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Church and H.O.W. Forums for HOW Sound and AV - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Church and HOW Forums => Church Sound => Topic started by: Dan Courtney on January 22, 2019, 11:38:24 am

Title: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
Post by: Dan Courtney on January 22, 2019, 11:38:24 am
We are a small church, located in Ontario, Canada. We want to improve our sound production.

Congregation  - middle to older and about 50-85 weekly
Music             - combination of hymns and contemporary
Sanctuary:     - 50' wide x 35' deep - some 11' high walls but cathedral ceiling
                     - Stage 8’ x 20’
Worship team - guitar, bass & sometimes keyboard, 3 vocals
Microphones   - Vocal - Sure 58’s - 4-5
Pulpit mic      - Audio-Technica ES915 (very sensitive)
Monitors        - 2 - passive 10”- daisy chained
Speakers       - on side walls – Fender 1201A – 100 watt - passive - 70H & 35V
Amp              - using Amp from Yorkville PowerMax22 mixer - 2150 Watt
Mixer            - Digital Soundcraft ui24R – running mono
Snake           - 12 inputs – 75’ to stage box

*Pictures to follow*

PS We are in the process of moving the side wall speakers to the front – unsure of exact location
Title: Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
Post by: Dan Courtney on January 22, 2019, 11:42:31 am
Additional Pics

Shown is possible replacement of speakers.

Thank you.
Title: Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
Post by: Dan Courtney on January 22, 2019, 11:48:24 am
Here is a clearer picture of the front of the church.
Title: Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
Post by: TJ (Tom) Cornish on January 22, 2019, 11:58:27 am
Hi Dan.  Welcome to the forum.  What problems are you perceiving that you want to solve?
Title: Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
Post by: Dan Courtney on January 22, 2019, 12:09:09 pm
Hi Dan.  Welcome to the forum.  What problems are you perceiving that you want to solve?

Thank you! That's an excellent question and being new in this sound position allows me only to comment from my own perspective that being:

a. - lack of even sound coverage throughout the seating area -- eg. dead area in the front middle
b. - clarity of the singing voices
c. - bass sounding a little muffled

Title: Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
Post by: Dan Courtney on January 22, 2019, 12:22:22 pm
Another challenge will be to determine the height and location  of our newly acquired used 12" wall speaker wall mounts. (They allow for both horizontal and vertical adjustments).
Title: Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
Post by: TJ (Tom) Cornish on January 22, 2019, 12:44:06 pm
Another challenge will be to determine the height and location  of our newly acquired used 12" wall speaker wall mounts. (They allow for both horizontal and vertical adjustments).

PS Does "Preview" work on this site?
There's only so much help that can be given in a forum post, but I will suggest a couple starting points:

- Point the speakers at the people and not into empty space - that is, aim them away from walls and tip them so the center of the speaker's pattern is aiming at your rear seating position.
- Intelligibility problems are probably 60% room related.  You want to minimize indirect sources of sound - i.e. stage monitors (move to in-ears if possible), and sound reflecting off hard room surfaces.  Acoustic treatment will likely make a much larger difference than different speakers.  Where and what kind depends a lot on the nature of the problem and the architectural impact you are willing to accept, but generally speaking adding anything soft will help - cushions on pews, acoustic panels on the back wall, curtains to the sides of windows, carpet instead of hard surface floors, etc.  Keep in mind that you will likely have to abide by your local fire codes, so you will want to do some research into the allowable materials and/or treatments that you can use.

Title: Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
Post by: Dan Courtney on January 22, 2019, 01:38:53 pm
I appreciate those suggestions, Tom.

Pointing the speakers inwards and toward the rear seating area, makes good sense. (Most of the people sit in that area :-) .

Yes, sound does bounce around our building. Curtains to the sides of the windows, might be doable.

