Fellowship Bible Church is a non-denominational house of worship that offers a blend of both contemporary and traditional worship services. The church recently upgraded its sound reinforcement (SR) capabilities with the installation of the new CDL series loudspeakers offered by PreSonus Audio Electronics—making this the first full CDL series deployment in the United States.
Horizon AVL of Blackwood, NJ, a full service audiovisual integration firm that services the worship, broadcast, and commercial markets, was contracted to design and deploy the new sound system at Fellowship Bible Church. After consulting with church management to ascertain their goals and expectations, Joshua Kell, chief executive officer of Horizon AVL, penned a system consisting of six PreSonus CDL12 Constant Directivity Loudspeakers augmented by two CDL18s active subwoofers. He discussed the project and his reasons for deploying the CDL series.
“The sanctuary at Fellowship Bible Church is very wide and the space accommodates over 1000 people,” Kell explains. “With a 20-foot ceiling height, the room’s depth is 75 feet while the width reaches 200 feet. The stage faces into the width of the room. There are pews for seating. Music plays a vital role in their services and, to support this, there is a traditional band that is frequently augmented by a string section. Because of this, it was important that the new SR system not only offer clear, highly intelligible speech, it also had to be very capable in terms of music reproduction. After discussing this situation with Hugh Sarvis, Managing director of the PreSonus Loudspeaker Division, and auditioning the CDL series, I was confident the new loudspeakers would make a great choice for this installation.”
The physical placement of the new CDL series loudspeakers at Fellowship Bible Church consists of two flown CDL12 loudspeaker clusters—each with three enclosures per the left and right sides of the stage. For low frequency support, Kell and his team flew a single CDL18s active subwoofer behind each CDL12 loudspeaker hang.
The PreSonus CDL12 encompasses a unique design, with each enclosure incorporating eight 2-inch drivers aligned in a segmented circular-arc high-frequency array centered in front of a 12-inch woofer. This results in a highly focused pattern with consistent SPL throughout the frequency response range, both on- and off-axis. Similarly, the CDL18s utilizes an innovative ported design that maximizes efficiency to create a big bass sound from a compact enclosure.
As both the CDL12 and CDL18s are Dante-enabled and self-powered, Kell took advantage of these capabilities. “This system uses QSC’s Q-SYS for DSP and digital audio functions while WorxControl handles gain shading and level control within each box via Dante and CAT6 cable. The system also employs AES67 cabling for audio transport.”
When queried about those attributes that made the PreSonus CDL series loudspeakers so well suited for this project, Kell offered the following thoughts, “The vocal reproduction of the CDL series is unlike anything I have every heard. The system’s speech intelligibility puts the vocals front and center—on top of the band—and the system’s music reproduction is first rate. The 12-inch woofer in each CDL12 enclosure brings a warmth to the smooth and impressive high frequency drivers. The coverage in the room is not only even from left to right, it’s also an impressive +/- 2db from front to back. That translates to clear, even coverage no matter where you happen to be seated.”
Fellowship Bible Church’s new SR system was installed and first placed into service in October 2018. Since that time, Kell reports response has been very positive. “This happens to be my local church, so I wanted a system that could offer a range of dynamics and clarity,” he says. “Vocal reproduction from the pastors is clear and present and in terms of music, the system delivers a full range of dynamics. For over 2-plus years, the church struggled with a system that was old and not designed for contemporary worship. The congregation anticipated this new system for months and once we completed the installation, there was unanimous applause for the new setup. The PreSonus CDL series not only delivers the goods, it looks impressive in the process.”