Point Source Clarity in NZ
Matamata Baptist Church prioritises quality in d&b audio refit.
Matamata is a town of over 8000 people nestled near the base of the Kaimai Ranges in the picturesque Waikato region, two hours south of Auckland. It is famed for the nearby Hobbiton Movie Set.
Established over 55 years ago, Matamata Baptist Church has a long presence in the area. By 2020, the church had reached the age where renovations were needed to keep the building up to date. The PA system was also getting long in the tooth and was flagged for an upgrade as part of these enhancements.
Director of DM Acoustic, Matt Tucker, has been in the house of worship scene for a while and already knew Assistant Pastor Declan Smith. Wary of integrators from earlier experiences, Declan looked to engage with a company they knew and could trust.
With good relationships established, Matt’s team was engaged in May 2020 to upgrade the sound system at Matamata Baptist. They commenced works in mid-November that year and completed commissioning a short time later.
COVERAGE AT A COST
The biggest constraint on this job was budget. That meant reusing any still-functional equipment and finding the best value for money with whatever additions were required. The other key goals were getting good audio coverage across the whole venue with a particular emphasis on clear articulation. Although music is important here, being able to hear the service lucidly from anywhere in the space is fundamental.
Stage and room design were also a consideration with speaker choice and placement. The room is open at the front but broadens appreciably towards the rear balcony. The stage has multiple heights but minimal scope for floor speaker placement with access doors adjacent to both sides and little onstage real estate. This was especially pertinent with regards to sub choice and placement.
10-INCH 3-WAYS & 21-INCH SUBS
Matt Tucker retained the existing stage box, racking and mixing console, and the remaining budget was focused on speakers and amplification. He chose a single d&b V10 per side to cover the whole room. According to him: “These are really great boxes. Even before tuning, they just sound fantastic. They cover the whole room with ease and still have plenty of headroom.”
These three-way passive point source boxes are complemented by a d&b 21S sub per side, each packing a 21-inch driver in a bass reflex cabinet. The 21S subs were chosen as much for their sonic quality as for being able to fit under each stage wing and not impede access. A d&b 30D amplifier was added to the rack to power the new speakers. With up to 1600W peak per channel at 4Ω, getting the drivers moving is not a problem.
To get the V10s cleanly and safely in the air, VP flying adaptors were used. Matt is impressed by the range of fly adapters from d&b, whether for single or redundant hang-points on a single point source like here or for many different array configurations; “they are easy to use and work really well.” DM Acoustic prides itself on quality work and these brackets allowed a simple and unobtrusive speaker hang. To this end, great effort was spent on discreet ceiling penetrations and the installation appears rather clean and elegant.
JOY & SPEAKABLE
For Matt the project was a joy — friendly client and good back up from the d&b supplier (NAS has a New Zealand office nearby).
It seems that others enjoyed it too. Matt reports, “The coolest thing on this job is the instant positive feedback from the congregation. The reports were that it was great for music, but the key thing was that everyone could hear the spoken word clearly for the first time.” That alone is a fine tribute to good gear selection and installation.
d&b audiotechnik 21S Subwoofer
Single 21-Inch Driver in Bass Reflex Cabinet
Freq. Response: 35Hz – 105Hz
Max. SPL: 134dB
d&b audiotechnik V10P Loudspeaker
Dual 10-Inch Drivers
Freq. Response: 59Hz-18kHz
Max. SPL: 138dB
Dispersion: 110° H, 40° V
d&b audiotechnik 30D Amplifier
4-Channel Installation Amplifier
Power: 4× 1600W
2× 16-Band EQ
5 Assignable GPIOs