St Thomas More is a Catholic church in Mt Eliza, a suburb near the southern tip of greater Melbourne. Seating around 150 people, the spacious church hosts masses several times a week, with the largest being on Sundays. Attached to the church is St Thomas More primary school, and the students use the church for school programs and masses. The church also hosts functions, funerals, and events when necessary.
Carl Pellegrino of Reflections AV was approached by St Thomas More with a simple brief — bring the church’s audio and visual system up to scratch. ‘Clunky’ is the word Carl used to describe St Thomas More’s prior setup. Lacking up-to-date equipment, the church required a thorough revamp of its AV to better service those who regularly use the space.
Acoustically, the room posed a challenge in producing clear, intelligible audio without stirring excessive reverberation. “There are glass windows all around the back, plus brick walls internally,” says Carl. “The carpeted floor helps, but we had to make sure the speakers were positioned to give the right dispersion throughout.”
With the help of the NAS Projects Team, Carl designed the perfect audio upgrade for the church.
Choosing the right speakers for the room was imperative. K-Array is an Italian loudspeaker manufacturer which specialises in creative sound reinforcement solutions. Carl selected the K-Array KK52 line array element product as the main front-of-house PA for St Thomas More, along with the K-Array KU26 subwoofer to fill out the lows. These three loudspeakers are powered by a single K-Array KA24 amplifier.
There are a couple of things that make K-Array products stand out from the crowd. Firstly, the brand’s loudspeakers have an extremely slim profile — even the subwoofer is just 119mm deep. Second, K-Array loudspeakers can be purchased with custom colour finishes out of the factory. This made K-Array’s KK52 and KU26 an ideal fit for St Thomas More’s church as the leadership was keen on a system that didn’t command much attention or turn into an ugly ‘black box on the wall’ look.
The reliable Chiayo Stage 100 wireless microphone system provides interference-free speech amplification while keeping the front clear of cables. Input requirements for the church are minimal. The church doesn’t have a big music ministry so there was no need for several inputs to be patched or plugged into the mixing system. It was about designing an easy-to-use system for the different users that come in.
“That took us to the Ashly FR-8 volume control slider to manage the whole system,” says Carl. “We’ve preset the EQs and the DSP to suit the environment and configured that with the K-Array KA24 amplifier, KA-52 speakers and KU26 sub.”
As the client wished, the new installation at St Thomas More is appropriately discreet and effortlessly covers every seat in the church with clear sound.
“The K-Array speakers, brackets and subwoofer were all selected by the church to colour-match their brick wall and they tie in beautifully with that,” says Carl. “It’s a really compact, clean design. When people come in, they can’t tell where the sound is coming from.”