St. Clement of Rome Catholic Church has served as the spiritual bedrock of Des Peres, Missouri for over half a century. Today, over 5,000 parishioners call St. Clement home, and over 500 students attend its schools.
Like most mid-sized churches, the impact of its services relies on a well-functioning sound reinforcement system to deliver transparent, intelligible spoken word and emotionally compelling music. When St. Clement’s old sound system started failing, it called on local A/V integrator Tech Electronics to install a new system that would provide trouble-free service for years to come. Tech Electronics met that goal with a new headend comprised of an Ashly ne24.24M modular processor, three Ashly KLR 3200 amplifiers, and an Ashly FR-16 network fader remote control.
“The church had last updated its equipment over a dozen years ago,” explained Tony Badamo, systems specialist at Tech Electronics. “They don’t modify their setup very often, so when they do, they want to choose an integrator and equipment that will provide a stable system to carry them far into the future. The auto-mixers in the old system were starting to fail, as were some of the amplifiers.” Badamo wanted to try a complete Ashly system, based on its reputation for reliability and its competitive price point.
“The power you get per dollar with Ashly amplifiers is very efficient,” he added. “If you compare it with the other leading amplifier manufacturers out there, you’ll see it’s a big difference.”
All of the loudspeakers – which are arranged as a center cluster with a left-right complement – were in good shape, and Badamo left them in place. Only the rack equipment needed to be replaced. To accommodate the church’s CD player input and its many microphone inputs, he outfitted the modular Ashly ne24.24M processor with twelve analog inputs. Eight outputs handle all of the existing loudspeakers, including a 70-volt system for hallways and other areas outside the sanctuary, as well as a listening assistance system. Badamo easily configured one of the Ashly KLR 3200 amplifier channels to power the 70-volt system. The remaining channels power the house system.
Badamo was careful to give St. Clement Church enough control to meet its needs, but not so much control that curious fingers could wreck the setup. The Ashly FR-16 is a bank of sixteen faders plus a master that communicates with any Ashly processor via a simple network connection. Each fader’s effect is fully customizable, and Badamo gave the church simple volume control of each input, along with master volume control. Because the church was hoping for a “set it and forget it” setup, the Ashly FR-16 resides in the rack. Everything else is off limits. “I love that the volume knobs on the Ashly KLR amplifiers can be locked out,” Badamo said. “Especially in systems like this with multiple outputs, giving the user access to the volume knobs is a recipe for blown-up speakers!”