Serving over 18,000 congregants across seven campuses and a thriving streaming channel, Sun Valley Community Church (SVCC) has always been at the forefront of using cutting-edge technology to enrich its services.

When the Gilbert, AZ-based church wanted to provide a more immersive worship experience and support expanded programming with state-of-the-art sound, it turned to Meyer Sound’s PANTHER™ large-format linear line array loudspeakers and 2100-LFC™ low-frequency control elements.

SVCC’s main campus, which seats 1,200, previously housed a Meyer Sound LEOPARD® system. “We fell in love with the quality and the reliability and just how pure the sound of LEOPARD was,” says Matt Kotthoff, Production and Integration Lead Director at SVCC, adding that the church relocated the LEOPARD system to the South Gilbert campus to make way for the PANTHER upgrade at the broadcast campus.

“SVCC was ready for something special, a state-of-the-art system that would support expanded programming,” adds Chris Gille, creative solutions engineer at Kentucky-based integrator HouseRight, which supplied and installed the system. “One of the things I talked about with them was getting into a modern technology that was fresh, proven reliable, and available,” says Gille. “Out of the entire industry, the answer was PANTHER.”

Kotthoff experienced PANTHER and 2100-LFC in action at an Ed Sheeran concert, where he was convinced of the system’s capabilities. “Listening to the varying dynamics in a stadium, we decided, ‘Let’s create a mini version of this.’ We aimed to provide a capability that no other medium-to-large-sized room offers,” he says.

SVCC’s new system is centered around two suspended arrays of seven PANTHER loudspeakers, supported by ten 2100-LFC low frequency control elements, which are both hung and set on the ground. “We have six 2100-LFCs suspended, following the recommendations from HouseRight and Meyer Sound Engineers. This setup allows us to deliver a controlled low end that projects over the congregation, creating an immersive, clean bass-heavy experience that has definition in low-end frequencies that everyone can feel and hear,” Kotthoff explains. Four 2100-LFC low-frequency control elements on the ground act as a sub-boost.

HouseRight and Meyer Sound’s engineering team used Meyer Sound’s MAPP 3D™ system design and prediction tool to model cohesive coverage. “While designing in MAPP 3D, front-to-back frequency, smoothness, and low-mid beam control seemed a bit too good to be true, with only seven primary elements per stack, with AVB affording 1:1 drive resolution,” Gille explains. “However, the reality was as predicted, and frequency banding fell tightly in line.

“It was inspiring to calibrate and tune with fewer building blocks than had made sense in the past and have the system respond with unprecedented detail,” he continues. “With girthy power and headroom, smooth accuracy, and dynamic range, paired with the tight and boldly musical 2100-LFC, PANTHER is a great fit.”

When it comes to low-frequency extension, “the 2100-LFC is a game changer,” Gille says. “It has so much musical power and such a broad bandwidth. Because of that, you can shape it to be whatever you want.”

This May, Gille had an opportunity to mix on the new system at SVCC. “It was one of the best-sounding experiences I’ve ever had,” he says. “This is the first system I’ve been in front of where I thought, ‘There’s something special, something different, and I’m telling everyone that it’s the sound of headroom.’”

The new Meyer Sound system at SVCC provides a transformative sonic environment that extends from the front row to the balcony. Speech is delivered with clarity, music is dynamic and enveloping, and — even with 1,200 people in the room — each congregant feels like the pastor is speaking directly to them.

“We’re five weekends in, and although most people might not pinpoint the changes, we’ve only received positive feedback, a lot of it,” says Kotthoff. “Wherever you sit, you get stereo imaging with the musical dynamics PANTHER provides. It is an immersive experience from the moment people enter the room.”

“Worship is about being together in a community,” he adds. “PANTHER creates an immersive experience from front to back, left to right, transforming the worship culture entirely.”

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