CASE STUDY: Zion Mennonite Church, Manitoba

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The Zion Mennonite Church near Winkler, Manitoba has has just expanded and gained a new Renkus-Heinz sound system designed and installed by Golden West Sound Design of nearby Altona.

The main floor of the church seats 614, and the balcony seats 204, with 90 more seats in the choir loft. “Acoustically, the space is horrible,” admits Golden West’s Myron Dyck. “I initially measured close to 3.5 seconds of reverb time with no chairs installed. Now, with chairs in, it’s down to 1.6 seconds—better but I’d still like it to be lower. It’s not great for intelligibility, and we still need to do more acoustic treatment to address reflections off the rear walls, especially in the choir. But we would have had much bigger challenges without Renkus-Heinz’s precision beam-steering.”

Services at Zion Mennonite Church are mostly traditional and are presented in German and English. Music is mostly choir and piano—there’s no organ-but periodically a small band performs. To ensure speech intelligibility and enough power and low end to meet current and anticipated requirements for music, Dyck specified a pair of Renkus-Heinz ICLF-DUAL-RN arrays, which cover almost the entire room. The Golden West team installed a pair of Renkus-Heinz CFX12S 12-inch high-performance direct-radiating subwoofers into the stage risers, aiming a sub down each of the two side aisles. Five Renkus-Heinz CFX42 compact, high-performance, two-way stairstep speakers, spread across the front of the stage, serve as front fills.

“The horizontal coverage is fantastic, and this is a fairly wide church,” Dyck explains. “If we had used a traditional single array in the center, or any point-source approach, we would need multiple speakers and more wiring and amplifiers. With just one pair of ICL-F-DUAL-RNs, we have a much cleaner installation, and they’re slim and visually unobtrusive.”

Dyck’s team manages the ICL-F-DUALRNs with Renkus-Heinz RHAON II System Manager software, which includes the BeamWare III beam-steering calculation and simulation program. “With BeamWare, you can adjust four different beams,” Dyck points out, “I have three beams covering the main floor and one covering the balcony. The consistency of coverage is great.”

When planning the subwoofer installation, Dyck wanted to ensure that the wooden stage would not resonate with the low frequencies. “They used special plywood for that stage,” he observes. “We built subwoofer pockets underneath the stage that the subs slid into, and we sealed those up, which minimized the resonance.”

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