Renkus-Heinz ICONYX Revitalises Agion Panton Church

Famed for fine strawberries and a biennial Strawberry Festival, the village of Deryneia in Southeastern Cyprus boasts housed and open-air folk art museums and older Byzantine churches, as well as the more recent vintage Agion Panton Church. The church began construction in 1974, Agion Panton and was interrupted by the Turkish invasion of that year but it resumed in 1987, finally reaching completion in 1992.

The church’s architecture was influenced by Byazantine and modern traditions, featuring a tiled roof dome and tall bell tower. Murals of the saints and scenes from the New Testament fill its 950 sq metres (10,226 sq ft) interior, which seats 550. The sanctuary’s acoustics are challenging due to its many hard surfaces, ceiling height, vast empty space, and a dome that amplifies and projects sound waves.

To design and install a sound system for its beautiful but acoustically complex sanctuary, the church’s leaders selected V Hypersound & Light, which specialises in devising sound systems for acoustically challenging houses of worship. With the advice of the Renkus-Heinz team, V Hypersound & Light designed a system based on Renkus-Heinz ICONYX Gen5-series digitally steerable line arrays, supplemented with CX-series point-source loudspeakers.

“At Agion Panton Church, our team decided to work with Renkus-Heinz IC16-8-RN digitally steerable line arrays to cover the main area of the church,” recounted V Hypersound & Light Technical Manager Vassos Mouzouras. “Renkus-Heinz’ beam-steering technology is perfect for dealing with the high reverberation time that resulted from the 30-metre-high (98.4 foot) dome.”

The Renkus-Heinz IC16-8-RN digitally steerable line array enables up to four beams to be individually shaped and aimed, with beam control effective down to 400 Hz. The array utilises three four-inch coaxial transducers and five four-inch low/mid-frequency transducers, progressively spaced to extend the length and LF beam-control frequency, along with eight amplifier and DSP channels. The ability to precisely steer individually shaped beams enabled the V Hypersound & Light team to direct the sound at the congregation, while minimising reflections off the hard surfaces and especially the dome. “The Renkus-Heinz loudspeakers that our team installed sounded great and created a balanced-sounding area, with no dead acoustic spots,” Mouzouras observed.

Although the arrays covered the entire main sanctuary, Mouzouras’ team added a final and very important touch. “We used a Renkus-Heinz CX41 compact, four-inch coaxial, two-way loudspeaker to cover a small area for the priest,” he explained. “This is a point-source loudspeaker that provides a full-range response in a miniaturised enclosure, so we were able to provide clear, accurate sound for the priest with minimal visual intrusion.”

With its new ICONYX Gen5 system, Agion Panton Church’s congregation now enjoys clear, intelligible, high-quality sound. Given the building’s complex acoustic challenges, it seems V Hypersound & Light has taken advantage of Renkus-Heinz’s digitally steerable beam technology to pull off somewhat of a sonic miracle.