When president of db Acoustic and Sound Mike Hedden was asked toupgrade the sound system for Elizabeth Baptist Church in East Point,Ga., he brought in Sound Physics Labs’ loudspeakers to keep upwith the church’s hip style of gospel and funk contemporaryworship.
“I was pulled into the project by a friend over at TPS Lighting whowas working on upgrading their lighting system,” said Hedden. “Webrought some Sound Physics Labs [SPL] loudspeakers over to the churchand did a demo for them. The church leadership started laughing when wepanned from the SPL system to their existing system. They didn’trealize just how bad their existing system was and, more importantly,how good it really could be. They were absolutely blown away by theseboxes. The truth is I never have to worry about doing a demo with SoundPhysics Labs gear. It has won every demo I have performed.”
Hedden, an active musician and former member of the Christian bandTruth, culled his years of audio design experience and came up with asystem that best-served the church’s high-energy needs. Theinstallation is a left-center-right sound system comprising twoSPL-trik™ loudspeakers in each array. Each SPL-trik deliversfocused 60×60 degrees of sound coverage down to 300 Hz and featuresSPL’s “point source arrayability.” Each array covers 130×60 degrees,which when properly aimed, results in a large stereo image for much ofthe congregation.
The SPL-trik features four 8-inch direct-radiating low-frequencydrivers and four 4-inch horn-loaded midrange drivers emanating from a1-inch, high-frequency compression driver at the back of the horn. TheSPL-trik boasts a frequency response of 44 to 18k Hz +/3 dB. TheSPL-triks are built for durability and longevity with a 13-ply BalticBirch enclosure.
The front-of-house console is an Allen & Heath ML5000. Thesystem is powered by Crest CA12 and CA18 amplifiers. For mobility andclarity, Hedden also included Sennheiser Wireless Evolution 300 Seriesmicrophones.
“The Elizabeth Baptist worship services have substantial dynamicrange. They run the gamut of soft to incredibly loud,” explainedHedden. “This system can definitely keep up with them and still deliverclear sound to every seat.”
The church’s main worship area is a fan-shaped room with about 1,500to 1,800 seats. Hedden explained, “The previous loudspeaker system washidden in a proscenium arch creating coverage and localizationproblems. They were physically blocked from covering the room properly,and the height of the proscenium resulted in a tendency to localize tothe cluster rather than project it. The fidelity was quite poor,lacking clarity for speech and punch for music. Our design called forhanging the loudspeakers outside the proscenium and at the properheight of around 30 feet.
“We have used this approach at several churches and it works! Thinkof it: Only six loudspeakers covering a room this large is amazing, butthen again, we are talking about Sound Physics Labs.”