First Baptist Church, Simpsonville, SC

Small Size, Big Sound Make Bag End Subwoofers Right for This Sanctuary

Bag End Subwoofers installed in First Baptist Church, Simpsonville, SCEven in tight under stage areas, Bag End subwoofers still produce robust sound. The huge, high-ceiling 1,800-seat main sanctuary of the First Baptist Church in Simpsonville, South Carolina presented a challenge common to many church audio system installations. The sound produced needed to fill the very large space, but the speakers were to be hidden from view, to avoid being a distraction to the congregation during services or to audiences in other presentations.
First Baptist hosts both traditional and contemporary services each Sunday, and the system had to complement both the organ and choir music of a traditional service and the contemporary service’s modern band instrumentation. The church also asked for prominent support of the congregation’s participation in services, and natural acoustical treatment of the building’s electronic organ.
To address these challenges and complete the installation, the church partnered with Design 2020, an experienced consultant in audio, video, lighting and acoustical, and installer MusiCraft Audio & Video, a full-service audio, video and control systems company with an emphasis on design-build systems and experience installing similar systems in many churches.
To carry the bass in this system, MusiCraft specified 4 Bag End D18E-AD dual 18-inch subwoofers.
“The Bag End subwoofers were specified because of their size and their performance,” states MusiCraft project manager David Clyburn. “These subs needed to physically fit into tight space beneath the stage, yet still give a big bass sound.”
Main speakers and other elements in the new audio system faced similar challenges. They were also installed in tight spaces, including two catwalks over the sanctuary, and concealed behind fabric grills and scrims.
“But everyone––the church, Design 2020 and the contractors––was thrilled by the end result and especially by the bass energy and sonic accuracy of the subwoofers.”
The four Bag End D18E-AD dual 18-inch subwoofers each measure only 15 inches high by 38 inches wide and 30 inches deep. They offer frequency response from 8 Hz to 95 Hz +/-3 dB, and sensitivity of 100 dB SPL @ 80 Hz.
The completed system also includes video presentation capability and theatrical lighting that is used to light both the traditional and contemporary services from catwalks and with over-stage lighting.
The First Baptist Church was so satisfied with the new audio system, in fact, that it nominated MusiCraft for a WFX Solomon Award, given to honor audio installations in churches. MusiCraft won the 2008 award for the installation.

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