Iowa Church Picks Nexo

Jun 23, 2003 12:00 PM, Editors

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In business since 1990, Douglass Communications in Ottumwa, Iowa, has carved a well-earned niche for audio and video-projection design and installation in the church market. In fact, during the past two years, their business in this area has grown to the point that now 80% of their projects are church installations; the other 20%, auditoria. One of Douglass Communications’ more recent projects of note was the installation of a Nexo GEO S Tangent Array system in the new Worship Center for Community Heights Alliance Church in Newton, Iowa.

"Finding the right system was a challenge," remembered Schuck owner of Douglass Communications. "The new multipurpose steel building was a reverberant, 110-foot-by-110-foot gymnasium with a 16- to 22-foot-deep by 42-inch-high stage built across one entire side. Todd Berger, of R&D Industries in Milford, Iowa, had provided acoustical information to the church using EASE software. I was brought into the project, in part, because I also use EASE. The sound system specifications called for an LCR stereo system to be flown three feet in front of the stage. However, the seating for 1,100 people started 10 feet from the stage and extended back 90 more feet. Furthermore, HVAC ducts were located 25 feet above the floor in the exact locations where the LCR speaker clusters needed to be flown. Every system that I was familiar with required a delay ring of speakers in order to provide 95 dB+ from front to back. This time, however, adding a delay ring was not part of the budget nor did it fit into the desired LCR design.

"It was at EASE 4.0 class, while discussing the project with a colleague, that I learned about NEXO," he continued. "He had recently run sound at an outdoor concert using their GEO S Tangent Array System. He told me, ‘Your project sounds like the perfect situation for the NEXO GEO S speakers.’ When I contacted the NEXO sales representative, I found out that their technical director, Joe Rimstidt, was in the area and needed a place to host a demo.

"I met Joe at the Worship Center site to show him what seemed to me to be an impossible situation. At the time, the building was enclosed and that was about it. The stage had just been built. Joe’s first comment was, ‘This is perfect. Just what we are looking for.’ The church’s sound engineers, board members and pastoral staff all attended the demo. Using the GeoSoft software, Joe configured an array of six GEO S 805s and one S 830. The church representatives and I were very impressed with the overall coverage and sound quality produced by the system. Even in that difficult environment, it was clear that GEO technology met all of our criteria.

"The decision was made. We installed three arrays, using six GEO S 805s and one GEO S 830, with two NEXO PS 8s delayed back to the center cluster for front sidefill coverage of the seating areas. We powered the system with Crown amplifiers. Over 1,300 people attended the first service, and the NEXO system sounded great from anywhere in the room. Church members have been pleased with the quality of sound and low visual impact of the system. The contemporary worship service typically reaches volume levels of 92 to 95 dB. In the old sanctuary, many of the elderly members complained about the music being too loud and they said that that they couldn’t understand the words of the songs. Recently, Steve Larson, the church’s head sound engineer, told me that those same elderly members now say that they are hearing much better in the new Worship Center; that the volume is not too loud anymore. That is pretty remarkable: 92 dB and they don’t mind the volume. This tells me that the sound is very clean. It also confirms my belief that the sound quality and versatility of the NEXO GEO S Series made it the right solution for this project."

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