When it came time recently for Monte Brothers (Ardsley, NY) to upgrade the the sound system it previously installed in 2002 at the Basilica of Regina Pacis in Brooklyn, the company’s Steve Minozzi put together a new design utilizing three Powersoft Quattrocanali 1204 amplifiers to deliver audio power to 12 independent zones via more than 5,000 feet of cable.
Dedicated in 1951, the Basilica of Regina Pacis has the hallmarks of cathedral-style architecture — a long, narrow nave intersected at right angle by a narrow transept and lined with marble columns bearing an arched ceiling that is decorated with ornate murals above and intricate stained glass windows in recessed alcoves above the columns on each side.
“Acoustically, it’s extremely difficult to design a sound system for a church like the Basilica of Regina Pacis,” Minozzi says. “It’s a long, rectangular space with a lot of hard surfaces, a concave ceiling, and a concave sanctuary. That breaks every acoustic rule in the book. But, we have to make the sound system work for space, and it has to work automatically. So, when it comes to amplification in these kinds of basilicas, we need a heavy lifter. And the Powersoft Quattrocanali 1204 is a heavy lifter.”
The Quattrocanali amplifiers employed in the project incorporate proprietary Smart Rails Management technology, designed to provide real-time voltage tracking in the power supply to minimize the differences between the output voltage and rails voltage, and thereby improving efficiency and reducing heat dissipation.
“In 2002, the amplifiers and DSP processors we installed were the top of the line — but that was almost 18 years ago,” Minozzi notes. “The Quattrocanali has more horsepower and a very low rate of failure. And that’s the number one concern for a contractor: dependability.
“Heat dispersion is another problem in big installs like this because they need a lot of amplifiers,” he continues. “That was the main reason we upgraded the system using the Quattrocanali 1204.”
Building on Monte Brothers’ decades-long partnership with the Basilica of Regina Pacis, starting with a sound system installation in 1989 later updated to include DSP processors in 2002 — the most recent upgrade includes two rows of custom-built loudspeakers designed to blend in with the marble columns on each side of the nave.
“Inside the church, it’s a beautiful space,” Minozzi says. “And when you put in a new sound system, you obviously don’t want to desecrate the appearance in any way. So, when the speaker installation was completed, we had custom grill cloths made to match the beautiful marble columns. Thirty years ago, if you took a powerful amplifier and connected it to speakers without first plugging it into a mixer to control the levels, you would fry the speakers. They would go up in a puff of smoke.”
He concludes: “So, one of the other important features of the Powersoft Quattrocanali 1204 is that it senses changes in ohmage because the amplifiers have to deal with changes due to capacitance and other anomalies. Since each bank of speakers is on its own Quattrocanali channel, if one speaker goes bad, the amp will automatically sense the change and readjust. That’s why we chose Powersoft.”