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Tannoy VLS speakers installed at Royal Oak Presbyterian Church

The new sound system comprises Tannoy's latest VLS passive column speaker arrays and VS 10BP subs.

Established in 1776, the Royal Oak Presbyterian Church, Marion, Virginia, is one of the oldest congregations in the US. The 450-capacity church sanctuary was recently installed with a new Tannoy sound system comprising the company’s latest VLS passive column speaker arrays and VS 10BP subs.

Having been built in 1923, the church posed acoustical challenges in the form of the sanctuary’s 30ft high peaked ceilings, plaster walls and a large amount of reflective, custom woodwork.

“We’re trying to merge our traditional services with new expressions of worship that are meaningful for the intergenerational nature of our congregation,” said Pastor Alan Gray.

Tennessee-based audio designer and installer K.D. Forsha was enlisted to outfit the church with a new system.

Forsha specified a system comprising Tannoy’s new VLS passive column speaker arrays and Tannoy VS 10BP subs. The integrator believed the VLS passive column arrays, which feature transducer technology adapted from Tannoy’s QFlex arrays and Focussed Asymmetrical Shaping Technology (FAST), would fit Royal Oak’s needs – and budget – perfectly.

In total, Forsha deployed four Tannoy VLS 15s – two to cover the balcony and two to cover the main floor – and mounted a pair of VS 10BP Subwoofers discreetly on steps leading up to the pulpit for LF support throughout. “The VS 10BPs can sit sideways or long-ways, so I could mount them where they wouldn’t be in anybody’s way visually or physically,” Forsha commented.

The compact profile of the VLS 15s and their ability to offer focused coverage in each of the upper and lower sanctuary zones also played into his choice. “Like the VS 10s, they can fit in a lot of places and they completely blend in with the wood-stained posts they’re mounted on, Forsha continued. “Also, the FOH position is in the balcony, so it was important the two zones equalled out, but I was able to use the free, EASE Focus software Tannoy had on their website, which is very sophisticated, to help determine ideal locations for the VLS 15s.”

Now installed, the combination of the VLS 15s and VS 10BPs provide substantial benefits for both listeners and those who are most often behind the microphones, which was key, Forsha added: “The only acoustic treatment they have is what I call ‘standard, southern church acoustic treatment’ – people. Plus, the system needed very little EQ and I don’t have any issues with open mics. The preacher can actually walk right by them with his headset microphone on and we just don’t have a problem.

“I’ve used Tannoy many times, in all kinds of commercial venues, and I’ve been impressed with every speaker, every time.”