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Community sound system features in historic cathedral rebuild

As part of a major renovation project at Athens Metropolitan Cathedral, ABAS (Automation Broadcasting Audio Security) has installed a new Community sound system that balances intelligibility with the cathedral’s aesthetics.

Built from 1842 to 1862, Athens Metropolitan Cathedral is the cathedral church of the Archbishopric of Athens and all of Greece. This landmark was severely damaged by earthquakes in 1981 and 1999, but following several years of renovations, including structural support and maintenance of the decoration of the temple, work was completed in July this year.

The interior is highly reverberant, due to its great height and reflective surfaces, making the acoustics a challenge for voice transmission. To achieve the high intelligibility desired, ABAS’ acoustic engineers designed and installed a system using Community’s E Series column loudspeakers. With narrow vertical and wide horizontal dispersion, E Series ensured the sound was kept away from the room’s hard ceiling and floor while providing smooth, even coverage for the congregation.

Two ENT212 loudspeakers were used for the main temple, while 14 ENT206 cover both floors and an additional six ENT203 provide coverage for the chantries and the altar. The narrow profile of the loudspeakers enabled them to be mounted in positions that provided the coverage required while being aesthetically unobtrusive.

The system is powered by 10 Monacor amplifiers, each driving loudspeakers in groups that enable different sound levels to be set for the front and mid/rear areas of the temple. Monacor is also used to provide the required system DSP functions, including loudspeaker processing, delay and room equalisation. ABAS chose Sennheiser microphones to complement the overall sound quality of the system.

Kostas Drosos of ABAS commented: “Athens Metropolitan Cathedral was an extremely prestigious project and we’re very satisfied with the results. The new system provides excellent quality and high intelligibility in all areas. It was configured and equalised to sound very natural and visitors do not discern any changes in sound level while moving throughout the building.”