Audio renovation at the Archabbey of Pannonhalma
HUNGARY: The Archabbey of Pannonhalma, also known as the Benedictine Pannonhalma Archabbey, is one of the oldest historical buildings in Hungary. It is situated 100km outside of Budapest, in the small town of Pannonhalma, from which it draws its name. Built during the 13th century, the church is a showcase of the early Gothic style.
The building underwent a series of renovations three years ago. This included the upgrade of the church’s sound system, as small speakers were installed within the pews and lighting structures, so as to keep in line with the strict architectural guidelines imposed due to the Archabbey’s historical significance. However, new system was soon deemed not fit for purpose due to major flaws in the installation. A new system was therefore required.
Audio Partner Ltd was approached by the church to demonstrate a new system capable of delivering even coverage and good STI throughout the sanctuary. The company serves as K-array’s distributor in Hungary, and so it conducted an onsite test during an evening mass using several of the manufacturer’s products. This led to the selection of the solution that has since been installed, comprising, three KV50 Vypers and a KK102 Kobra, all of which are powered by a KA24 amplifier.
Adjacent to one of the altar’s side columns, the Kobra was installed at a tilt, directed at nave level. A pair of the Vyers were setup on the side columns of the sanctuary, with the third installed beside the font. All of these speakers, being deployed in prominent locations around the church, were hidden inside perforated brass structures similar to the sanctuary’s lighting fixtures in retaining its aesthetic look.
Eight KZ12W Lyzards were also installed, distributed along the length of the aisle. These were surface mounted on the wall, powered by two KA 1-1 amplifiers that drove them in eight discrete channels. The Lyzards were supplied with a custom finish to blend in with the stone walls.
EQs for each input and output were included within the signal processing chain with a delay matrix, which the church can adjust depending upon the distances between the source and the loudspeaker.
Following the installation, the measured STI values were showing 0.55 in the main area and 0.5 in the aisle when the church was empty. This was attributed to careful design and signal processing.
‘Changing the system has been a significant improvement both in clarity and loudness,’ says a spokesperson from the Abbey. ‘And with the processing and the control possibilities, we can match coverage according to occupancy with no dead spots when fully occupied.’