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Christ Memorial Church Raises Up L-ACOUSTICS Coaxials
Posted on Wednesday, September 30, 2009

HOLLAND, Michigan - What is a church to do when the economy spirals into recession halfway through raising funds for a much-needed new PA system? In the case of Holland, Michigan-based Christ Memorial Church (CMC), the answer was to install acost-effective coaxial solution from L-ACOUSTICS.

Early last year, CMC initially commissioned Parkway Electric & Communications to design a discrete loudspeaker setupto provide sound reinforcement for its 180-voice choir and orchestra, both of which perform from the far left side of the sanctuary.After evaluating at a number of systems, Parkway specified a compact LA4-powered system comprised of four KIVA elements arrayed beneath a KILO low-frequency extension cabinet, with two additional KIVA down-firing behind the array to provide monitoring for the choir.

Pleased with the newchoir/orchestra system, the church began to move forward with plansto replace the 1,700-seat fan-shaped room’s aging house system with two larger KIVA/KILO arrays – and then the stock market crashed.

That’s when Parkway Systems Engineer Jeff VandeHoef offered a somewhat unconventional alternative that better suited the church’s actual budget – a flown system of four L-ACOUSTICS’ 115XT HiQ coaxial enclosures, which are more traditionally deployed as stage wedges or fill speakers. Two SB118 subs were also installed, as were LA4 amplified controllers for power and processing.

As the house system was being fired up for the first time, CMC Worship Leader Gary Matthews came into the room. “Normally a client walking in before we have had a chance to even setup the test gear is a huge concern,” says Parkway Sales and Marketing Manager Gary Zandstra. “However, in this case, right out of the box the system sounded great – even better than I was expecting. Gary Matthews brought in a bunch of CDs and started playing them through the system. After listening for a while, he told us that he was absolutely astounded with the sound quality and coverage emanating from this tiny coaxial system that had initially been viewed as somewhat of a compromise before it went in.”

An additional pleasant surprise to this budget-driven solution was the realization that the acoustic signatures of both the choir system and main system sounded very similar, despite being based on two disparate designs. “Knowing that line source array and coaxial technologies are very different, I was amazed at how remarkably similar the KIVA and 115XT HiQ sounded,” notes Zandstra.

“In fact, the chance of us putting a KIVA system in there in the next couple of years went way down because they’re really happy with how the 115XT HiQs are performing,” adds VandeHoef.“However, the beauty of this design is that if they do eventually decide to install KIVA, the coaxials will simply be repurposed as stage monitors. So this system allowed the church to move forward and install a system that they truly needed, but without the worry that they would be wasting money on equipment that would be used perhaps only for a short time.”

The end result is one very satisfied client. According to Matthews, “We are absolutely thrilled with the results! The musical style in our Arts ministry can greatly vary from a full orchestra and choir performing Haydn’s Creation to our Urban Contemporary style of worship – all in the same room – so we needed a system that sounded great and was highly versatile. The setup that Parkway developed and installed has been a ‘win’ for all that we do.”