I helped install some acoustic panels in a different building and they made quite an improvement. I remember clapping my hands when we had completed one side no echo from that side!
Title: Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
Post by: Kevin Maxwell on January 22, 2019, 04:46:51 pm
You could try using those mounts on the wall to the left and right of the stage area. I would put them to the outside of the beam I see in the picture. But first play something thru the speakers that you have and get relatively close to them and see how they sound to you. Are they worth using in a different location? They are not high quality speakers.

I would prefer to mount some good speakers (that have built in hang points on them) from the beams getting them into the seating area a little bit and aiming them down. The mounts that you have wouldnt allow for mounting them on the beams. You also have to be sure that the structure that you are mounting the speakers to can take the weight and can be mounted properly. Properly mounting speakers is a long thread in and of itself.

Acoustic treatment done right can help in a lot of rooms. The done right part is the important part. If done wrong you could change the sound of the room for the worse. If you get carried away and do too much you will make it a dead room and that can be as bad or worse than a lively room. For this application I think we understand what you are looking for. The one thing that people have a tendency to forget is in a church with congregational singing you need to be careful to keep it lively enough so their singing doesnt get absorbed too much.
Title: Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
Post by: Dan Courtney on January 22, 2019, 07:29:11 pm
Your detailed response is appreciated, Kevin.

If one was to replace these 20 year old Fender 12 passive speakers, what should one consider? Would active speakers be recommended? Brand/model?

Your caution, re mounting the speakers safely, is well taken.

Acoustic treatment is something we should look into.
Title: Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
Post by: Mike Caldwell on January 22, 2019, 07:53:36 pm
Your detailed response is appreciated, Kevin.

If one was to replace these 20 year old Fender 12 passive speakers, what should one consider? Would active speakers be recommended? Brand/model?

Your caution, re mounting the speakers safely, is well taken.

Acoustic treatment is something we should look into.

Those beams are begging to have speakers mounted on them in one way or another provided they have real structure in them to mount to. Mounting somewhere in the area of beams would actually have them pointing at the people.

Your room is not that deep but for the width and what looks like up close to the front seating you may also need something to fill the outer front corners depending on the speaker and positioning.

 As for the speakers and total project what is your budget?
Title: Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
Post by: Taylor Phillips on January 22, 2019, 09:38:31 pm
Thank you! That's an excellent question and being new in this sound position allows me only to comment from my own perspective that being:

a. - lack of even sound coverage throughout the seating area -- eg. dead area in the front middle
b. - clarity of the singing voices
c. - bass sounding a little muffled
Looking at the picture, I'm not surprised there's a dead area front and center.  I know some places over the years have installed speakers with the idea that they are only needed to cover the area that is not covered by the speaker's voice, and this looks like it could have been one of those situations.   Moving them to the middle will definitely help with coverage in the middle, but might hurt the coverage on the sides.  That's one of the downsides with these wide and shallow layouts.  I think you may be best served by an LCR - left, center, right - setup, but as they say, you're mileage my vary.  Focus your effort on where people currently like to sit. 

As for the singing voices, this could be as much an issue with how your using things as it is what you're using, or even the quality of your singers.  Do the singers sound clear when they don't use any mics?  If not, then the issue is the singers, not the system.  But if they do, it doesn't rule out operator error.  Make sure your gain is set correctly so that it picks up the quieter voices, but doesn't cause clipping.  Make sure you're using a high-pass filter on just about everything.  If those don't clear it up, use the EQ to **CUT** the muddier frequencies in the low-mid area.  Do your best not to boost with the EQ.  If none of that works, just turn down the whole system.  If it gets better, you need to make sure you don't exceed that threshold.  If that threshold is too quiet to run your services, then you'll need to look at new equipment.  Another general word of advice would be to try to run sound checks louder than your service.  Typically, if it sounds good loud, it will sound good quiet, but if it sounds good quiet, it's not guaranteed to sound good loud. 

