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Fohhn Focuses on Mainz Cathedral

The German loudspeaker manufacturer supplied Linea Focus, Linea LX and AL series speakers for one of the country's largest worship venues.

Fohhn Audio AG recently supplied an extensive range of its Linea Focus, Linea LX and AL series speakers and state-of-the-art control technology for a €700,000 audio and media technology installation in the magnificent setting of Mainz Cathedral.

The cathedral is over 1,000 years old and has three naves. Approximately 116m in length, its ceiling heights vary between 28 and 53m. With a project brief to ensure excellent speech intelligibility and even sound along the entire length of the cathedral’s imposing aisles, despite a 12-second reverberation, the installation was to prove acoustically challenging.

Fohhn’s flagship Linea Focus series was at the heart of this unique project. Specially developed for use in acoustically challenging environments where there are long reverb times, the electronically steerable, active line array systems can be directed towards specific areas of the congregation and remotely controlled in real time, from a central location, without any need to mechanically alter the speaker’s position.

In the main aisle, two slim towering 450cm LFI-450 loudspeakers, each containing 32 4in speakers and 32 individual Class D DSP amplifiers, were teamed with four slightly smaller LFI-350 models to provide the best possible levels of speech intelligibility and meet the requirements for crystal-clear transmission of both sacred and classical music. In the two side aisles and eight side chapels, seven Linea Focus LFI-120 and six LFI-220 systems were combined with a number of Linea LX-100 and LX-150 speakers, chosen for their more compact size and directionality. On the high altar, eight Linea AL-50, six AL-100 and 36 AL-10 speakers were installed.

Throughout the cathedral, speaker sizes varied from 11cm to 450cm in length. Unobtrusively mounting so many systems also proved a potential challenge. However, the elegant wooden housing and slim dimensions of the Linea series allowed them to successfully blend with the cathedral’s interior.

A vast and complex series of cabling and connections was required to meet the demands for radio and TV recording / broadcasting of services and other events, as well as for providing specialist facilities such as hearing loops. Fohhn’s remote control and networking technology was also installed, enabling the entire system to be controlled from one central location.
Uli Haug, Fohhn Audio AG’s Director of Sales and Marketing commented: “We are proud to have been the supplier of audio systems for such an important historical building and are pleased to have received a great deal of positive feedback on what has really been a unique project. We would also like to congratulate BFE Studio and Medien Systeme GmbH for their excellent work on the installation. Audio for worship has always been important for Fohhn and it is an area that will continue to be significant in our future development.” An increasing number of Fohhn systems are being installed in worship venues worldwide. Recent projects have included Amsterdam’s Westerkerk, the Franciscan Mosteiro de Montariol in Portugal and several churches in the UK, alongside installations in France, Germany, Iceland and China. Fohhn systems were also used for an open air mass during Pope Benedict XVI’s recent visit to Portugal in 2010.