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Saint Barnabas Catholic Church revives its sound system

Saint Barnabas Catholic Church revives its sound system

Saint Barnabas Catholic Church revives its sound system


The Saint Barnabas Catholic Church in Birmingham, Alabama was built in the 1950s and has used the same audio system since then. As the church was receiving complaints about this, it decided to upgrade the system with Danley loudspeakers and chose ENG AV for the design and installation.

‘Many of our parishioners are older and hearing can be a challenge for them, even under the best of circumstances,’ explained Father Douglas Vu. ‘Our parish is located in a poorer neighbourhood of Birmingham, and money is always an issue. That’s why I was happy to work with Gary [Boackle] at ENG AV. I trusted that he would deliver a custom-built system that would solve our intelligibility problems for the most affordable price.’

‘The previous sound reinforcement system at Saint Barnabas was extremely old,’ explained Boackle, founder and owner of ENG AV. ‘Although it was possible to understand Father Vu most of the time because he naturally projects, it was impossible to understand what the pastor was saying. We’ve worked with many different loudspeaker manufacturers, but Danley is unique. I was impressed when I heard a Danley demo several years ago at InfoComm, and we recently had great success covering a local high school football field and stands with just three Danley OS80 loudspeakers and a single Danley OS115 subwoofer. Danley seemed like an ideal fit at Saint Barnabas because Danley’s patented point source technology has such natural intelligibility and excellent pattern control. We could hit the pews, keep energy off the walls and minimise feedback problems from the altar. It’s also excellent that Danley boxes are manufactured in the USA and that the company doesn’t shy away from its faith-based roots.’

The audio system consists of two SM100 loudspeakers, one above the altar, which angles down to cover the front half of the room. The second SM100 hangs halfway back to cover the other half of the room. Two Danley Nano loudspeakers cover the choir and two more are used as monitors. The loudspeakers are powered by QSC amplifiers and processors.

‘Everyone is thrilled with the new sound quality and intelligibility,’ Boackle reported. ‘Since Father Vu is so loud and the Monsignor is so quiet, we set up an autogain in the QSC DSP. That, together with Danley fidelity, makes for an effortless listener experience. The two of them can trade back and forth and you can hear every word, despite the fact that they’re speaking at entirely different volumes and, since the Danley boxes are relatively small and clean, they blend right into the aesthetic without detracting.’

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