Auckland, New Zealand | April, 2008 - System integrator Magness Sound has specified a Renkus-Heinz Iconyx loudspeaker system to bring the sound in St Patrick’s Cathedral in Auckland up to 21st century standards – both acoustically and aesthetically.
The Cathedral was officially opened 160 years ago (in 1848) at a cost of £1387 and was the first Cathedral church in New Zealand. After many years of faithful service to the community, it was in need of extensive conservation and restoration works. This process was completed late in 2007 and part of the refurbishment was a new sound system.
Due to his experience, and a long standing relationship with the Parish and its AV requirements, Peter Magness of Magness Sound was asked to provide a solution for what was always going to be a challenging environment for a sound system - both aesthetically and acoustically. From the start, Peter knew that tightly controlled speakers would be the only viable option. Particular attention would need to be paid to the "look" of the speakers so that they would blend in with the Cathedral’s beautifully restored architecture.
Consultant Malcolm Hogg from Creative Input was then commissioned to review column speaker options and, after a discussion with Marcel Reinen from Audio Telex Auckland, began researching Renkus-Heinz Iconyx Steerable Arrays. This in turn led to an on-site demonstration against another loudspeaker option.

With its high quality performance and beam steering capability, which allowed the loudspeakers to be positioned in keeping with the architecture of the Cathedral, the Iconyx system won and was selected for the project.
The final design was put together in consultation with Thomas Kelly (Audio Telex Technical Sales and Support) and a full EASE model and Renkus-Heinz BeamWare plots were produced to show predicted coverage and intelligibility of the system.
Iconyx loudspeakers’ array of 4" co-axial drivers, each with a dedicated amplifier and DSP, with beam steering by software control, allows the loudspeaker to be mounted flush against a wall, while audio can be focused exactly where required, avoiding reflections off the back wall, balcony ledges and other hard surfaces. The line array principle in its design provides a high level of low frequency pattern control, greatly enhancing intelligibility in the often difficult low-mid area of the frequency spectrum. This was of particular importance at St Patrick’s which has a reverb time of 4 seconds at 250Hz.
Another ‘key benefit of the Iconyx solution is the adjustable focal point, which means the speakers can physically be mounted higher or lower than conventional speakers, to suit the room aesthetics, with the vertical beam center of the audio signal adjustable via software.
Given the Cathedral’s architectural constraints – the ‘Dado line’ where timber panelling meets the walls – this was another important point as conventional tapered array columns simply could not have been mounted where needed. The Iconyx, using beam steering, could be mounted as high as 2.7m from the floor to the bottom of the speaker without compromising on performance.

Magness Sound began installation of the system in late 2007 with programming assistance from Thomas Kelly and Malcolm Hogg. The Cathedral sound system received its full commissioning early this year with all parties happy with the result.
The system includes two Iconyx IC16 (16 driver steerable arrays) for the main Nave area and a pair of Iconyx IC8 (8 driver steerable arrays) for the Transept areas. The distance from the Nave speakers to the back wall is 23m and this is covered, without the need for delay speakers, by just two Iconyx IC16’s.
System processing and routing is via a MediaMatrix NION n3 configured for 24 inputs and 8 outputs. MediaMatrix XControl wall panels provide simple adjustment of levels from two locations within the Cathedral. The Cathedral also features an Ampetronic Induction Loop system with an ILD500 loop amplifier for the Nave area and a second ILD500 for the Transepts. Prior to installation, the coverage of the Ampetronic system was predicted via Ampetronic’s proprietary simulation software.
With up to 2,000 people attending Masses on a Sunday and the same again during the week, the need for a quality sound system was paramount. The staff at the Cathedral are very pleased with the performance of Iconyx, a feeling supported by the congregation, many of whom have commented favourably on the clarity of the new system.