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Author Topic: Column Arrays vs Under Balcony  (Read 4836 times)

BenFranske

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Column Arrays vs Under Balcony
« on: February 05, 2015, 03:00:02 pm »

I'm working on a project to improve coverage/quality in a church overflow/gathering space and am looking for some help with speaker selection. The room is about 54 ft. wide and 62 ft. deep with 10 ft ceilings around the perimeter and a raised center ceiling.

The front of the room (see photo below) is covered in doors and glass and the speakers would be used with the doors open so there are essentially two mounting positions I see. Either column arrays on the side walls about 4 ft back from the front wall or under balcony type speakers mounted above the doors.

Any thoughts on speaker selection? My preference is the column arrays due to the relatively low ceiling height and pattern control but I'm concerned about the splash along the side walls from the wide coverage pattern if they are mounted to the side walls hence the alternative of under balcony speakers above the doors.

Specifically I would probably look at the JBL CBT 70J or Community Entasys column arrays. I don't normally do under balcony speakers so I'm very open to suggestions on those.

Thanks!

This picture shows what would be the "front" of the room.
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Robert Healey

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Re: Column Arrays vs Under Balcony
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2015, 05:58:22 pm »

I'm working on a project to improve coverage/quality in a church overflow/gathering space and am looking for some help with speaker selection. The room is about 54 ft. wide and 62 ft. deep with 10 ft ceilings around the perimeter and a raised center ceiling.

The front of the room (see photo below) is covered in doors and glass and the speakers would be used with the doors open so there are essentially two mounting positions I see. Either column arrays on the side walls about 4 ft back from the front wall or under balcony type speakers mounted above the doors.

Any thoughts on speaker selection? My preference is the column arrays due to the relatively low ceiling height and pattern control but I'm concerned about the splash along the side walls from the wide coverage pattern if they are mounted to the side walls hence the alternative of under balcony speakers above the doors.

Specifically I would probably look at the JBL CBT 70J or Community Entasys column arrays. I don't normally do under balcony speakers so I'm very open to suggestions on those.

Thanks!

This picture shows what would be the "front" of the room.


What are the problems with the current ceiling speakers? They look like 4" speakers but there are a lot of them so I can't imagine the coverage is terrible if they are still working. A distributed approach will likely give you the best coverage in that space - better than columns or point sources above the doors.
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BenFranske

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Re: Column Arrays vs Under Balcony
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2015, 06:09:24 pm »

What are the problems with the current ceiling speakers? They look like 4" speakers but there are a lot of them so I can't imagine the coverage is terrible if they are still working. A distributed approach will likely give you the best coverage in that space - better than columns or point sources above the doors.
There are currently 12 ceiling speakers, yes probably 4", installed in the center raised ceiling portion of the room. These are very poor quality 1985 vintage speakers on a 70v distributed system. They provide extremely poor sound quality. Maybe some of the lots of speakers you are seeing are the can lights?

Actually my original proposal was to replace those ceiling speakers with new, much better sounding, distributed ceiling speakers. The client (which has had negative experience with ceiling speakers in the past so is somewhat adverse to them) has specifically asked that I re-evaluate putting speakers along that front wall instead.

Keeping in mind that the primary use of this is for overflow seating space I can also see the advantage of locating speakers on that wall to provide appropriate directionality for the sound coming from the church.
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Robert Healey

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Re: Column Arrays vs Under Balcony
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2015, 07:14:04 pm »

There are currently 12 ceiling speakers, yes probably 4", installed in the center raised ceiling portion of the room. These are very poor quality 1985 vintage speakers on a 70v distributed system. They provide extremely poor sound quality. Maybe some of the lots of speakers you are seeing are the can lights?

Actually my original proposal was to replace those ceiling speakers with new, much better sounding, distributed ceiling speakers. The client (which has had negative experience with ceiling speakers in the past so is somewhat adverse to them) has specifically asked that I re-evaluate putting speakers along that front wall instead.

Keeping in mind that the primary use of this is for overflow seating space I can also see the advantage of locating speakers on that wall to provide appropriate directionality for the sound coming from the church.

EV's calculator says that 12 ceiling speakers is what you would need for this space to get decent coverage with the EVID 4.2C 4" speaker. I understand the directionality concerns, but you will get better coverage by putting a row of small "source" speakers on the walls and delaying the ceiling speakers in rows. This will, of course, use up more DSP and amp channels (probably five) but if you need even coverage front to back you probably won't get it with speakers on the walls alone. I agree with your column concerns, especially with hard non-sound absorbing walls.
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Caleb Dueck

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Re: Column Arrays vs Under Balcony
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2015, 07:54:50 pm »

Put me also in the "not ceiling speakers" camp for this application.  If you close your eyes, is your attention drawn to the service, or an amorphous cloud overhead?

