Meyer excels in restored NZ church

11 November 2004

New Zealand - The Holy Trinity Anglican Parish Church in Tauranga, New Zealand, has risen from the ashes of a disastrous 1999 fire as a striking new structure of concrete and steel, its centerpiece a 900-seat, semi-circular worship auditorium, where a stunning acoustical ceiling treatment (made with rare kauri wood salvaged from the old church) conceals a nearly invisible system of Meyer Sound self-powered loudspeakers. Church music director Peter Minson says of the sound in the new church: "It has a very sweet, natural sound to it. The comment we get from outside people coming in for concerts is that they are not even aware of amplified sound."

The semi-circular seating arrangement made four UPA-1P compact wide coverage loudspeakers an appropriate choice for the main system. These are mounted in the gaps between the overhead acoustical panels, in a left-right-left-right arrangement to provide stereo spread. Sound for seats under the balcony is augmented by a dozen MM-4 miniature wide-range loudspeakers, while deep bass is provided by an under-stage pair of USW-1P compact subwoofers.

Both the sound system and the room acoustics were designed by consultants Marshall Day Acoustics, with Larry Elliot of the company's Auckland office handling the primary system design. Elliot says Meyer's self-powered speakers were the keystone of the design. "The contractors could offer alternatives on other components, but not the loudspeakers," he says. "We had gone to a lot of effort to integrate them with the architectural design. I knew the Meyer products would be ideal for this application because - and this is something I've never quite got a handle on - there's something about the Meyer speakers that always seems to provide excellent speech quality in a room that is more optimized for music. I'm not sure whether it's the time coherence or the extremes of frequency response, but the end result is excellent speech intelligibility and a full musical sound as well."

The project marked the first installation of Meyer loudspeakers by the contractor, AV Solutions of Hamilton. President Hanspeter Frick recognized the advantages. "The cable runs from the equipment room at the rear of the church to the main cluster are quite long, and to minimize losses and avoid amplifiers from becoming unstable, it was much easier and cheaper to install a multi-core, line-level cable from the Media Matrix DSP outputs to the individual self-powered loudspeakers."

Other key components of the new system include a Midas Venice console, QSC amplifiers, a Clear-Com production intercom, and Ampetronics inductive loop assisted listening system. The amplifiers drive the MM-4 loudspeakers, Meyer Sound's only non-self-powered product, which are too small to house onboard electronics.

(Lee Baldock)

 

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