Regarding the bass, without any subs, you simply just can't put a lot of bass in through the system without it getting muddy.  Some folks say you can't have bass through the mains at all unless you have subs, but I don't agree entirely.  Rather, the subs are necessary to get the "professional" sound that some people desire from contemporary worship services.  A lot of the important frequencies to get a good bass sound are a lot higher than most people give them though, so adding a bass to a band without adding subs to the PA can and does make a big difference in the sound, and when done right, the difference is a good one.  It was a night and day difference at my high school church when we had a bass versus when we didn't, and we only had 2 12" EV speakers.  Also, don't rule out using a bass cabinet on stage and bypassing the PA entirely.  Without control of it from the board though, you do need to be extra vigilant that you, the bass player, and worship leader are all on the same page, but you get the full sound of the bass without having to get subs.  Bass cabinets are full-range, so they also get you the important higher frequencies as well.  Some folks will use a bass cabinet on stage and also a DI to the soundboard, but I don't have enough experience with doing that way to advise how to do that well.  I've always either had direct only or bass cabinet only. 
Title: Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
Post by: Kevin Maxwell on January 23, 2019, 12:40:55 am
Your detailed response is appreciated, Kevin.

If one was to replace these 20 year old Fender 12 passive speakers, what should one consider? Would active speakers be recommended? Brand/model?

Your caution, re mounting the speakers safely, is well taken.

Acoustic treatment is something we should look into.

It depends on how much money you have to spend and what else you already own. I just tried to lookup the amp that you said that you have to see if it would be appropriate to power some new speakers and I cant find it are you sure that the model number you listed is correct? Is it a Yorkville that puts out 2100 watts or is it a model 2100? Also while we are on model numbers are the mics Shure SM85 or are the really Shure SM58? The mics in use make a difference on how they will work with different speakers. The SM85 is an older discontinued model condenser mic and it has a boost in the high end that could be more prone to feedback depending on where the speakers are then the Shure SM58. But the SM58 depending on how it is used can sound muddier for speech but when used properly for singers it has a bass boost that can sound good for a singers voice.     

The advantage to powered/active speakers is they are usually matched to the internal amp to get the best sound out of the speaker. But I in general am not a big fan of powered/active speakers unless they are some very expensive models and I am not familiar with too many of the models small enough for a room this size. You may be able to do most of the system EQ that you need to do in your Soundcraft ui24R mixer. Looking at the specs it looks like it should handle that.

I have used the EV ZX3 passive speakers a lot and they might work for this room. They come in a model that is 60 degrees wide coverage and one that is 90 degrees wide. I am more familiar with the 60 version. But if you have the money to spend I would be considering a Fulcrum Acoustics 12 coax speaker with their processing. But they can be very expensive. I think the list price for the one I am thinking of is just under $5000.00 USD each. This is a powered version of these speakers with all of the processing built in. I have a feeling that they are way out of your price range.
Title: Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
Post by: Mike Caldwell on January 23, 2019, 08:13:06 am
Looking at the pictures closer it looks like you have two sections of pews on each side of the aisle.

A single speaker with the correct coverage pattern could cover each side.

I would go with a good set of passive speakers, a new power amp so your not using the amp section in your old powered mixer, you'll need cabling, if  not already in place maybe a recessed floor box or two for easy mic and monitor connections.

Running the system mono your could use one stereo power amp, one channel for mains the other for monitors.
An amp with DSP would good as you could do main system EQ, high pass filtering and limiting in the amp and lock it out.

You got a nice digital mixer but I am curious as to when that was brought into the system leaving other areas still needing major attention.

How much do want to spend on this project.
Title: Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
Post by: Dan Courtney on January 23, 2019, 09:11:45 am
Mike, Kevin & Taylor: info appreciated - It will take me some time to digest it all  :)

I made some corrections on the equipment list. Thanks for pointing them out.

