The grand old Gothic style sanctuary of The Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus has been a landmark on Jefferson Street in Florrisant, MO since 1893.
The 600-seat hall was designed in the spirit of the great cathedrals, with soaring walls, stone floors, high arched ceilings, and ornate stained glass windows. It’s a lush, reverberant setting for choir and organ, but problematic for spoken word intelligibility.
“Although it’s not a large room, its acoustical character is very much like that of a cathedral,” explains Gary Haselhorst, president of Valley Park, MO-based Cignal Systems. “Their issues are similar to that of a cathedral, on a smaller scale—it’s a very reverberant space, and intelligibility suffers.”
The church’s previous sound system, with 12 pillar-mounted cabinets, only added to the cacophony.
Cignal removed the existing loudspeakers and replaced them with a single Iconyx digitally steered line array column from Renkus-Heinz. “We had recently used the Iconyx in the St. Louis Basilica, and when the monsignors heard how well it worked in the cathedral, they knew there was hope for theirs as well.”
A single IC24-R-II column is mounted on a front pillar, just left of the altar. “We were able to achieve very uniform coverage with just one speaker,” says Haselhorst. “We ordered the cabinet painted to match the brickwork, and the Monsignor’s sister painted some marbled accents on it. It blends in almost invisibly with the architecture.”
Haselhorst reports the system has solved the room’s intelligibility problems and more. “They run the praise band through the Iconyx as well, and it sounds great,” he says. “We took out 12 speakers and replaced them with one Iconyx. They’re very pleased.”