xC-Series changes the course of historic Swedish church

With its unique layout and particularly long nave, Stockholm’s Maria Magdalena church is one of the oldest and largest in the city. In 2013, a complete renovation project was started, with refurbishments made both inside and outside the church. As part of the undertaking, the church also decided to upgrade its sound system, which would need to deliver from an acoustic perspective, as well as sit comfortably with the building’s historic architecture.

Consultation and installation went to SoundCop Consulting. At the time the specs for the project were being finalized back in 2013, the company was not yet aware of the xC-Series 2-way passive column loudspeakers and had chosen another option. Then, in 2014 they happened to attend a demo by local d&b partner Arva Trading at another of Stockholm’s churches - Stefanskyrkan [Saint Stephens church]. They were so impressed with the results they decided to redo the whole specification for Maria Magdalena.

“We were totally blown away by how good it sounded,” confirms co-owner Jacob Julin. “So, we went back and changed the whole specification. This is the first 2-way passive column speaker that we have seen that actually sounds like a proper PA system. The sound stays coherent and warm, rather than like it’s coming from a flimsy speaker, which is so often the case with the sound setup in a church.”

Natanael Lyckelind, Sales and Support AV/Pro Audio, at Arva Trading explains: “The passive cardioid function of the columns results in excellent dispersion control, which makes them particularly good for an environment like Maria Magdalena. In a church the size of Maria Magdalena, reverberation can be a significant barrier to speech intelligibility, but the cardioid dispersion pattern of the xC-Series significantly reduces the level of the reverberant field, maximizing speech intelligibility.”

In all, the installation comprises six 24C and eighteen 16C column loudspeakers, eight 4S loudspeakers, two B4-SUBs and six 10D amplifiers. The entire system is controlled by a QSC Q-SYS audio control platform, utilizing the d&b plug-in for the integration of the 10D amplifiers. The plug-in allows access to d&b amplifier parameters (Gain and Mute status, AmpPresets, Power On/Off status, etc.) directly from the Q-SYS interface.

“This is the first big installation we’ve done with xC-Series in Sweden,” says Lyckelind. “There have been some smaller churches but nothing on this scale, so now we have a lot of technicians talking about this project. The results have been really good. A lot of choirs come to perform at Maria Magdalena and they like to bring their own sound systems, but when they see how well the in-house setup works, they prefer to use that instead.”

“The system has actually ended up being used for a bit more than originally expected,” adds Julin. “What they wanted for the church was really a sound reinforcement system for vocal [speech], but it actually works really well for smaller concerts – so long as they aren’t too loud - and choir concerts.”

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