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Dallas’ First United Methodist Church Looks to K-array Loudspeakers for System Redesign, Citing Impressive ‘Performance to Size Ratio’

K-array Speaker Installation at Historic Dallas Church Increases Intelligibility Without Detracting From Classic Interior of Landmark Architectural Design

Dallas, TX, March 3, 2014: Audio specialist Sennheiser announced that First United Methodist Church (FirstChurch), a landmark of downtown Dallas for over 165 years, recently replaced its sound reinforcement system with K-array Installation series components. The new system, which consists of (10) custom color KP102 line array elements, (2) KK52 line array elements, (2) KMT18P passive subwoofers, (4) KA40 amplifiers and (12) custom color K-array KT22 Tornado 2-inch point source compact speakers, was designed by Dallas-based Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon & Williams, Inc. (WJHW) and installed by Electro Acoustics, Inc. of Fort Worth.

With a rich music program, congregational activities and two worship services each Sunday for roughly 1,000 congregants, FirstChurch sought to replace its existing sound system with a more current, innovative solution that could deliver greater intelligibility for both music and the spoken word. The K-array’s small footprint and no-compromise audio quality made it perfectly suited for the system redesign.

Jim Burdette of WJHW handled the overall project design, which had to be sensitive to both the architectural and acoustic requirements of the interior structure: “This was a large, high ceiling space with challenging acoustics,” he says. “The existing cluster was quite a ways up and was not able to deliver the pattern control or throw that we can now achieve with modern technology. So we looked at options and eventually decided on K-array.”

Since FirstChurch is a historic and an architecturally ornate structure, getting the aesthetics just right was of paramount importance as was the overall sound quality. “Part of the criteria and design directive was to move towards a low-profile column array like the K-array,” Burdette says. “We also wanted to have greater control over the sound dispersion while reducing any gain before feedback issues.” Burdette arranged to have the K-array KP102 line arrays brought in for a scaled demo at the church. “In use, we just loved the concept — the performance to size ratio was very impressive,” recalls Chris Jordan, president of Electro Acoustics.”

The installation itself involved a split array of the KP102s: an upper module consisting of three units, and a lower module of one unit. They were mounted at the proscenium line on the front face of the wall, with the lower array positioned approximately 6′ off the main floor directed at the main floor, and the upper array positioned approximately 21′ off the main floor and pointed towards the church’s balcony. “The precision of the KP102s afforded us the ability to throw deep into the room while staying close to structure and unobtrusive,” Burdette explains. “As well, we were able to position the speakers so they could disappear among the moldings.

In addition to the primary line array speakers for the main seating areas, Burdette also specified (12) KT22 point source compact speakers to reinforce audio directly beneath the balcony. “There were some old conventional style speakers there that they were going to reuse, but I recommended switching to the K-arrays because it was much less visually intrusive,” Burdette says. “From an audio perspective, this increases intelligibility for congregants seated under the balcony.”

In the choir loft, a pair of K-array KK52 line array speakers was mounted. “The choir wanted a little more presence and even coverage,” explains Chris Jordan. “That made it perfect, and now the choir members could not be more delighted.” The overall system was rounded out with a pair of K-array KMT18P ultra-light subwoofers, which were mounted into existing soffits within the structure: “The client didn’t want us to cut into any of the existing structure, so we found old speaker cutouts in the proscenium walls,” says Burdette. “We opened these back up, put grille cloth in front of them and mounted them. This turned out really well for the architecture.”

Since completing the installation, feedback has been resoundingly favorable among the congregation. “The church likes how the new loudspeaker system is performing,” reports Burdette. “Both speech intelligibility and music clarity have increased, and the K-array solution played an integral role in achieving this.”

Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon & Williams:

Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon & Williams, Inc. is a consulting firm offering state-of-the-art design services in sound systems, audio visual, scoreboard & video displays, broadcast provisions & video production, acoustics & noise control, theatre planning, lighting & rigging, distributed TV & satellite, video surveillance & access control, and tel/data structured cabling. Our strengths lie in the combined talents of principals and employees, our diverse technical and business skills, and experience accrued over the years from hundreds of successfully completed projects.

K-array:

The incredibly thin and lightweight K-array loudspeakers are manufactured in Italy and distributed in the U.S. and Canada exclusively by Sennheiser. Despite their small size, K-array speakers deliver impressive power and sound quality for small, medium and large-scale applications, including touring, special events, installed sound and broadcast. For more information, please visit www.k-array.com.

Sennheiser:

Sennheiser is a world-leading manufacturer of microphones, headphones and wireless transmission systems. Established in 1945 in Wedemark, Germany, Sennheiser is now a global brand represented in 60 countries around the world with U.S. headquarters in Old Lyme, Conn. Sennheiser’s pioneering excellence in technology has rewarded the company with numerous awards and accolades including an Emmy, a Grammy, and the Scientific and Engineering Award of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. For more information, please visit www.sennheiserusa.com.

Captions:
1. The K-array KP102 line array elements were mounted at the proscenium line at the front of the sanctuary.
2. K-array KT22 Tornado 2-inch point source compact speakers were placed underneath the balcony, providing enhanced audio intelligibility.
3. The K-array system was unobtrusive to the overall aesthetics and architectural splendor of FUMC.

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