For permanent installs you often start by looking at where speakers can be located and based on that, what speaker pattern(s) may be appropriate in order to provide good coverage while also minimizing overlap and keeping the sound aimed at the listeners rather than at the walls or ceiling. Without knowing the speaker locations or how those relate to the listener area it is therefore difficult to comment on any proposed speakers or to make related recommendations. And without knowing the room and where speakers could be located it is usually rather difficult to determine where the speakers should be located. While nothing can beat actually being able to be in the room, it would really help to have any pictures, drawings, dimensions, etc. for the room. Another aspect of the speaker system is the speaker output and response. As proposed to be installed, can the speakers provide sufficient output and do they have appropriate response for the intended application? There's two basic ways to approach this. One is to define related goals and select speakers that can be predicted to meet those goals. If you have any goals for the desired sound levels and/or response then knowing that that might help people with such an effort. The other option is to select speakers based solely on other criteria (size, brand, price, etc.) and then accept whatever results they provide. It really comes down to whether you have any specific goals in terms of the system output and/or response or are willing to accept whatever you get. Of course one aspect of the speaker installation that is often relevant to installed systems is whether any speakers are to be flown or rigged overhead. That is often a desired approach in order to obtain more even coverage across the entire listener area, but it also entails having a professonal verify that you have structure to which the speakers can be safely attached and having appropriately qualified and insured parties handle the related installation. Then there is system tuning. Getting the most from a speaker system often involves proper system optimization or tuning and that includes both having the appropriate equipment in place and having the skills and tools to apply that equipment in an effective manner. While many churches cut back on the tuning and/or related hardware to help reduce costs, just be aware that doing so quite likely negatively affects the final system performance and/or limits getting the most effective use of the speaker system hardware. The general point is that selecting speakers for installed systems is typically approached differently than selecting them for portable systems and because you are dealing with a specific space and often specific uses, much of that difference is often in optimizing the speakers, their physical implementation and the system tuning to the specific room, acoustical environment and application(s) involved. Put simply, to get the best results for installed speaker systems it is usually not just picking good speakers for the intended use, it is also considering how the speakers will work with the intended implementation in that particular space.
I am not as experienced as Dick, but from personal experience I would agree with working with the existing setup first. I took over a system 2o years ago that was using an outdated 12 channel BiAmp mixer, and while the main house speakers and monitors were well done, some of the other areas left a lo to be desired. Over time the BiAmp was replaced with a Mackie 32-8 for more channels and now o a A & H GL3800-48 channel-but the house speakers are still the same and this last Christmas we had a lot of visitors commenting on how good the prorgam sounded. The auditorium is roughly the same square footage as the OP's with vaulted, tin ceiling and the back wall consists of four hardwood roll-up doors that do a very nice job of reflecting sound. It is a very live space -but over the years I have learned how to tune and tweak the sound in the room to get excellent consistent results. In my opinion, getting to know the space and the program material and what is currently in place before ripping everything out will yield far better results. Though it it takes a lot more effort and is not as fun as buying and unwrapping new gear. New gear, improperly utilized will sound little better than old gear improperly utilized.
Paul, I am not a sound contractor, but we replaced our sound system about eight years ago (partially driven by some system failures).The absolute best thing we did was to solicit bids, and hire a professional for the final system design and installation. A good contractor will model your room(s), and pick the best solution for you. They will then optimize the solution during installation, and provide training.I have serious doubts that we could have picked up the Full Compass / B&H / Sweetwater catalog, and gotten the same results (even now with the availability of design software, SMAART, etc). We are potentially upgrading our board this year, and I will still bring in a contractor to help pick the best option for us.Two other thoughts. You may want some DSP in front of the amp/speakers; that board has an EQ on the main bus, but something dedicated (and lockable) may be desirable. And what would you do for crossover? And, make sure you plan for the future. You will likely outgrow a 16x2 mixer very quickly, especially one that only has 12 mic ins (some which you lose if you want the stereo ins). Repatching every time you want to do something different gets old really quickly.
I was looking at the (please don't kill me) Behringer X32 after the lukewarm replies to the PreSonus. Is it any better than Behringer products of the past?And I'll definitely look into hiring some outside help. Thanks.
In the "cart before the horse" scenario, I'd not make any commitment further than analyzing and optimizing the current setup. Too many times I've seen attempts at "improvement" jump right into "let's get a whole new system", completely bypassing the possibility that the original equipment may well work if brought up to specs and put into a more advantageous deployment.
I really appreciate all of the replies. Would the speakers and/or board be in danger of imminent failure simply from length of use at anywhere from 20 -35 years? I've honestly never used gear 35 years old before on a regular basis.
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