A Chicago Church Updates Sanctuary with Uniformed Sound Throughout

The SoundTube LA880i-II ready in a house of worship.
(Image credit: SoundTube)

A recent SoundTube installation at Chicago's Immanuel Church provided crisp and succinct audio with uniform coverage throughout the house of worship. 

Over the past few years the church, like many other houses of worship during this time, had its sound system grow to accommodate live streaming and audio presentation needs. The additions were reactionary with equipment somewhat randomly installed throughout the sanctuary. There wasn’t a master plan in place.

When it was time to replace the 30-year-old main speakers, the solution selected was the combination of the SoundTube LA880i-II and LA808i-II line array system. The addition of the LA808i-II improved the performance of the LA880i-II, providing crisp and succinct audio with uniform coverage on the main floor and balcony. The house of worship was able to relocate all the equipment to a single location for ease of operation and to better use the sanctuary’s limited space.

[Streaming Services: Houses of Worship and the Online Experience] 

“Immanuel Lutheran contacted me regarding a sound system upgrade in the sanctuary. The church had a big wish list and a limited budget,” said Todd VonOhlen of TV Sound. “The old three-way speakers had very spotty coverage of the main floor and balcony areas. The church wanted more uniform coverage of both of those areas, while at the same time, addressing the acoustic challenges of the brick and glass surfaces in the sanctuary.”

SoundTube LA880i-II ready to go in a house of worship.

(Image credit: SoundTube)

“I have known Tom Parnell of Next Generation Marketing, the local MSE Audio representative, for many years. I have installed MSE Audio products in multiple projects, including a hotel and convention center, and sports facility with several hockey rinks,” continued VonOhlen. “When I was first approached about this project, I considered steerable arrays. These would have been costly, and recent supply chain issues have made them hard to obtain. Tom Parnell suggested that we listen to a demo of the SoundTube LA880i-II/LA808i-II line array system. Church officials were impressed with the overall sound quality and the uniformity of coverage on the main floor and the balcony.” 

“As with many projects, budget was a challenge. In addition to new speakers, the church wanted new wireless mics and a complete rewiring and relocation of the sound and streaming systems. As the original speakers were 70-volt, existing speaker wires were severely undersized, so new wiring needed to be installed in new pathways. The church needed a solution that would suit their needs for the foreseeable future. The SoundTube line array (LA series) speaker’s dispersion and efficiency meant fewer amps, at lower power, for greater efficiency.”

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SoundTube LA880i-II's proprietary LAPS (Line Array-Point Source) three-way design provides a very short near-field extent and hearty far-field performance to create clear and concise sound. The LA880i-II maintains a more consistent ratio of array height to radiated wavelength with frequency tapering of low and mid-frequency passbands, ensuring a stable vertical beamwidth that out-performs many other single box line arrays.

Measuring only 7.91x40.87x11.99 inches, the LA880i-II achieves superb coverage in an aluminum enclosure. It features eight 4.5-inch woofers, eight 2-inch midrange drivers, and one 2.5-inch planar magnetic ribbon high-frequency tweeter for an incredibly smooth high-frequency response. This high-performance speaker is not your typical line array column.

SoundTube’s LA808i-II is designed to extend low frequency vertical directivity from 500Hz to 200Hz when added to the LA880i-II line array which eliminates reverberation issues and makes low frequency audio clearer. Identical in size to the LA880i-II, it can be used only in conjunction with the LA880i-II line array either placed directly above or below it.

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