Founded in 1887 by a group of 13 faithful, First Baptist Church of Redlands has
served the Inland Empire region of Southern California for more than 125 years.
The church’s current home, built in 1952, is beautiful Spanish-style building housing
a sizeable 480-seat sanctuary. The room’s classic architecture creates problematic
acoustics, however, and the congregation had struggled for years with poor
intelligibility, exacerbated by an outdated centre-cluster sound system. Those
struggles recently ended with the installation of a new Renkus-Heinz Iconyx Gen5
sound system designed and installed by systems integrator Ireland Sound Systems
of nearby Upland, California.

“The biggest requirement was superior intelligibility for spoken word,” recalls
Patrick Ireland, owner of Ireland Sound Systems. “However, the congregation also
has a praise band that plays at services, as well as a choir and an organ. The
Iconyx Gen5 system was a clear choice because it handles both speech and music
extremely well, and it has plenty of power for the praise band.”

Iconyx Gen5 is the fifth generation of digitally steered array technology from
steerable sound pioneers Renkus-Heinz, offering a wider selection of configurations
and even more precision than ever before. For the main front-of-house system,
Ireland chose a pair of Iconyx IC16-RN digitally steerable line arrays, flown about
11 feet above the floor to the left and right of the stage. The IC16-RN is a powered,
coaxial system that employs 16 low-frequency transducers, each with 3 tweeters, in
a slim, low profile design.

Ireland considered steering a beam from the IC16-RNs to cover the balcony, as
well, but ultimately elected to dedicate the front-of-house system to the main floor
seating. To cover the balcony, he installed a pair of Renkus-Heinz CFX61 two-way
loudspeakers. With a 150° x 60° coverage pattern, the CFX61’s complex conic
design provides constant beam width and better pattern control over a wider
frequency band than conventional horns. “We had the sound person keep the
volume down on the balcony speakers so people could also hear some signal from
the mains, and the combination worked very well,” notes Ireland.

A pair of CFX81 two-way systems handles monitors. The loudspeakers are flown
around 12 feet above the floor and just in back of the transept wall, where the
transept joins the main sanctuary. The congregation can’t see the monitors, but
they’re well aimed for the choir. “Flying the monitors high and firing at the front
platform could have been a problem,” Ireland admits, “but the CFX boxes have a
nice tight pattern, and it came together really well.”

Everyone involved is impressed and pleased with the new system. “The church’s
sound guy loves it, and he told us that members of the congregation were
complimenting him on how great it sounded, which is very unusual,” Ireland
concludes. “At last, they can hear everything clearly, and they’re really happy. I’m
as impressed as they are. These Iconyx Gen5s are amazing!”