When the time came for St. James Cathedral to upgrade its sound reinforcement system, John Teer of Teer Engineering had a specific design objective: the loudspeakers had to blend into the church’s interior, but without any compromises in performance. To meet the audio and aesthetic needs of the Orlando, Florida house of worship, Teer selected HARMAN’s JBL CBT Series column speakers.
Aesthetics was “a huge part of the project,”? Teer said. “The church wanted a high-quality sound system that was state-of-the-art but easy to use–and the technology had to be visually unobtrusive.”?
“Before we were involved in the project, the initial system design called for big, tour-grade line array clusters hanging right in the middle of the sanctuary, which was unnecessary,”? noted Teer, whose Orlando-based firm designed and installed the upgraded audio system.
“The church needed a sound system for spoken word only, and the church’s pipe organ didn’t need any sound reinforcement. So, we recommended going with a smaller-format system with speakers that could be placed much closer to the listeners. We also wanted to locate the speakers closer to the parishioners because there’s a lot of marble in the space, which we had to deal with to make sure there wouldn’t be an excessive amount of reverb.”?
“The CBT 100LA was perfect for the application. They have tight pattern control and excellent projection over a long distance,”? noted Teer.
The speaker’s wide, even coverage pattern also solved a structural constraint imposed by the cathedral’s interior: “We didn’t have the option of installing the speakers along the columns in the sanctuary, which would have been a logical solution, because we could not cut into them and run cable.”?
Because of this, Teer installed nine CBT 100LA speakers throughout the sanctuary, mostly in low visibility areas where the walls meet the ceiling. Teer also placed three JBL VRX928 line array loudspeakers for additional fill where the CBT speakers weren’t practical. The system also features BSS Soundweb London processing, which handles more than 16 zones of audio.
“The system sounds great and the church is extremely happy,”? Teer concluded.
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