’re actually in a rack underneath the counter by the front-of-house mixer. You can take those mics outside the building and they still work. And just in time, really.”
More of the UHF range, the 600MHz band, will become largely unavailable in the wake of the FCC’s spectrum auction later this year. The same thing happened after the agency reallocated the 700MHz band four years earlier, displacing thousands of wireless microphone users. “And 900 wasn’t an option because that’s what the agriculture guys use out there,” Handy says. “So this was it, and they sounded great, the pastor was happy, the worship pastor was happy. They’ve had dropouts in all their wireless systems for the last 10 years; they’ve never had a system without a glitch. Today, no glitches at all.”