Saddleback Church Complex Builds a Sound Foundation with QSC

Massive Main Campus and Various Satellite Locations Rely on KW Series Loudspeakers 05/01/2011

Lake Forest, CA – ( May 2011) Saddleback Church recently installed a number of QSC KW Series Active Loudspeakers in their sprawling main campus here and throughout their various other satellite church locations in Southern California in towns such as Orange, Huntington Beach, and Anaheim.

Each week at Saddleback, more than 30,000 parishioners attend the massive live church service at the main campus, while 800 to 1,200 attendees at each of the regional satellite campuses participate via broadcast at their locations. At Saddleback’s Lake Forest campus, which sprawls across more than 140 acres, 47 active P.A. systems are utilized throughout, in rooms ranging in size from a 3,800-seat main worship center to more intimate 50-seat rooms for private events and small group studies.

The Tech Arts Team at Saddleback produces more than 150 events per week, including sermons, services, concerts, conferences, movies, and instructional video. Often, three or four of them occur simultaneously, each requiring varying degrees of audio support. To meet this need, Saddleback sought out a new audio solution that met its criteria for versatility, portability, durability and overall sonic performance.

The Saddleback audio team ultimately decided on the QSC KW Series active loudspeaker system. Engineered to represent a next evolutionary next step in wood enclosure loudspeakers, the KW Series features all the electronic attributes of the company’s popular K Series, in a smaller and lighter cabinet than other wood enclosure models.

“The KW Series has a very good combination of attributes blended in. They have a warm sound and powerful output,” says Eric Kibbe, Saddleback Director of Audio Services. “At 1,000 watts of power, these loudspeakers also have enough headroom to handle everything from a typical sermon to a full-on rock performance.”

For this year’s Easter Sunrise Service, Saddleback deployed a system of K and KW loudspeakers in addressing the unique challenge of providing 360-degree audio coverage to over 2,500 attendees, outdoors, with the pastor and band located on a hill above the crowd.

“Previously for this Easter Service we used to bring in extra rental gear, which required lots of extra effort and expense,” explains Kibbe. “This year we put together our own QSC-based system with the K Series.” The QSC system consisted of K10s and KSubs around the back of the hill, filling out the rest of the circumference with KW153s, KW152s, and KW181 subwoofers.

“We set up the QSC system much more quickly than with previous systems - probably in about a quarter of the time,” says Kibbe, “And the QSC system provided much better coverage and audio quality. It was a huge success in terms of simplicity and sonic superiority.”

The sonic landscape at Saddleback is always changing, as evidenced by a recent scenario faced by Kibbe and the team. With only a few weeks’ notice, they needed to furnish complete audio systems for two new remote campuses serving as venues for youth performances.

“Our team sent in a huge order for KWs to QSC on very short notice,” says Kibbe. “And I kid you not, in just four days we had all of the equipment here, ready for install. QSC is just so responsive, so fast – something so appreciated in a professional situation. QSC has just been stellar at taking care of us.”