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The Buzz: Install of the Month:
First Baptist Church, Alpharetta, Ga.

Jul 1, 2006 12:00 PM

Contemporary Coverage


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Founded more than 100 years ago by 19 charter members as a modest, white-framed building, the First Baptist Church of Alpharetta, Ga., enjoys a rich heritage. Physically, though, a lot has changed since those days. The current 900-seat-capacity worship center at the church, which opened in 1978, offers traditional architecture and aesthetics, but recently underwent a significant transition after church officials decided to add contemporary services at the facility.

Danley’s SH-50 and SH-100 loudspeakers facilitate both contemporary and traditional worship styles at the First Baptist Church of Alpharetta, Ga.

That's why the church recently outfitted the worship center with a new sound reinforcement system, headed by Danley Sound Labs SH-50 and SH-100 full-range loudspeakers, plus TL-115 subwoofers. DB Audio & Video (dB A&V) of Gainesville, Ga., designed the new sound system to meet needs ranging from electronically amplified bands to spoken word. The firm also supplied video and digital signage systems.

In addition, dB A&V reduced the live acoustical signature of the room, installing its custom acoustic absorption panels on side and back walls and on the face of the rear balcony. The firm applied further treatment above the platform to reduce noise introduced into the room.

In planning the installation, dB A&V representatives presented church officials with a demonstration of several loudspeakers from a variety of manufacturers as potential candidates for the facility's new sound reinforcement system. Among the loudspeakers demonstrated were Danley's SH-50 and SH-100 full-range models.

“Pretty quickly, they agreed that the Danley SH-50 provided the exact type of sound they were looking for, and that their sound design should be based upon those loudspeakers,” says Ron Stanford, AV specialist for dB A&V. “This process highlights what we believe is the best way to work with customers, which is to let them evaluate all viable models and arrive at their own decision. Then, it's up to us to come up with a suitable design.”

The Danley SH-50 is a fully horn-loaded, three-way loudspeaker with strong directivity and front-to-back rejection. It uses two proprietary Danley Sound Labs technologies — the tapped horn and the synergy horn — to produce solid performance below 50Hz.

Further, the SH-50 is designed to perform well in tightly packed arrays, with minimal overlap regions.

The sound design is keyed by dual SH-50 loudspeakers that form a single center array to cover the vast majority of the main seating level. Supplementing the center array are single SH-50s for bolstered coverage to the extreme sides of the room. All of these loudspeakers are flown above the front edge of the platform about 30ft. from the floor, tilted downward to focus coverage on the first to last rows.

The balcony receives supplemental fill coverage from two Danley Sound Labs SH-100 compact full-range, 8in. coaxial-loaded loudspeakers, offering 110 degrees of conical coverage. The signal to this pair is time-delayed in the system's signal processing to match its arrival with that of the main loudspeakers.

Two Danley Sound Labs TH-115 subwoofers bolster the low end. These are placed in existing organ chambers carved out of the walls to the left and right of the platform. The single 15in.-loaded TH-115s also incorporate designer Tom Danley's tapped horn design principles, which maximize power transfer between the driver and horn.

“The TH-115 subs are crossed over low, at about 50Hz, while the SH50's are also solid in the 40Hz range, so what you get is true low-end ‘oomph’ from the combination of the two,” explains Mike Hedden, president of Danley Sound Labs. “The TH-115 is a fire-breathing monster of a sub, very efficient and with plenty of Q.”

Stanford worked closely with the church to map out the numerous challenges involved with transitioning the facility's sound reinforcement system.

“It's a big change to contemplate, altering a traditional room design so that it can accommodate high-end sound reinforcement and other production elements,” he says. “First, Alpharetta did it right by taking the time to consider every aspect and its possible impact, doing their homework, and making prudent decisions in consultation with qualified AV professionals.”


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