Ascension of Our Lord
Catholic Church

Sanctuary Sound System Updates
Re-engineered and installed by
Bob Wood, Wizard SounDesign, Inc
Project Completed February 2002

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Background: This typical church sound system was piecemealed over the past twenty-five years by various parishioners and sound companies after the original commercial installation. The architect originally speced in a dozen or more 12 inch fullrange ceiling speakers a mixer, power amp, and large equipment rack to house the head end equipment. Fortunately twisted pair foil shieled wire was run through conduit for the hard wired mic locations, but most of the connectors had one problem or the other. Some of the updates and modifications done in past years included: a mixer, wireless mics, a dual cassette deck, and some patching connections. Most of the overhead speakers had been disconnected and sound columns were installed in the choir loft balcony overlooking the sanctuary as main speakers. Needless to say this system was inadequate to properly reinforce the spoken word and music. The Music Director had connected a sub-mixer in the sanctuary to accommodate live music and the chior. It was more than evident, by attending and listening to a worship service, that an entire redesign would be needed to acomplish the desired goals.

This equipment rack originally had a metal system power toggle switch and signal patching jacks on the left side of the cabinet. Also, notice how the wireless mic antennae have been fed up through the grounded metal equipment cabinet. The power amp was an old Dukane 250 that ran columns in the balcony choir loft and a few overhead speakers in the Narthex and nursery.

Dec 2001

The original TOA mixer had become problematic with signal loss and gain issues. Notice the "home entertainment quality" cassette deck. It was loose on a rack shelf. Fortunately most of the equipment rack was filled in with blank space allowing plenty of room for expansion. The church was lucky to already have a few quality VHF wireless mics, but the antennae were in affective due to their mounting and causing interference problems.

The original rat's nest after a bit of clean up. Temporary wiring was put in place during the installation phases.

I have seen worse, but this system really needed attention. Dangling connectors and cables, signal lines spliced with wire nuts, and AC power cords against patch cords. This is a better shot of the clever antennae mounting.

The final product complete with a mic location map and owners-operators manual on the inside of the front door.

A peek inside at the wiring hinge. Note the turnkey power is now a UL listed high current plastic toggle.

A look at the equipment rack back panel shows the wiring properly segregated to minimize system noise.

Interior wiring is loomed to provide self-support and stress relief for component connections.

A rough block diagram of the new head-end components as installed.

A mounting jig was fabricated and the new speaker system attached to ease installation.

Speaker boxes were rough aligned in the shop and laser aligned after ceiling mounting to assure proper coverage of the pews.

The ceiling location for the speaker cluster installation.
Job site clean up, labeling, and final adjustments were completed on February 12, 2002


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