Northview Community Church Enhances Worship with EAW Loudspeaker System
Posted November 14, 2012

With the installation of a new EAW loudspeaker system, Northview Community Church has dramatically improved the worship experience of their congregation.

Over time, the church has experienced consistent growth, says Lyndon Toftager, Northview’s Technical Director, explaining that in addition to the new system, they cut their stage back to accommodate more seating in the 1100-capacity sanctuary. “It was a pretty dramatic change for us, visually and acoustically, but it’s made the venue better for our uses.”

Located in Abbotsford, B.C., Northview’s worship services include decidedly upbeat music often performed by a full band. “The PA system needed to be concert quality,” says Harold Wiens, President of Sapphire Sound, designers and installers of the system. Although finished in summer 2012, the system was installed in two phases. The first took place in March 2011 with the installation of the overall electrical infrastructure, as well as four EAW SB528 Dual 18” subs and seven UB52 front fills installed in a series of concrete ‘pockets’ in the newly renovated stage.

“The stage is thrust out 22-feet into the room,” Wiens says, “so we needed 180° of coverage.” To provide that, in addition to the subs and the UB52s, Sapphire specified fifteen EAW KF730 loudspeakers as mains—one centre cluster of five, and two clusters of five KF730s to each side—to provide ample coverage vertically and horizontally.

“Essentially, it’s an exploded LCR arrangement, with a trim height of roughly 26-feet,” says SFM Sales Representative Terry McConaghy, adding that the KF730s provide an ideal solution for Northview in terms of coverage and intelligibility. And all the more so, owing to the deployment of EAW’s UX8800 Digital Signal Processor, which is designed specifically to enhance the performance of both existing and future EAW loudspeakers.

The UX8800 is a prime example of EAW’s efforts to continue to improve the overall listener experience and sound quality of all their various lines, and to provide ongoing support for clients, like Northview, who are long-time EAW users.  “They’re actually upgrading from a previous EAW KF600 system that was installed in 1993,” Wiens says. “This new system includes more loudspeakers, offers better coverage, with wider horizontal dispersion and better vertical dispersion, greater SPL and better quality sound at a higher SPL.” Additional system elements include a Digidesign Profile console and QSC PowerLight 3 and CX Series amplifiers.

“We auditioned a few different systems,” Toftager says, “but ended up going with the EAW KF730.” While the church’s previous use of EAW was a factor in that decision, Toftager also cites the successes other venues have had with the product as being of key importance. “EAW’s design team are second to none and their predictions for frequency response and overall coverage were accurate in a variety of different installs. Ultimately it came down to predictability; seeing EAWs in action in other, similar venues.”

In any house of worship, the message is everything, and the delivery of that message, Wiens says, has improved dramatically. “I get reports every Sunday about the smoothness of the PA and the improvement in intelligibility and coverage,” says Wiens. “It doesn’t matter where you sit, the quality of the sound is exactly the same.”