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Cathedral of Saint Lawrence’s audio renovation

Cathedral of Saint Lawrence’s audio renovation

Cathedral of Saint Lawrence’s audio renovation


The Cathedral of Saint Lawrence in the Swiss town of Lugano dates back to the 11th century. Since 2011, it has been undergoing a wide range of restoration projects, which most recently included the installation of a new sound system formed from RCF digitally steerable VSA column speakers by CEM Audio & Light.

‘We selected RCF’s VSA 2050 and VSA 1250 speakers,’ CEM owner Virgilio Kohler elaborated. ‘RCF column loudspeakers offer the ideal coverage pattern for difficult acoustic environments like the Cathedral of San Lorenzo.’

The RCF Engineering Support Group (ESG) assisted with the installation, taking the architectural conditions, building restrictions and electro-acoustic limitations of the cathedral into account.

‘We placed four VSA 2050 on the columns along the side aisles in a symmetrical pattern,’ the RCF team confirmed. ‘These cover the main nave area (the operating range for each speaker being up to 15m), providing crystal-clear speech intelligibility and a good signal-to-noise ratio across a wide frequency range. That lets the congregation experience and participate in the mass in a very immediate way. With its 20 individually steerable speakers, the VSA 2050 allows a vertical dispersion from 10° to 30° as well as vertical steering between 0° and -40°. This lets us focus the sound on the desired area and avoid unwanted reflections, guaranteeing the best possible speech intelligibility, even in environments with long natural reverb tails like this one.’

Four VSA 1250 column speakers complete the speaker system. The VSA 1250 features many of the same characteristics of the VSA 2050, but is made up of 12 speakers instead of 20. The VSA 1250s cover the altar and visitors’ areas, which are used during larger events.

In addition, TT051-A speakers were deployed for the choir. The entire system of VSA 2050, VSA 1250 and TT051-A speakers is controlled via RCF’s RDNet control and monitoring software. The VSA speakers can also be controlled remotely using the Smart RC remote control and the VSA Remote app with an iPhone or Android device.

‘RCF’s ESG team and its expert technical support were very helpful during the design and implementation stages,’ said Mr Kohler. ‘They advised us on the equipment and components that would be needed, helping to guarantee best possible speech intelligibility across the entire church while integrating the speakers into the architecture in an unobtrusive way.’

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