Houses of Worship pose greater acoustic challenges than just about any other type of room. They’re often large and asymmetrical with high ceilings and hard surfaces in abundance. Sometimes they’re filled to capacity; other times, there are just a handful of congregants. A variety of speaking styles, from soft-spoken to booming and a near infinite range in styles of music need to be managed.
And it’s all expected to sound pristine to the attendees, whether they’re seated on the front pew or the back row of the balcony.
Adas Israel, a large synagogue in Washington, D.C., is no stranger to these challenges but, for years, had to manage with an aging system which was updated only on an “as needed” basis as various elements of the system wore out.
When they had the opportunity to upgrade to a completely new sound system, synagogue leaders wanted to not only remediate the defects of their old system, they asked audio-visual experts from the New York branch of Acoustic Distinctions and installing contractor MCW’s Michael Bernstein to specify a system which could be adaptable to the facility’s ever-expanding variety of uses.
“The Adas Israel congregation underwent a full building renewal project for its multiple facilities including the Smith Sanctuary,” said Mike Umile, lead AV consultant for Acoustic Distinctions. “The systems were in need of a complete overhaul in order to take advantage of modern technology and increase the flexibility for their various types of events.”
Acoustic Distinctions turned to EAW loudspeakers to outfit the facility with a range of loudspeakers based around the state-of-the-art QX Series. In addition to the 4 main QX564 speakers, the installation included SBX220, UB12si, SM109z and CIS400s speakers.
“We chose the QX system in order to serve events from intimate meetings/presentations up to concerts with a considerably larger audience count when you add in the SBX220s under the stage for some warmth and low end extension.” Umile said. “The QX system allowed us to provide an even coverage area for the floor seating while placing sound where we needed it in the balcony seats.”
The system can also be tailored for occupancy size, as well as for a diversity of on-stage sources.
“If the congregation wishes to have an intimate event, the upper QX boxes can be turned off to avoid excessive acoustical energy being sent into empty seats,” he said. “We even provided stage monitors for small trios/orators wanting a mini-mix of congregation microphones or instrument mics as required.”
“We’ve heard only positive comments since the installation was completed,” Umile said. “Also, they were quite happy when we they learned the QX series is available in white!”