I'd look at column speakers, including Tannoy VLS, RCF, or Danley SBH depending on program material and budget.  Or delay rings with something like Tannoy Di6 DC's.
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BenFranske

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Re: Column Arrays vs Under Balcony
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2015, 08:06:47 pm »

I'd look at column speakers, including Tannoy VLS, RCF, or Danley SBH depending on program material and budget.  Or delay rings with something like Tannoy Di6 DC's.
I actually did look at the Tannoy VLS as an option. Same concern as the JBL CBT and Community Entasys though about splash on the sidewalls given the hard surface (no way would they go for acoustical treatment either). I just haven't seen/heard column speakers when they're mounted off of side walls instead of a front wall or hung.

I'm pretty confident that multiple delays are out of the budget.

My original design was to replace the ceiling speakers for day-to-day use and then additionally provide a couple of output jacks in the two front corners that they could plug some existing powered QSC KW122s on tripods into for the couple times of year that overflow seating is needed. They basically came back at me and said why don't we permanently mount something in the front and forget about the ceiling speakers.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2015, 11:22:01 pm by BenFranske »
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Jared Koopman

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Re: Column Arrays vs Under Balcony
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2015, 09:48:19 pm »

The Meyer cal stuff is really nice. Not sure what your budget is tho.


http://www.meyersound.com/product/cal/
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BenFranske

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Re: Column Arrays vs Under Balcony
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2015, 10:10:12 pm »

The Meyer cal stuff is really nice. Not sure what your budget is tho.
With it being just overflow space the budget is fairly limited. Probably around $3500 dealer cost for amp & speakers combined.
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Robert Healey

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Re: Column Arrays vs Under Balcony
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2015, 10:14:07 am »

With it being just overflow space the budget is fairly limited. Probably around $3500 dealer cost for amp & speakers combined.

In that price range you are probably looking at a double stack of Bose MA12EX or the Community Entasys 200 series. Meyer CAL is in the neighborhood of ten times your budget.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2015, 10:18:19 am by Robert Healey »
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Mac Kerr

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Re: Column Arrays vs Under Balcony
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2015, 01:24:47 pm »

Meyer CAL is in the neighborhood of ten times your budget.

For a single CAL64, they do sound pretty good though. We had a pair of CAL96s and a pair of CAL64s on the Jimmy Fallon show from Superbowl.

Mac
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Josh Millward

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Re: Column Arrays vs Under Balcony
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2015, 03:22:16 pm »

Based on everything that has been said here, if the customer doesn't want ceiling speakers... I guess they don't want ceiling speakers. Regardless that this will give them the best coverage in this case with the low ceiling.

Hopefully when this space is used as an overflow area they fill it up with chairs so people are seated instead of standing. With the low ceiling, that will help significantly with getting the audio to the back of the room.

I expect any of the mentioned slender and tall loudspeakers that have been mentioned should work well enough. I would mount them hard in the left and right corners, as high as possible. This allows you to use the side wall as a beneficial boundary since you will not have a late reflection off of it. Toe the loudspeakers in a bit so they cross fire to the opposite corners of the room. I suggest the corners also because I expect the doors are open when this space is being used as overflow. With the doors open, if you mount the loudspeakers in the middle, the coverage will be interfered with by the doors. When the loudspeakers are over in the corners, that will not be so much of a problem. I am attaching a cropped and resized version of your photo with red boxes drawn on it to represent where I would want to mount the loudspeakers if I were doing this project.

It will be whatever it is, and that is about all you can do considering the constraints that you are allowing them to place on you by dictating the type of loudspeakers (no ceiling speakers allowed), the budget ($3500), and the mounting (must be on the front wall).

Have fun and good luck!
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Josh Millward
Danley Sound Labs

BenFranske

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Re: Column Arrays vs Under Balcony
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2015, 03:52:41 pm »

I have reopened the ceiling speaker discussion with them given the constraints of the room so we'll see if I can get them to move on that. If I do need to put column speakers in I would probably slide them forward (towards the seating, yes they do put temporary seating in place) about three feet on those sidewalls. When the doors are open they are open a bit more than 90 degrees (and stick out about 3 feet) so I would be concerned with a speaker all the way back in the corner catching a lot of interference from the door.
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Column Arrays vs Under Balcony
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2015, 03:52:41 pm »


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