I thought that I would make a small audio YouTube that would contain a sample of the music from this past Sunday -- 3 vocals, guitar & bass. --- This is output is from the mixer - not a live recording in the sanctuary. The bass does use an amp on satge and I have a line out to the mixer.

https://youtu.be/fMXTanL1kuo
Title: Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
Post by: Dan Courtney on January 23, 2019, 09:24:13 am
Those beams are begging to have speakers mounted on them in one way or another provided they have real structure in them to mount to. Mounting somewhere in the area of beams would actually have them pointing at the people.

Your room is not that deep but for the width and what looks like up close to the front seating you may also need something to fill the outer front corners depending on the speaker and positioning.

 As for the speakers and total project what is your budget?

I sent your idea of mounting the speakers in the beam area to a friend and he found that idea interesting. With these new speaker mounts, we could swith to better speakers down the road quite easily.

As for budget, a this point in time ~ $1000.

Title: Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
Post by: Dan Courtney on January 23, 2019, 09:31:44 am
  That's one of the downsides with these wide and shallow layouts.  I think you may be best served by an LCR - left, center, right - setup, but as they say, you're mileage my vary.  Focus your effort on where people currently like to sit.   

Yes, my friend Jack has suggested a centered speaker, perhaps overhead or in front of the pulpit, might fill that void. I like how you focus on the listener, Taylor.
Title: Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
Post by: Dan Courtney on January 23, 2019, 09:50:04 am
Regarding the bass, without any subs, you simply just can't put a lot of bass in through the system without it getting muddy.  Some folks say you can't have bass through the mains at all unless you have subs, but I don't agree entirely.  Rather, the subs are necessary to get the "professional" sound that some people desire from contemporary worship services.  A lot of the important frequencies to get a good bass sound are a lot higher than most people give them though, so adding a bass to a band without adding subs to the PA can and does make a big difference in the sound, and when done right, the difference is a good one.  It was a night and day difference at my high school church when we had a bass versus when we didn't, and we only had 2 12" EV speakers.  Also, don't rule out using a bass cabinet on stage and bypassing the PA entirely.  Without control of it from the board though, you do need to be extra vigilant that you, the bass player, and worship leader are all on the same page, but you get the full sound of the bass without having to get subs.  Bass cabinets are full-range, so they also get you the important higher frequencies as well.  Some folks will use a bass cabinet on stage and also a DI to the soundboard, but I don't have enough experience with doing that way to advise how to do that well.  I've always either had direct only or bass cabinet only.

Our bass player has just upgraded his amp. He's elevated it and it sits it up close to him. However, it does point sideways in the direction of the vocal mics and not outward to the congregation. I believe the sound is excellent and I do have a line out of his DI to the mixer.
Title: Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
Post by: David Allred on January 23, 2019, 10:05:49 am
Yes, my friend Jack has suggested a centered speaker, perhaps overhead or in front of the pulpit, might fill that void. I like how you focus on the listener, Taylor.

But, don't ignore areas were people don't currently sit.  If you get a single new family attending, they might be in a dead spot. 
Mounting the speakers on the beams IS a good idea, but be aware that it is a "forever" decision, because moving them later would leave some unattractive beam areas.   Of course that is the same with drywall, but much easier to repair and make look good.
 I would also add that assuming that you use the use the wall mounts, I would consider adding a support cable at about 60 degs. to the wall to take some of the torque load off the arm, tilt adjuster, and plate wall anchors.  (If torque doesn't meet all implied forces correctly.... sue me.  :) :) :))
Title: Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
Post by: Dan Courtney on January 23, 2019, 10:23:23 am
I have used the EV ZX3 passive speakers a lot and they might work for this room. They come in a model that is 60 degrees wide coverage and one that is 90 degrees wide. I am more familiar with the 60 version. But if you have the money to spend I would be considering a Fulcrum Acoustics 12 coax speaker with their processing. But they can be very expensive. I think the list price for the one I am thinking of is just under $5000.00 USD each. This is a powered version of these speakers with all of the processing built in. I have a feeling that they are way out of your price range.

