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Coexisting in harmony at CCT

Coexisting in harmony at CCT

Coexisting in harmony at CCT


Calvary Chapel Tustin (CCT) outgrew its sanctuary in Tustin, California a few years ago and moved to nearby Santa Ana, leasing the 700-seat main sanctuary from the First Church of the Nazarene. To this very day, the two churches coexist on the site, CCT holding its services in the main sanctuary while the First Church of the Nazarene occupies the recently remodelled chapel. CCT recently decided it was time to upgrade the audio systems in the main sanctuary and contacted BESA-Bowls Engineering Sound & Acoustics.

CCT chose to work with BESA based on its previous work at another church, Wildwood Calvary Chapel in Yucaipa, California. BESA founder and senior sound designer Darren Bowls worked on the design for CCT, addressing the high ceilings, split-block wall surfaces and the voluminous room, ultimately deciding to implement a similar setup to the one he installed at Wildwood with Fulcrum Acoustic speakers and Linea Research amplifiers.

Bowls had paired Fulcrum speakers with Linea amps at Wildwood having been introduced to the amplifier manufacturer by Rik Kirby from Linea’s US distributor, Allied ProTech. This was the first pairing of the two brands anywhere in the world. ‘Rik furnished me with an amp to demo,’ Bowls recalled. ‘I was putting the final touches on a mix at that time and when I brought the faders up I was like “What the heck?” I could hear that I was over compressing the lead vocal, and my panning wasn’t accurate, among other flaws. I was now hearing the subtle nuances of the mix and picking up on problems I hadn’t noticed before.’

Darren Bowls, BESA
Darren Bowls, BESA

When CCT approached him, Bowls decided right away that he would go with the Fulcrum/Linea combination. ‘Pattern control and ultimate fidelity were the main goals in order to gain articulation and detail in a highly reverberant room,’ he explained. ‘The church sanctuary at CCT was acoustically designed in the early 1970s for choir, piano, and organ. It’s full of odd reflective angles and has a high peaked ceiling and a 100-foot length from the stage to balcony back wall. Acoustically, the room is the same today as it was when it was built.’

BESA installed a pair of Fulcrum AH65 full-range loudspeakers as the main PA, along with four DX896 enclosures as front-fills. Three Sub218L dual 18-inch subwoofers are ground stacked for low frequency reinforcement. Four channels from a Linea Research 48M10 amplifier power the AH65s, while the remaining four channels drive the DX896s. The subwoofers are powered by a Linea 44C20 2U four-channel amplifier housing.

Allied ProTech provided BESA with support during the system set up. Bowls is more than happy with the results.

‘It’s like there’s nothing between the music source and the speaker; it’s truly transparent,’ Bowls commented. ‘BESA has always focused on how a room makes a person feel while listening to music, and if done correctly, the immediacy of the music and spoken word will engage the listener from any point in the room. We certainly achieved that at CCT.’

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