With a sanctuary layout that made intelligibility a real challenge, the church needed the right system, and the resulting RoomMatch® cluster provides a “nice, tight band of sound for the congregation”
St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hampton, Iowa, was dealing with a problem familiar to many churches: their existing sound system was simply not adequate. The layout of the church’s sanctuary did the system no favors, with a tall ceiling and lots of glass causing any number of reverberations, making speech intelligibility and clear music nearly impossible. Several attempts were made to improve the system’s performance, but these tries amounted to little more than “band-aids,” according to Mark Carey, President/Owner of Spencer, Iowa-based Carey’s Electronics. Eventually, a consensus was reached among the church’s leadership and members that a permanent solution was in order, and Carey and his team were selected to spec different options for the system, all of which revolved around products from Bose® Professional Systems. Carey and the church eventually decided on a straightforward, highly effective system consisting of Bose RoomMatch® loudspeakers and a PowerMatch® amplifier.
The Sanctuary’s main floor, including the stage, is 55′ deep by 40′ wide. The side walls are 8′ high with glass walls from the 2.5′ level to 8′, concrete below that. The roof is tongue-in-groove pine, steeply peaked at 40′, giving Carey ample room to place the RoomMatch array. The modular configuration includes two RoomMatch RM7020 loudspeakers and a single RM9040 loudspeaker in a center cluster, powered by a PowerMatch PM8500 amplifier. The RM9040 module covers the front half of the sanctuary, and the RM7020 modules cover the sanctuary’s back half and the choir loft, respectively.
Carey notes, “It’s a nice, simple system. We had to deal with the difficult dimensions of the church, including side wings, as well as lots of glass windows. Intelligibility was not happening with the previous system, but after we got the right configuration for the RoomMatch cluster, we ended up with a nice, tight band of sound for the congregation. The church is thrilled.”
Pastor Steve Winsor adds, “When getting quotes for a sanctuary sound system, there was a refrain we got time and time again…’It is going to be tough to get sound to a number of spots in your sanctuary.’ Overhangs that run the length of the sanctuary, a balcony with an open narthex under it, all under an ‘A’ frame roof line, made for tricky acoustics. The Bose RoomMatch system has delivered high quality sound to those hard to reach spaces, and then some. With even distribution of voice and music, we can deliver a much better quality worship service than before.”