54 Kobras in St Patrick’s Cathedral
USA: Occupying a whole city block in the heart of Manhattan, St Patrick’s Cathedral is considered a landmark in New York City for its entire 138-year existence. It receives more than 5.5 million visitors every year, attracting both worshippers and tourists.
Over the past few years, the cathedral has undergone a series of renovations which have covered the interior and exterior, with everything from the gallery organ to the pews, from the stained glass windows and exterior stonework to the altar niches and ceiling plasterwork all refurbished. St Patrick’s audio system wasn’t left out of the renovations either.
The new sound solution needed to provide high intelligibility despite the exceedingly reverberant environment as well as having minimal visual impact on the building’s architecture. Tasked with designing the solution was Ben Bausher, a senior consultant at JaffeHolden Acoustics, who immediately recommended a K-array system comprising 54 KK102 Kobra line array elements, which were installed throughout the sanctuary and powered by 31 KA10PC Class-D amplifiers.
‘The Kobra was chosen because of its low profile performance for its size, mounting hardware and its vertical pattern control,’ explains Mr Bausher. ‘They fit perfectly within the width of the fluted columns on which they are mounted and looked like a natural fit once installed.’
The installation was completed by New York’s own Masque Sound, which had to work between the hours of 10pm and 6am during the project so as not to disrupt the cathedral’s many daily masses or the flow of visitors.