Tannoy VQ Series powers Guatemalan ‘megachurch’

A new ‘megachurch’ has opened in Guatemala equipped with a VQ Series system from Tannoy.

The new house of worship, Casa de Dios, offers space for a congregation of over 12,000 in the main hall, as well as satellite youth churches on each side of the main building.

Michael Garrison Associates (MGA) worked with the architect from the beginning, adapting the overall design to accommodate a system that would cope with the challenging requirements.

"Because of the size of the sanctuary, we initially specified a line array," explained Garrison. "However, half way into the project we learned that they wanted to zone the seating to accommodate groups that were far less than 12,000. As a result, we ended up starting from scratch on a new system design."

“Initially, we looked at Tannoy and a couple of other brands. When we modelled all of it, we were very surprised to find that, in the computer modelling, the Tannoy VQ system – an exploded cluster for the main and two delay rings of satellite delay speakers – actually exceeded the max sound level of the very fine line array system, and with much smoother coverage.”

Integrated with cutting edge DSP, network control and dual-channel Class D amplification, the VQNET line is a self-powered, networked variant of the firm’s flagship VQ Series of sound reinforcement systems.

As pastor Cash Luna had final say on the project, MGA took their modelling data to him and it wasn’t just the SPL levels that impressed him. “When we showed the coverage to the pastor and the cost comparison, his mind was made up. Using VQ instead of a line array saved this project something in the realm of $500,000. When he heard that, the pastor said: ‘I don’t care about the touring riders. If they want to play here, they will play with my system.’”

With help from Graham Hendry, VP of Tannoy parent company TC Group’s Applications Engineering and Support division, MGA designed and installed a system that is unique to the space, and also considers aspects such as line of sight and aesthetics, as well as the general acoustics.

The system design included one main exploded array flown above the stage consisting of five VQ60 speakers. With a defined pattern control, the VQ60 make the horizontal coverage seamless, Tannoy says; as a point source the vertical dispersion is consistent and not hampered by vertical inconsistencies inherent with line arrays, especially at high frequencies.

“There are two further delay rows consisting of VQ60’s, which will allow zoning to accommodate smaller congregations," Steve Shewlakow, MGA’s senior AV designer, explained. "There’s also a main LF array that consists of 18 VNET 218DRs and nine of the VNET 215HLs, and then a supplemental five-position delay zone with three VNET218DRs in each zone in a cardioid array. There are also two subs on the ground that act as warmers and front fills.”

What is also particularly interesting about the installation is the central subwoofer cluster that sits right in the middle of two large video screens, apparently described by one onlooker as ‘hiding in plain sight’.

“People in Latin America they like a lot of bass, so we knew from the beginning that we couldn’t use the usual US reference points for that," Garrison continued. "We knew we would have to put in a low frequency and sub-woofer system that would go beyond what would be expected in the US.

“We came up with a three-wide array that is nine boxes tall – so a total of 27 boxes – 218s on the outside and the centre is 215 boxes, for the main LF subwoofer array, and then we have some supplemental units at floor level because people want to be able to feel that additional sub to reach the outside edge.

"Because the room is so deep and because they wanted to be able to zone it, we also have an additional delay ring with five positions, with three double 18s each. It comes to around 42 subwoofer devices in the room, and it’s pretty amazing."

For more information on the project, see the video below.

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