Established as the region’s very first church in 1840, Pleasantville United Church of Christ has served the southeastern counties of Bucks and Montgomery (PA) for more than 170 years, and the church recently completed construction of its new sanctuary, a project that began more than 15 years ago. The newly built sanctuary is an exact replica of the original building, but constructed on a larger footprint.
The challenge of designing the optimal audio system for the space was met by designer/installer Tony Hersch of Audiobahn, located in Pottstown, PA. The sanctuary’s high vaulted ceilings and reflective surfaces presented a unique challenge in system design.
“Services at the church lean towards a traditional/blended style,” Hersch explains. “Music worship is typically led by a vocal choir backed by an organist or piano and various other instrumentalists. Pleasantville needed a main loudspeaker system with coverage throughout the sanctuary that could perform not only for Sunday services but also at a concert level for special events when needed.
“In addition, there are three separate performance areas for choir, bell choir and center stage, and we needed a main and stage monitoring system that would provide coverage, impact and clarity while still remaining unobtrusive.”
Hersch selected the iBOX line of loudspeakers by Community Professional , noting that it is ideally suited for houses of worship due to its versatility. “The iBOX is one of the few systems that offer a complete selection of different dispersion patterns along with very high performance and power handling,” he says.
The new system includes iBOX IHP1299 two-way loudspeakers in a left-center-right configuration, augmented by a pair of i112S subwoofers on the stage. A distributed system of CLOUD6 and CLOUD12 in-ceiling loudspeakers covers the hallways and nursery, while the lobby is served by I/O5 surface mount loudspeakers.
QSC amplifiers power the loudspeakers, with processing provided by an Ashly Audio 326 DSP.
An Allen and Heath GL2400-32 console is installed at front of house, along with Ashly Protea digital EQ, TC Electronic M1 effects processor, and eight Shure wireless microphone systems. Community VERIS stage monitors are wall mounted in the choir areas.
“The new Community system is hands down the best system we’ve ever had, and we’ve gotten very positive feedback from musicians and congregation alike,” says Gene Fox, audio director at the church. “We had one member of our congregation who had always used a hearing assistance system, and she came up to me after the first service with the new system and told me she no longer needed the hearing assistance.”
“The system sounds great and it looks gorgeous,” adds Hersch. “The church is thrilled with the sound quality and the pattern coverage. The capabilities of the new system also allow the church to expand their musical productions and to include more contemporary music in future services.”