Posted in projects on March 1, 2016 10:06 am EST

Connecticut Basilica Gets a Discreet Sound Solution

An audio upgrade at the Basilica of the Immacuate Conception in Waterbury, Conn., helps address aesthetic and acoustical issues.

The Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Waterbury, Conn.











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TAGS: aesthetics, architectural design, audio upgrade, historic renovation, line array loudspeakers,


By Church Designer Staff

The Northeastern U.S. offers many beautiful churches, from Gothic-style buildings to old fashioned meetinghouses. But a true European-style cathedral like the stunning Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Waterbury, Conn., is a rarity. Because it's an architectural gem, explains Peter Scandone Jr., president of New Haven systems integrator Pascom Sound Inc., the aesthetic challenges of installing a new sound system were even greater than the acoustical challenges.

The demanding aesthetic and acoustical requirements were reported to be key reasons that Scandone chose a Renkus-Heinz Iconyx Gen5 IC32-RN digitally steered line array as the heart of the new system. "I've been working in the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception for more than 25 years," Scandone begins, "and when we finally got a chance to put our own system in place, a Renkus-Heinz steerable array was clearly the best choice. I've used Iconyx in the past, and the Iconyx Generation 5 speakers are a great product. There's no other loudspeaker I would have chosen for the basilica." Scandone sourced the system from Cardone Solomon & Associates Inc., of Northport, N.Y.

Installation particulars

A single IC32-RN array, placed stage left and mounted to a large column 30 inches in diameter, covers most of the seating in the main nave.

Image courtesy of Renkus-Heinz.

"We normally would prefer to use two IC32-RNs," Scandone notes, "But the space around the altar is not symmetrical, and we didn't have the right situation for a left-right pair. As it turns out, we didn't need a second array. One Gen5 IC32-RN was fully up to the challenge. And it was simpler because we didn't have to account for arrival times from two arrays."

A single IC32-RN array, placed stage left and mounted to a large column 30 inches in diameter, covers most of the seating in the main nave.

While the basilica's new IC32-RN is visible, its custom beige color and slim, low-profile form enable it to blend with its surroundings-of great importance where aesthetics are a critical consideration. "We not only needed a system that looks and sounds good," Scandone recalls, "we had to work with layers of marble and decorative columns while being as minimally invasive as possible. Just surface-mounting one IC32-RN array to a column required extreme care. But we accomplished our goals."

Scandone adds, "Earlier Iconyx generations sounded very good, and the drivers are the same in Gen5. But it has new amplifiers and new DSP, and it sounds even better. The IC32-RN's intelligibility is outstanding, even at 120 feet away in a reverberant space with almost four seconds of delay."  continued >>