Electro-Voice power and clarity enables youth services at Arlington Church of God
As houses of worship adapt their worship styles to changes in the society around them, it's not uncommon to find that the technology that has served them for years is no longer adequate. Thus a change in services is often the ideal time for a congregation to assess its sound system and to determine if the old system still serves current needs. That's what the 1100 member Arlington Church of God in Akron, Ohio did when it decided to supplement its existing services—described by director of technology Ron Fowler ll as "energetically traditional"—with a new high-energy youthful service on Saturdays. Working with Ryan Durfee, production manager at AA Sound & Lighting in Barberton, OH, and Jason Jacquemain, technical and design specialist at distributor C. L. Pugh in Cincinnati, Arlington settled on an Electro-Voice PA built around four EVH horn-loaded loudspeakers.
Originally built in 1979, the Arlington Church of God was extensively refurbished in 2003. The concrete block structure, which seats roughly 700, measures about 56 by 102 feet and features a peaked Oak ceiling with exposed beams and a carpeted concrete slab floor. Overall, Fowler says, the room's surfaces offer little absorption, and the existing PA system was clearly insufficient.
"We had a single hanging box to disperse sound to the entire room from front to back," Fowler recalls. "Intelligibility was horrible and SPL was limited. We needed something that could fill the room, and could handle the style of musical instruments that we planned to add for the youth service—bass guitar, percussion, electronic beat machines, and keyboards—as well as handling a six-person praise team rather than a traditional choir."
Fowler says that Electro-Voice was chosen in part because "EV is a tried and true brand, a great performer in array environments. We also needed to overcome slap-back off of the walls, so we chose a system that offers better reach and throw to the end recipient. Also the aesthetics were very critical. We couldn't go with something that would be very distracting to the room's look and feel."
The new system is made up of four EVH-1152S/96B two-way coaxial horn-loaded full-range loudspeakers. "To cover the entire room," Fowler says, "we configured it with two speakers hanging in front, one left and one right, and an identical pair mid-way back. We angled the hangs to avoid the slapback we would have had from a direct throw onto the back concrete wall. The EVHs deliver plenty of power and clarity for the room, and I love the performance and frequency range."
Additional elements of the sound system include an existing Electro-Voice subwoofer and a set of four new Electro-Voice TX1122FM 12-inch two-way dedicated floor monitors. "The sub offers enough low end to balance the sound for a fuller mix," Fowler says, "and the monitors are very clear and offer enough power to support our performers on stage." The system is powered by Electro-Voice CPS amplifiers and controlled by an existing Dx38 processor. Jacquemain tuned the system and was able to achieve response within +/- 1 dB over the entire seating area.
"The intelligibility of this system really stands out," Fowler says. "We needed a system that offered enough power but without sacrificing clarity. The congregation has responded very well. They seem to be really getting into the worship, and that is a direct response to being able to hear fully no matter where they sit in the sanctuary."