I checked out the EV ZX3 12" passive speakers - 90 x 50 horn coverage would suit our install. The 2" HF driver would surely enhance our female vocals. We may have to settle with a 1.5 HF driver because of costs.
Title: Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
Post by: Dan Courtney on January 23, 2019, 10:45:09 am
But, don't ignore areas were people don't currently sit.  If you get a single new family attending, they might be in a dead spot. 
Mounting the speakers on the beams IS a good idea, but be aware that it is a "forever" decision, because moving them later would leave some unattractive beam areas.   Of course that is the same with drywall, but much easier to repair and make look good.
 I would also add that assuming that you use the use the wall mounts, I would consider adding a support cable at about 60 degs. to the wall to take some of the torque load off the arm, tilt adjuster, and plate wall anchors.  (If torque doesn't meet all implied forces correctly.... sue me.  :) :) :))

I like your idea of a support/safety cable. I've used support cables in tower installs and know how effective they can be.

BTW I did add a small, powered speaker to temporarily provide sound for our dead area in the front middle of the sanctuary. It's hard to see in the picture.
  I run an output from the mixer, via an AUX, and link that AUX to the master fader. Seems to work once the initial settings are made.

*I did take a good look at the possible beam area, but I found it was a facade/fake and not suitable. So David, we're taking your suggestion of anchoring into the plaster wall. (Hanging a strong magnet on a string will help us locate the 2 x 4s.) Im planning on using 6 lag bolts. I bought some white covered 14 gauge speaker wire so it would look too conspicuous. Im not sure how to hide it when crossing the wooden wainscoting.*
Title: Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
Post by: Mike Caldwell on January 23, 2019, 04:57:54 pm
I checked out the EV ZX3 12" passive speakers - 90 x 50 horn coverage would suit our install. The 2" HF driver would surely enhance our female vocals. We may have to settle with a 1.5 HF driver because of costs.

Be careful with high frequency driver specs.

The ZX3 only has a one inch exit throat on the high frequency driver, the 2 inch number comes from the diameter of the voice coil.
same goes with the 1.5 on many speakers.

Not saying 1 inch exit drivers are bad but there's a big difference between exit and voice coil size.

There are a couple of exceptions, but most 1.5 and 2 inch exit high frequency drivers are going to have at least a 3 inch voice coil diaphragm if not a 4 inch.


If you budget right now is only a $1000 you may better off to move the speakers you have now to the front and maybe looking at upgrading the power amp.

That way your front end has been already upgraded for when the time and budget comes to upgrade the speakers.

By the time you factor in shipping, some hardware and cable that's
going to eat into your total budget for speakers.
But granted even $900 will get you better speakers than you have now.

Title: Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
Post by: Jonathan Johnson on January 25, 2019, 03:00:24 pm
Focus your effort on where people currently like to sit.

But consider how much of that seating arrangement is due to the current sound coverage.

If the sound coverage was reasonably level over the entire seating area with reasonably good clarity, where would people sit?
Title: Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
Post by: Stephen Swaffer on January 28, 2019, 12:44:11 pm
I bought some white covered 14 gauge speaker wire so it would look too conspicuous. Im not sure how to hide it when crossing the wooden wainscoting.*

Either fish it through the wall or paint it to match.  I did that years ago on a large area covered with wood that I could not fish through-the wires are hard to see even if you know they are there.
Title: Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
Post by: Dan Courtney on January 28, 2019, 06:57:18 pm
Either fish it through the wall or paint it to match.  I did that years ago on a large area covered with wood that I could not fish through-the wires are hard to see even if you know they are there.

Thanks for the tip, Stephen; I may do that. Or travel along the top of the wainscoting and then down.
Title: Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
Post by: Dan Courtney on March 01, 2019, 11:10:51 pm
To all those who made suggestions, thank you.

