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  • PA System for Church

    I've been asked by my church to recommend a PA system. My church is fairly small (~100 people in the sanctuary). Any recommendations for speakers, power amps, and wireless setups? Thanks for any recommendations you can provide.
    Hamer SB4 Bass Guitar
    Ampeg B100R Bass Amp

  • #2
    Tons, but we need a lot more information.... such as what types of reinforcement you need (vocal, piano, full band etc), layout of the room, space requirements, budget etc.


    • #3
      Tons, but we need a lot more information.... such as what types of reinforcement you need (vocal, piano, full band etc), layout of the room, space requirements, budget etc.

      Type of reinforcement would be primarily vocal. Probably a wireless system, since our priest likes to walk around when he preaches. Layout of the room is a big square box with high ceilings and a balcony in the back. Space isn't an issue, but we will probably want to either fly the speakers or mount them on the walls. Budget is "reasonable" but not fixed. Think Yamaha Club series or similar. I'm currently leaning toward the Yamaha C112VA for the speakers, but I'm sure there are others out there that would do the job.

      Thanks again.
      Hamer SB4 Bass Guitar
      Ampeg B100R Bass Amp


      • #4
        I'm not as familiar with speakers designed primarily for vocal reinforcement. However, I know they are out there. The big benefit here is that you don't need nearly as much low frequency capacity and therefore your cabinets can be much smaller. Consider a system of distributed speakers with proper delay. This can result in a much more even sound.

        The only advice i will offer with the wireless is to use a over the ear style mic (not a lavaliere) such as a countryman headset mic. Better gain before feedback. Also, don't cheap out on the wireless unit, you're going to spend a lot of time listening to it by it's self, so you will hear every fuzz, pop and click.


        • #5
          I think you need to take a look at your budget and see if you could hire a consultant. You'll get what you can't in an internet forum: a response that's completely designed for YOUR space.

          I would start by reading this: http://www.rane.com/note163.html

          and perhaps buying http://www.amazon.com/Guide-Sound-Systems-Worship-Eiche/dp/079350029X/ref=pd_sim_b_1
          this book.

          Then I would do a #%&* ton of research and come back with some more specific questions.

          Also, keep in mind that you don't need a rock band sound system just for voice, and that intelligibility and quality, not loudness, is your goal here.


          • #6
            Print this out and pass it around.
            If you persist in wanting to do it yourself, I would suggest posting on one of the Church sound forums. Here's one, there are others.

            Good luck, Winston.


            • #7
              I'll go ahead and make some suggestions in case you can't find or afford a consultant: a pair of Peavey PR12D powered speakers and stands, Yamaha MG82CX mixer, and a Dbx Driverack PX. That's what I would buy if it were my money and I was setting it up for someone else to use with a minimum of hassle. Powered speakers will deliver better sound for novices than speaker/amp, because the manufacturer has already matched them better than you could. The Driverack PX is designed to manage powered speakers and match them to the location, with feedback control and automatic EQ. The Yamaha MG mixer is small, cheap, but isn't junk. I'd put the speakers well in front of the mics, but the position would really depend on the physical layout. Maybe you could post a couple photos of the sanctuary.

              Sennheiser ew322G2 Wireless Cardioid Lavaliere System is my suggestion for the mic. It isn't cheap, but it's the most important component for your system. The cardioid pattern will reduce feedback vs. omnidirectional lavs., and the receiver/transmitter are top notch autoscanning and use AA rechargables with battery status monitoring.


              • #8
                I would not recommend a distributed system if you are going to do it without a consultant. It would be too complicated to do yourself. A single hanging cluster would be better. Maybe Yorkville NX25P's (they have flyware on them). 2 aimed at the balcony and 2 aimed at the main floor. A Driverack PX or even just a good EQ and a small mixer. I would also go with a headset mic over a lav. Especially if the priest like to wander in front of the speakers.
                Steve Bears

                Sales, System Design, and Installation Services
                Authorized Dealer: Allen & Heath, Audix, Audio Technica, Ashly, Crest, Crown, DBX, Drawmer, Soundcraft, JBL, Midas, EV, Klark Teknik, TC Electronic, Lexicon, CBI, Yorkville, Road Ready Cases, Whirlwind, ProCo, Shure, Chauvet, and more.


                • #9
                  Mackie SRM450 V2's are really nice Powerd Speakers


                  • #10
                    I look after the PA in a similarly-sized church in London, although our system is completely portable - we can use it lengthways or widthways in the church, or another hall, and often outdoors.

                    My personal advice would be: Get the best you can afford in terms of quality, and keep the setup simple. In my experience at those sort of volume levels, you can get away without effects, possibly even eq, if the amp and speakers are delivering a smooth frequency curve themselves.

                    A pair of speakers with a wide dispersion pattern, away from side walls, should coverthe whole room, balcony included. Placement is the key. A single array above the stage could work well if you're looking at flying them.

                    I'm probably preaching to the converted here, but don't be tempted by an under-powered amp and then push it hard. Look at hi-spec gear from EV, Crown, QSC, even if it means picking up something 2nd hand. I got an EV P1250 from a dealer return and have never looked back.

                    I'd look at a Bose 4xx or 8xx setup and then work out how to achieve that sort of quality and smooth coverage with what I could afford!


                    • #11
                      You start by picking speakers that fit the building and the job at hand. NOTHING ELSE matters until you fill this slot.
                      Don Boomer


                      • #12
                        Thanks to everyone for the great references and advice. It looks like I've got a lot of reading to do. It's unlikely we'll hire a consultant, given the size of the church. I do have my own PA system, so we can do some trial and error with speaker placement to figure out where the best place for the speakers would be. I think two speakers flown above the alter would probably cover the whole church including the balcony. I'll post updates as we move along with our thought process. Thanks again for your help.
                        Hamer SB4 Bass Guitar
                        Ampeg B100R Bass Amp


                        • #13
                          You're at an advantage with high ceilings. A center cluster will give you the best results.

                          The picture below shows a computer generated analysis of a church we did. The particular church was wider than deep ( 50' x 80' wide) so we used three EV FRi 152's. Two of them would probably suffice in your space.

                          Bill Cronheim
                          Entertainment Systems Corporation
                          Back stage since 1965
                          Equipment specialist since 1973