Calvary Church of Naperville, located in the western suburbs of Chicago, recently wrapped up a five-month sanctuary renovation that increased seating from 2500 to 3000 without moving any walls. As part of the project, the church also underwent a full AVL system retrofit, which was designed and integrated by CCI Solutions of Olympia, Washington.
According to CCI Church Relations Director Duke DeJong, the client truly put a premium on the audio portion of the project. “From the very start, the church was very intentional about making sure the new sound system would be more than a home run; it had to be a home run with fireworks,” he says. “They were very specific in saying that the audio needed to be intelligible, powerful and flexible—spectacular in every sense.”
With this as their directive, CCI Senior Systems Consultant Mark Pearson and his team turned to three leading loudspeaker manufacturers requesting that each help design two potential system choices for CCN’s sanctuary. Out of the six designs,
L-Acoustics’ KARAi system ultimately won the bid.
CCN Technical Director Dave Sheneman describes, “Tim Loar, our worship pastor, and I visited L-Acoustics in Oxnard and listened to KARAi and KIVA side by side. The demo was particularly impressive considering that we were listing to the systems in a parking lot—not in a room with walls to reinforce the lower frequencies. Suffice it to say that we were sold on KARAi within just a few minutes.”
The newly remodeled sanctuary now features an LCR loudspeaker design comprised of 27 KARAi enclosures divided into three arrays of nine enclosures. Low-frequency arrays of four SB18i are flown adjacent to the left and right KARAi arrays, while four double-18 SB28 subs are positioned under the stage for augmented bass reinforcement. Eight LA8 amplified controllers power and process the main FOH system. Additionally, front-fills for the sanctuary are made up of a combination of four coaxial 8XTi and four smaller 5XT enclosures, collectively driven by a pair of LA4.
“With worship services often featuring a nine-voice praise team, 80-member choir and large praise band with three electric guitars, an acoustic guitar, bass, two keyboards, organ and drums all on stage at the same time, the need for clarity and impact was paramount,” notes DeJong. “The L-Acoustics system we installed is extremely transparent and super-powerful. The church got its ‘fireworks’ and is enjoying the new sound immensely.”
Sheneman cites the improved coverage over the church’s prior system as his personal favorite enhancement. “The challenge that the KARAi, SB and XT boxes solved for us was how to cover a wide, rectangular room with clear and even sound,” he says. “The lack of an obvious transition between arrays, the full low-frequency coverage we get from the subs, and the fill help we get from the XT boxes all work together to create a very pleasing, full and loud—but not harsh—sound throughout the entire room. Randal Ross, our senior pastor, told us that he couldn’t be happier. He says this system is one of the best investments our church has ever made.”
For the first service in CCN’s remodeled sanctuary, Nicole Serrano, a finalist from NBC’s The Voice, performed special music, while two weeks later Grammy Award-nominee Sarah Kelly shared some songs during the church’s official dedication service.