Is it really necessary to update a 15-year-old sound system?
The life of a sound system can extend well beyond 20 years, and I’ve seen systems 30 to 40 years old still in use and functioning quite well.
If you are working with a client who is thinking about upgrading the audio system in his church, here are the questions to ask:
1. Has the church programming changed (added a keyboard, drums, bass, etc.)?
2. Has the church added additional seating - rows of seats in the front or back?
3. Is the church experiencing intermittent problems or shall we say, surprise noises?
4. Has the expectation of the congregation changed?
5. What are the expectations of people who visit the church?
Between 1913 and 1920, Thomas Edison did more than 4000 “blind listening tests” to promote his Phonograph equipment and Diamond disc recordings. Edison would rent theaters and concert halls to do a comparison.
He would hire some of the prominent musicians of the day and have them behind a curtain. The musician would sing a song and then a recording would be played on the Phonograph.
Believe it or not the audience could not distinguish any difference between the two. In other words, they could not decipher if it was live or recorded. If you are like me you have to be saying - hold on! People had to hear the difference between a scratchy, frequency limited recording and a live person.
I guarantee if we took the exact same equipment and repeated the test today, the majority of people would easily be able to point out what was live and a phonograph recording.
Other than almost 100 years, what is the difference? Reference. What did people in the early 1900s have with which they could compare the recording?
I think you get the point: there are a number of great reasons a church should upgrade its audio system. How often should a system be updated? The church is overdue if it has been ignoring changes in programming, seating, and any potential issues with its current system. And every 10 years or so, it’s probably at least time to begin considering upgrading.