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Guildford Cathedral

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Guildford Cathedral

Surrey, UK.

The Cathedral designed by British architect Edward Maufe, is one of the UK’s more modern worship spaces and one of only three built in the 20th century.

Industry: Houses of Worship

Audio Visual Integrator: DM Music

Brief: To update the outdated 100v line loudspeaker system that was no longer fit for purpose. The Cathedral is also used quite extensively by the University of Surrey for concerts and ceremonies therefore requiring a full range system.

 

Challenges

As part of the upgrade it was also necessary from a health and safety perspective to remove the asbestos-based acoustic plaster that was lining the 22 metre high, 1,000 square metre ceiling, and as a result the building acoustics presented the installer with a sizable challenge.

The Solution

The Vyper KV50 column arrays installed in the nave consist of eight closely-spaced 1-inch drivers in an elegant stainless-steel chassis, providing focused listening from the inward-facing pillar locations. Their narrow vertical dispersion and wide horizontal coverage pattern ensure that sound is directed solely at the congregation and away from reflective surfaces.

In addition to the sixteen KV50s covering the whole of the nave, eight KU44 colour-matched subwoofers are fixed on the outside of every other pillar, complementing the mid-high speakers to provide full range frequency response.

In the crossing a pair of KV50s point back towards the Quire to fill in for the front few rows. Tornado KT2 spot monitors are installed under the choir pews; this location is also the control point for the whole system – equipped with a fixed iPad, a mobile iPad so the vergers can walk around and assess sound quality, a CD player, and a recorder. An additional pair of KV50 speakers fire up towards the presbytery.

To complete the loudspeaker setup, there is another pair of KV50s with KU44 subs projecting sound to the high altar.

They also installed a feed into the choristers’ practice space to allow them to hear what’s going on while they’re getting ready, while in the West Porch they’ve got KT2s to provide some in-fill, and in the West Gallery they’ve also installed KV50s. With Kommander amplifiers powering the system.

Kit list

16 x Tornado-KT2

k-array Kommander KA24 Amplifier front view

Kommander-KA24

Gallery

Loudspeaker installation Guildford Cathedral

“As well as presenting a difficult acoustic environment, like many of our Grade I and Grade II listed churches aesthetics was also a major consideration. The advantage that K-array has over other speaker manufacturers is that not only do their installed products sound great in an environment such as this, they are also very discreet, and we were able to RAL colour-match to the stone work to make them virtually invisible.”

Graham Bennewith, Installations Director, DM Music.

Guildford Cathedral Speaker Installation

“The choice of K-array was a simple one. Every year we look for speaker brands, we go to the trade shows and talk to as many manufacturers as we can. We did consider larger steerable arrays for this project, but the result is not as aesthetically pleasing. In terms of matching the building, K-array is really the only brand that can do the job.”

Graham Bennewith, Installations Director, DM Music.

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