L-Acoustics KARAi upgrade for Chicago's Calvary Church

Audio overhaul was part of a five-month sanctuary renovation that also involved increasing seating from 2,500 to 3,000.
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Calvary Church of Naperville, located in the western suburbs of Chicago, has come through a full AVL system overhaul designed and installed by CCI Solutions.

The upgrade was part of a five-month sanctuary renovation, which involved increasing seating from 2,500 to 3,000 without moving any walls.

According to Washington-based CCI's church relations director Duke DeJong, the audio portion of the project was particularly crucial. "They [the client] were very specific in saying that the audio needed to be intelligible, powerful and flexible – spectacular in every sense," he said.

With this objective in mind, CCI senior systems consultant Mark Pearson and his crew turned to three major loudspeaker manufacturers, asking each one to design two potential system choices for the sanctuary. Out of the six designs, L-Acoustics' KARAi system was ultimately chosen.

CCN technical director Dave Sheneman explained: "Tim Loar, our worship pastor, and I visited L-Acoustics in Oxnard and listened to KARAi and KIVA side by side. The demo was particularly impressive considering that we were listing to the systems in a parking lot – not in a room with walls to reinforce the lower frequencies. Suffice it to say that we were sold on KARAi within just a few minutes."

The sanctuary now features an LCR loudspeaker design consisting of 27 KARAi enclosures divided into three arrays of nine enclosures. Low-frequency arrays of four SB18i are flown next to the left and right KARAi arrays, while four double-18 SB28 subs were placed under the stage for augmented bass reinforcement. Eight LA8 amplified controllers power and process the main FOH system. Additionally, front-fills are made up of four coaxial 8XTi and four smaller 5XT enclosures, collectively driven by two LA4 controllers.

"With worship services often featuring a nine-voice praise team, 80-member choir and large praise band with three electric guitars, an acoustic guitar, bass, two keyboards, organ and drums all on stage at the same time, the need for clarity and impact was paramount," DeJong continued. "The L-Acoustics system we installed is extremely transparent and super-powerful."

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