Royal Oak Presbyterian Church Installs Tannoy VLS Series

by Frank Hammel
in News

Royal Oak Presbyterian Church Installs Tannoy VLS SeriesMARION, VA — For the Royal Oak Presbyterian Church, which was established in 1776 and now welcomes congregants for worship in a 450-capacity sanctuary built in 1923, independent audio designer/installer K.D. Forsha specified a system that includes Tannoy’s VLS passive column speaker arrays and Tannoy VS 10BP subs.

More details from Tannoy and TC Group Americas (

Established in 1776, Royal Oak Presbyterian Church is one of the oldest congregations in the United States. Its rich history and the traditions associated with it are an integral part of their worship, says Pastor Alan Gray, but, he adds: “We’re trying to merge our traditional services with new expressions of worship that are meaningful for the intergenerational nature of our congregation.”

To meet that requirement, audio designer/installer K.D. Forsha specified a system comprised of Tannoy’s new VLS passive column speaker arrays and Tannoy VS 10BP subs, thereby addressing the sonic challenges of the highly reverberant, roughly 450-capacity sanctuary, without detracting in any way from the aesthetics of the church treasured by its congregation.

Given the existing church was built in 1923, the acoustic challenges of the space were substantial. But, even with the sanctuary’s 30-foot high peaked ceilings, plaster walls and a large amount of beautiful, but reflective, custom woodwork, K.D. believed the VLS passive column arrays, which feature transducer technology adapted from Tannoy’s QFlex arrays and Focussed Asymmetrical Shaping Technology (FAST), would fit Royal Oak’s needs – and budget – perfectly.

The result is an audio system that will provide Royal Oak with a low profile, highly intelligible solution for the reinforcement of speech and a wide variety of live musical ensembles – from full electric praise bands and vocal groups to string ensembles – now, and for many years to come.

In total, K.D. deployed four Tannoy VLS 15s – two to cover the balcony and two to cover the main floor – and mounted a pair of VS 10BP Subwoofers discreetly on steps leading up to the pulpit for LF support throughout. “The VS 10BPs can sit sideways or long-ways, so I could mount them where they wouldn’t be in anybody’s way visually or physically,” K.D. says.

The compact profile of the VLS 15s and their ability to offer focused coverage in each of the upper and lower sanctuary zones also played into his choice. “Like the VS 10s, they can fit in a lot of places and they completely blend in with the wood-stained posts they’re mounted on. Also, the FOH position is in the balcony, so it was important the two zones equaled out, but I was able to use the free, EASE Focus software Tannoy had on their website, which is very sophisticated, to help determine ideal locations for the VLS 15s.”

Now installed, the combination of the VLS 15s and VS 10BPs provide substantial benefits for both listeners and those who are most often behind the microphones, which was key, K.D. adds. “The only acoustic treatment they have is what I call ‘standard, southern church acoustic treatment’ – people. Plus, the system needed very little EQ and I don’t have any issues with open mics. The preacher can actually walk right by them with his headset microphone on and we just don’t have a problem.

“I’ve used Tannoy many times, in all kinds of commercial venues, and I’ve been impressed with every speaker, every time.”

Based in Bristol, Tennessee, and founded in 2006, K.D. audio is a sole proprietorship that specializes in home theatre and house of worship installations.