St. James’ Episcopal Church Renovates with New Loudspeaker System

St James’ Episcopal Church in Skaneateles, New York has upgraded its loudspeakers to a Renkus-Heinz Iconyx Gen5 system, designed and installed by DCI Sound.

Until recently the congregation at St James’ had suffered with poor quality sound and a system inadequate for the wide range of events held at the church. DCI President and Manager David May said: “The 9am service is traditional, with a choir and a 1927 Ernest M. Skinner pipe organ. But the 10.30 service has a full contemporary band. They needed a sound system that could handle everything, from speech intelligibility to contemporary Christian music, and they needed to be able to quickly adjust the system in the 10 minutes between services.”

One of the challenges faced by David was ensuring that the sound was directed at the congregation and away from the walls and other reflective surfaces. “Iconyx arrays, with their steered beams, are perfect for this type of space,” David explained. “In addition, Iconyx are very musical and have high output, so they can easily handle the praise band. Iconyx Gen5 is even better because you get a more flexible selection of configurations, with even more precision. That means we can customise Gen5 systems even better for the venue, and we can deliver for less money.”

In the summer, Skaneateles is a busy tourist town, and the 10.30 service is held outdoors in a section of the property along the waterfront. “Outside, we use a network cable to an I/O box in a small portable rack where they can plug in local inputs,” David recalled. “The rack includes a four channel amp to drive four portable Renkus-Heinz speakers which cover the outdoor services and other events. To provide the flexibility the church needed, we used wireless wherever practical, and the system is configured with a touchscreen controller to choose between the inside and outside systems and also to switch instantly from a service with choir and organ to a contemporary service with a praise band.”

David used Renkus-Heinz’ new RHAON II software to tune the Iconyx Gen5 speakers. He liked the original RHAON, he said, “but RHAON II renders much faster. It’s is a big improvement.”

After years of suffering with an inadequate sound system, the congregation of St. James Episcopal Church now have a renovated sanctuary with a sound system that easily handles their traditional and contemporary services. David said: “They are delighted with the Iconyx Gen5 system, as I knew they would be. We’ve done a number of installs with Gen5 recently, and all have been very well received.”