Sitting on a sprawling campus in the Bothell community outside of Seattle, Cedar Park Church began humbly in 1970 and has, for the last nearly fifty years, been growing each year by reaching out to the people in the community and greater eastside area.
When the time came to upgrade the church’s sound system in its 970-seat main auditorium, the decision to install a new system from Clair Brothers wasn’t just about the best sound, it was about achieving an acoustical design for the future with an eye on upcoming building modifications.
Steve Palermo, owner, Lift AV, consultant and project manager of the new system, explains, “No architectural changes had to be made, however, we did spec the system for the church’s planned future renovations. This Clair Brothers kiTCurve12 system was designed to accommodate future renovations without requiring any further system enhancements or funding.”
Cedar Park Church’s old system was antiquated and due for a modern approach. The first step of the physical installation was the removal of all eighteen of the old loudspeakers, ten amplifiers and a long-passed-its-prime system processor. Palermo adds, “The idea was to significantly reduce the amplifier footprint and amperage requirements while making a huge improvement in fidelity, output and headroom. And with the new four per side kiTCurve12 system, a significant improvement was made to the stage site lines thanks to the incredibly elegant form factor of the system.”
Palermo and his Lift AV team worked closely with Andy Soemo, sound and recording pastor at Cedar Park Church, to determine the best loudspeaker system choice. Their professional expectations for this project were high.
“I provided several options to Cedar Park Church and discussed pro and cons of each. Andy and I determined we wanted the very best loudspeaker components available, but our choice had to meet certain expectations: clarity of high-impact sound, dispersion with the least number of boxes, minimal site line obstruction and, of course, long-term return on investment.”
One reality of the room is that it’s quite wide, so horizontal dispersion and vertical dispersion had to be carefully considered. Another is that the Cedar Park Church auditorium has two large projection screens left and right of the stage. Placement of the loudspeakers, although purposefully minimal, still had to be strategic so as not to block projection.
Palermo continues, “Andy and I also agreed a cabinet with 12-inch speakers would be best to achieve smoother and effortless sound in the lower midrange. We chose Clair Brothers – a brand and product synonymous with the very best in sound, product quality and exemplary end user support. Taking all of this into consideration, Clair Brothers was an easy choice.”
Now that the install is complete, and he’s had some time to experience it firsthand, Soemo tells us, “I’m really happy about the kiTCurve12s because the 12-inch drivers provide a big full range response even without subwoofers. The speakers also provide excellent coverage in a room that is very wide with very little perceptible SPL and frequency drop off. There’s superb headroom and the kiTCurve12s are consistent from low to high volume. Mixing is super easy. I’m more than pleased with how our new Clair Brothers system performs.”
In addition to the kiTCurve12s, Lift AV also installed four individual Clair Brothers 18-inch CS18-II subwoofers because of their low height/high power capability (The subs were required to fit under a fairly low stage cap). Clair Brothers/Lab.gruppen multi-channel amps were used for the kiTCurve12s and subs, while an Allen & Heath dLive S7000 console was installed for front of house and a dLive C1500 was put in the auditorium’s broadcast room. Also included in the front of house system is a Waves Sound Grid for additional Waves plugins.
“Our design met and exceeded all the church’s requirements,” concludes Palermo. “Henry Hissrich, business development manager at Clair Brothers, was integral in assuring our confidence that we had the specifications spot on. Henry and his Clair Brothers team are top notch professionals who made our experience pleasant and effortless. I can also honestly say that the pastor and everyone involved at Cedar Park Church had smiling faces from the moment we turned the new system on. Such an improvement and a relief for them, because now they can focus on their message and singers & musicians can concentrate on putting on great performances.”
Adds Soemo, “It’s truly fun to watch when they can be passionate and creative without limitations, especially sound system limitations. That is more than anyone can ask for.”