A new building for Alexandria Presbyterian Church in Alexandria, VA, is home to the first U.S. installation of Alcons’ QRP20 pro-ribbon loudspeaker systems. Launched in 2021, the slim design, natural sound reproduction, superb intelligibility, and throw of the QRP20 is the perfect solution for the church’s fan-shaped auditorium.
Alexandria Presbyterian Church, located around seven miles (11km) from the center of Washington DC, was given planning permission in 2020 to demolish its existing building on West Braddock Street and build a brand new, 22,794-square-foot (2118-square-meter) home. Worship at the church includes sermons, a praise band playing both contemporary songs and traditional hymns, and both adult and youth choirs. The main auditorium needed an audio system that would seamlessly deliver all of these in high quality to every member of the congregation. The clean lines of the architecture also meant that it was desirable to conceal the loudspeakers.
Steve Taub from Taub Sales, Alcons Audio’s mid-Atlantic representative, was invited to do a demonstration by acoustic consulting firm Miller, Beam & Paganelli, the company tasked with designing the technical systems for the new church.
“As both the AV and acoustic designers, we had to ensure the acoustics of the room would be appropriate for its intended use and then select speakers accordingly,” said John Paganelli, partner at Miller, Beam & Paganelli and the project’s acoustic consultant.
“Steve brought in several Alcons pro-ribbon models, and we listened to them both indoors and outdoors. We were impressed with the performance of the QRP20. The high frequency pro-ribbon tweeter delivered exceptional clarity and intelligibility, we thought it would be a good fit for the design and the small size allowed them to be concealed in the walls on each side of the stage, maintaining the uncluttered interior décor.”
Once the design was complete and the bidding process finalized, local integration company Design & Integration was chosen to handle the install phase. As a new member of the Alcons dealer network, the company worked closely with Alcons Audio USA to ensure the end result achieved the goals set by the consultant and client.
Available in a standard 90-degree horizontal coverage pattern (QRP20/90) and wide dispersion (QRP20/120) versions, the QRP20 is a full range, two-way point source column system, with high-Q directivity for increased projection control. It's loaded with the RBN401 4-inch pro-ribbon driver on a ‘Morpher’ lens, mounted in a D’Appolito speaker configuration with four 5-inch custom-design woofers in a sealed cabinet. The woofers feature Active Coil technology for extremely low-distortion LF reproduction, a perfect match with the pro-ribbon MHF reproduction. It is designed as a vertical array for both permanent and portable applications, where ultimate fidelity response needs to be projected with wide horizontal and narrow vertical coverage and is ideal for acoustically challenging environments or applications where intelligibility-over-distance is required.
Complementing two QRP20/120s, John chose a pair of BF121 compact, high output 12 subwoofers, for tight and accurate bass response with very low distortion. The system is powered by a Sentinel10 amplified loudspeaker controller.
“I have always been a fan of pro-ribbon drivers and Alcons uses them very well in the QRP20s,” said Paganelli. “The speakers sound great and have a lot of capability for their size. In the Sentinel series, Alcons also makes one of the coolest amplifiers on the market, which provides all the necessary signal processing for the speaker system.
“The customer is very happy and the Alcons system is the perfect complement to their brand-new house of worship, both in terms of sound and appearance.”