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St Joseph Catholic Church gains clear intelligibility

St Joseph Catholic Church gains clear intelligibility

St Joseph Catholic Church gains clear intelligibility


Blessed with a 250-capacity sanctuary with stained glass windows, smooth white walls and an ornate baptismal font, St Joseph Catholic Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan was built in the 1910s but an outdated sound reinforcement system was making it difficult for parishioners to understand what was being said during services. Local AV integration firm, Sound Connections Group, turned to Danley Sound Labs and has installed a single SM96 loudspeaker to improve the church’s intelligibility.

‘St Joseph Catholic Church had a handful of old loudspeakers in place that were blasting the room and walls with sound and adding chaos to the already poor acoustics,’ explained Sound Connections Group’s founder and owner, Duane David. ‘The church’s priest, Father Antony, is a native of India and his accent made the sound reinforcement system’s intelligibility problem far more consequential. The church had already removed most of the low end by the time I was called in. I was able to make a few more adjustments to make the system usable, but they really needed new loudspeakers using a fundamentally different approach, so we arranged a demo.’

David brought in two Danley models – an SBH20LF column-form loudspeaker and an SM60 loudspeaker. Following the demo, the decision was made to install a single SM96 flown above the apse to cover the entire room with very little energy hitting the walls or extending down the stage. ‘I didn’t have to do much tuning,’ David added. ‘I set the crossover and did a couple of little subtractions around 500Hz to deal with room modes and that was it.’

Following the first mass using the new Danley loudspeaker, Father Antony was said to be overjoyed. ‘The improvement compared to the old system is night and day,’ concluded David. ‘A few people approached me and explained that, with their hearing issues, they had never been able to understand Father Antony before – not a word. But with the Danley in place, they understood everything. I really can’t imagine a better outcome.’

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