Nearly as old as the city itself, Houston’s First Presbyterian Church has a new sound system.

Houston, TX (March 14, 2019)—Founded just two years after Houston itself came into existence, First Presbyterian Church resides on a campus of a dozen buildings the Museum District. Known locally as a great room for organists due to the lengthy reverberation time, the main sanctuary wasn’t a great listening experience for anyone else, especially when it came to spoken word.

Solving a Church’s Post-Renovation Reflection Problem

The church brought in acoustician Wade Worley of Worley Acoustics to give the site an audio upgrade—and it was needed. The front of the room was covered with a pair of point-source speakers in front, while in the back of the church, parishioners were covered by pew-back speakers which were poorly maintained, when they worked at all.

Between the broken speakers in back, minimalist system upfront and the overwhelming reverb of the room, the audio was ugly. “It always felt like we were trying to force this room that was designed for one application to do something completely different," said Rory James, First Presbyterian's media coordinator, "and the room was just kicking back against us constantly."

"In wonderful traditional rooms like this, with long reverberation times, you really don't want to ruin the acoustics for traditional worship," Worley said. With that in mind, he brought in some Renkus-Heinz ICONYX loudspeakers for an onsite demo, and ultimately a pair of IC32/16-R-II digitally steerable line array loudspeaker systems were purchased from manufacturer representative Native Media Sales for use as the front main speakers. Several Renkus-Heinz TRX81-DF two-way Complex Conic downfill speakers were also installed in the balcony.

"The Renkus-Heinz product has been well accepted, after being seen and heard in the room,” said Worley. “The church is very happy with the results."

Renkus-Heinz • www.renkus-heinz.com