I bought 2 Electro-Voice  EKL 12 inch speakers (300 watt) and mounted them to the right and left of the stage area. Their 90H and 50V projection seems to cover the seating area well. I sloped them down 15 pointing at the back row.

Because there was stonework behind the plastered wall, I ran the speaker wires straight down and along the wainscoting.

Now I'm in the market for a power amplifier.
Title: Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
Post by: Ken Webster on March 06, 2019, 07:16:20 am
I came in late on this one so haven't read every post.  Apologies if I am doubling up on posts.  I generally find that when using passive speakers, the number one biggest reason for poor clarity and possibly even muffled and weak bass response is simply inadequate speaker cable gauge or old corroded connections.  If there is only one thing I can teach people about audio, this would be it.  The deal is that cable impedance determines how accurately the amp drives the speaker and also can apply a frequency related attenuation.  It is always best to use the shortest speaker cable run that you can which is a reason for running balance signal lines from the mixer to an amp locates close to the speakers.  However, you start with what you have.  There are various charts online but the general principle is that the longer the run, the larger the gauge required.  As an absolute minimum, you want the cable impedance to be less than 5% of the speakers impedance.  If you want exceptionally tight clear audiophile like sound, go for 2%.  If the cables are of sufficient gauge, then you may just need to clean the connections which may include re-terminating the cable if it is too corroded.  Try adding a dab of contact conditioner to help improve conduction and seal the connection from the air.

(https://www.avforums.com/attachments/fivepercentcablec-jpg.560958/)

(https://www.avforums.com/attachments/twopercentcablec-jpg.560673/)

I used to be skeptical about this but have over many years in HiFi & PA have found it to be an inescapable truth when dealing with passive speakers.  Just remember, these are the most important connections in the whole system so you have to be able to access them for regular maintenance and conditioning every 2 years or so.  If not, the clarity degrades slowly over time without you noticing to eventually become quite poor.

I'm coming around to powered speakers because, they eliminate the cable issue, often include DSP and good companies purposely design the amps and speakers to perfectly match their performance characteristics.  Some cheap out with EQ filters which is less than ideal though.  Ideally you want a good design match and only use EQ for minor tweaks and ringing out etc.

Regards,
Ken
 
Title: Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
Post by: Mike Caldwell on March 06, 2019, 08:15:27 am
I came in late on this one so haven't read every post.  Apologies if I am doubling up on posts.  I generally find that when using passive speakers, the number one biggest reason for poor clarity and possibly even muffled and weak bass response is simply inadequate speaker cable gauge or old corroded connections.  If there is only one thing I can teach people about audio, this would be it.  The deal is that cable impedance determines how accurately the amp drives the speaker and also can apply a frequency related attenuation.  It is always best to use the shortest speaker cable run that you can which is a reason for running balance signal lines from the mixer to an amp locates close to the speakers.  However, you start with what you have.  There are various charts online but the general principle is that the longer the run, the larger the gauge required.  As an absolute minimum, you want the cable impedance to be less than 5% of the speakers impedance.  If you want exceptionally tight clear audiophile like sound, go for 2%.  If the cables are of sufficient gauge, then you may just need to clean the connections which may include re-terminating the cable if it is too corroded.  Try adding a dab of contact conditioner to help improve conduction and seal the connection from the air.

(https://www.avforums.com/attachments/fivepercentcablec-jpg.560958/)

(https://www.avforums.com/attachments/twopercentcablec-jpg.560673/)

I used to be skeptical about this but have over many years in HiFi & PA have found it to be an inescapable truth when dealing with passive speakers.  Just remember, these are the most important connections in the whole system so you have to be able to access them for regular maintenance and conditioning every 2 years or so.  If not, the clarity degrades slowly over time without you noticing to eventually become quite poor.

I'm coming around to powered speakers because, they eliminate the cable issue, often include DSP and good companies purposely design the amps and speakers to perfectly match their performance characteristics.  Some cheap out with EQ filters which is less than ideal though.  Ideally you want a good design match and only use EQ for minor tweaks and ringing out etc.

