Alcons Audio L-Series Loudspeaker System
By Daniel Scarbrough
Praise Cathedral, located in Greer, South Carolina, is a 2600-member congregation with a 150-piece choir and orchestra. We are a Pentecostal church with a blend of traditional and contemporary worship styles and music ranging from hymns to modern worship choruses. Each Sunday, it is our goal to use the music and preaching elements of the service to display our passion for God and compassion for people in a sincere and compelling way.
Our worship center was built 19 years ago, and many elements of the original audio system were still in use. After identifying the need and consulting with the Senior Pastor, a committee was created to oversee the task of the audio systems upgrade. One of the first tasks was to bring in a consultant to help formulate a budget and list our needs. Our consultant pointed us to a variety of different speaker manufacturers. We were sold on Alcons Audio after our local rep and installer, Audio Solutions , was able to bring us a sample of the L-Series and demo in our auditorium. We immediately fell in love with the sound of the system; the ribbon drivers provide great speech intelligibility, and crisp, clear sound. The speaker performance in the vocal range was what we wanted to give our greatest attention to and the L-Series delivers.
Once we knew we were going to go with Alcons Audio, they provided us with the EASE data and a variety of other technical data for the L-Series which showed us that it actually provided better coverage than what we were originally aiming for. The diagrams helped us in making comparisons against the data provided from other manufacturers as well. On paper, the Alcons system demonstrated to have a better response all the way around. Ironically enough, choosing the speaker was the easiest part in the audio upgrade process – after we heard the L-Series we knew they were the right choice for us. Another advantage in selecting Alcons was knowing, if we ever ran into service issues, Audio Solutions would provide excellent support with their extensive back-line of Alcons products and their great relationship with the company.
By the end of the process, we replaced all of our main speakers, stage monitors, microphones, wiring, and front of house console; and it all happened in one week. The work began on Monday and the room was tuned by the end of day Friday. We were fortunate to get the choir, band and orchestra to come in on Saturday for a two hour rehearsal and prepare for the following Sunday.
The Alcons LR7 Micro line-array module with the LR7B Micro line-array bass is an outstanding array both in sound and in appearance. Given the architecture of the room we elected to go with white cabinets to blend into the room. e LR7s are rated to perform from 74-20k Hz but by adding the LR7B module and rolling o‑ the LR7s, we were able to have a nice blend of the low-mid frequencies and allow the LR7s to operate more naturally in the upper frequencies for which they are best suited. We are sending the extreme lower frequencies to the dual 18” BF362i via an auxiliary send which allows us to tailor the level of the subs from FOH with ease. is method also gives the bass and drums the ability to fill the room with solid lower frequencies with excellent sound. We are using the Alcons VR8 speakers as choir monitors and they love the coverage and sound from those speakers. Pushing sound to a 120-voice choir evenly and clearly from overhead has been a challenge in the past, but the VR8’s have given the choir sound clarity like never before.
The biggest selling point for us is in the ribbon driver technology. e sound that they produce is unbelievably natural. e elements that need to sit on top of the mix, like a voice, sits there with ease and don’t come across as forced. is smoothness of sound makes it so much easier to mix; we don’t have to constantly ride fades to accomplish a good mix. With our old system, it felt like a rush of sound and we had to monitor channels and turn things up and down to highlight a solo or to feature sections. With the Alcons speakers, if we need to feature an instrument or soloist, minor adjustments are all that are required.
DANIEL SCARBROUGH HAS BEEN THE MEDIA PASTOR AT PRAISE CATHEDRAL FOR SIX YEARS. HE HAS A DEGREE IN TELECOMMUNICATIONS WITH EMPHASIS IN AUDIO PRODUCTION FROM LEE UNIVERSITY.