Regards,
Ken

I can just about guarantee you that every major tour with non powered flown speakers is exceeding your 5% chart limits.

My largest speaker cables are 12ga and on my last two sound jobs I exceeded the 5% length on a couple runs and everything sounded fine.
Title: Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
Post by: Ken Webster on March 08, 2019, 07:04:21 am
I can just about guarantee you that every major tour with non powered flown speakers is exceeding your 5% chart limits.

My largest speaker cables are 12ga and on my last two sound jobs I exceeded the 5% length on a couple runs and everything sounded fine.

Mike. I am pretty certain that you are familiar with the importance of impedance matching in analogue audio systems.  It is after all a very well established principal and for example is a major reason for not inserting a guitar pickup directly into Lo-Z where all the rich tonality would be lost.  At the least, Hi-Z (cheap option) or better a guitar DI would commonly be used, aside from signal type issues of course.  In equipment, the source output would normally be hundreds or even thousands of times less than the downstream devices input impedance and you would not need to consider cable impedance too much because the device impedance would be way to high for cable Z to be at all significant.  However, dynamic speakers have exceedingly low nominal impedance, commonly 4-8 ohms.  The source impedance of everything upstream of the inducer, including, amp, cables, XO etc becomes significant.  So it makes sense that high impedance cables could deteriorate sound quality.

I was skeptical, very skeptical but searching for answers did my research and found some audio engineering papers on it and some AB blind test studies as well.  Then I did my own AB tests that absolutely convinced me the principle of this is correct.  Now I admit that as you go up in gauge the benefits become less and less describable.  The average person would not be as aware of subtle differences as someone used to critical listening.  Also, just walking into a crowded venue and going oh that sounds nice, is not the same as doing AB testing in real time. So one may ask why bother if everyone is happy?

Well because we all know that our systems are a chain and each link in that chain degrades the signal.  So the game is to, minimise the number of links and minimise degradation at each link.
If we can make eve a small improvement at each link, then the cumulative effect can be quite significant (haven't we all done this?).  Making a performance improvement even a small one at the speaker cable is just part of that very normal strategy, but most people cheap out on this even if they have spent really big on amps and speakers.  It makes no sense to do that just to save peanuts on the copper gauge.

So, yes you can get quite good sound with cable just below these recommendations and audiences would not consciously be aware that it could have been better.  I mean, they are comparing this against the MP3 sound they hear everywhere else so they don't know any better.  However, if you really want to reveal the absolute full potential of your system rather than just good enough so that people will be deeply immersed in the rich tonality and clarity , then I think you will find these tables pretty well on that mark.  I actually got the final value recommendations from Audioholics and it is working extremely well for me.  So I am just going to stand by my comments on the principle of this.  Just what standard people want to work too is obviously up to them, I can only offer the figures I have come up with as a guide.
 

Ken
Title: Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
Post by: Dan Courtney on March 09, 2019, 08:57:38 pm
I appreciate Mike's detailed discussion about wire size for speakers. That makes good sense to me. I wonder if you have a preference for connectors -- 1/4 "jacks VS speakons. (Neutrik)

BTW, I used 14 gauge wire (AmazonBasics 14-Gauge Speaker Wire - 99.9% Oxygen Free Copper - 200 Feet)
Title: Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
Post by: Mike Caldwell on March 09, 2019, 11:08:53 pm
I appreciate Mike's detailed discussion about wire size for speakers. That makes good sense to me. I wonder if you have a preference for connectors -- 1/4 "jacks VS speakons. (Neutrik)

BTW, I used 14 gauge wire (AmazonBasics 14-Gauge Speaker Wire - 99.9% Oxygen Free Copper - 200 Feet)

Speakons are far better they have much more contact surface area
and they will not unplug with an accidental tug on the cable.