Cathedral: sound system appeal

By 25th November 2018News

we are installing a new sound system and are inviting contributions. Thank you!

Dear Parishioners
For these last 17 months I have been listening to your wishes, ideas, expectations
and suggestions on how to improve the Cathedral. After consultations and through
reflection and prayer, I decided on the priorities for a number of projects (both
URGENT and IMPORTANT) which need to be addressed and accomplished. And
there are several !
Today I am pleased to announce the first project: we shall shortly have A NEW
SOUND SYSTEM in the cathedral.
Many of you constantly complain about the poor and substandard quality of the
audio system in the Cathedral. It deprives many of you from hearing clearly the
proclamation of God’s Word in our liturgical celebrations. This makes this project a
priority. What is the point of attending Mass or other celebrations and not being
able to fully participate through not hearing properly and clearly the Word of life,
prayers and sermons?
I am greatly indebted to Mr Stephen Cummings who for several months
volunteered his services and committed himself to help us find the most suitable
and cost effective solution. It became obvious that it is no use trying to tamper with
a now old and worn-out system. After looking at a series of options, Stephen
presented for your consideration and recommended the system we are installing.
He even went to check and hear for himself the actual sound at the Cathedral in
Seville where an identical system has been installed.
This recommendation was approved by the Diocesan Committee for Property and
In the insert in the Cathedral Newsletter there is an informative presentation about
the new system by Mr Stephen Cummings and the estimated costs from the
company installing the system.
The new system and its installation will cost around £30,000. The work is planned
to start on Monday 26th November, and in to weeks time it should be operational.
Please consider contributing generously so that we can meet the cost of this
project. Your donation will help to make God’s Word clearly audible to all who
come to worship here.
There are several ways in which you can make a donation. You can place it in the
envelope provided and put it in the collection box at Sunday Masses. You can give
it personally to His Lordship the Bishop or myself. If you prefer, you can make a
direct bank transfer to the Cathedral Account on…
Gibraltar International Bank
Account Name – RTCC-Cathedral Administration a/c               Account Number 01076301
Sort Code 60-83-14
Every donation is welcome
Your donations are an offering to God to enhance our worship at the Cathedral.
Your donations are a a gift to all who need to hear God’s Word which enlightens
and motivates all our lives.May God bless you
Fr Mario Tong



– November 2108
It has been difficult to determine when the current sound system was installed at
the Cathedral. From what I can gather it would have been between 12 and 15 years
ago. Ad hoc alterations have been made over the years and some components have
not survived to date. It appears that only the speakers and the main power
amplifiers remain usable from the last renovation. A crucial component that
enabled the system to be adapted to the specific acoustics of the building is no
longer serviceable.
This is one of the reasons that the audibility is poor. To replace this alone, however
would not resolve the issue. The microphones have also been changed as required
over time and no longer match each other. Reliability is another concern especially
in respect of the two power amplifiers, which have given good service but are likely
not to last very much longer.
The proposed replacement therefore would serve to mitigate this inevitable
eventuality and will also bring to the Cathedral the latest technology developed
specifically for this environment.
The system being proposed has been developed by an Italian firm specifically in
order to address the difficult acoustics of most churches and similar buildings. The
Cathedral presents us with various challenges. It’s internal height, the number of
columns and the consequent “shadow” areas.
The proposed system tackles these issues by allowing each component of each
speaker column to be adjusted to suit its immediate surroundings. This allows for
the sound to be directed down to the congregation whilst avoiding unnecessary
reflection from walls columns and the ceiling. This does however, necessitate
speaker units on all the columns but allows the individual volume to be low and the
overall effect to be distinct and clear.
The speakers will be provided with their own individual power supplies, thus doing
away with the need for a common power amplifier. On the one hand this requires
additional work to be carried out to run power cables to the speakers but on the
plus side avoids a single point of failure. In other words the system would continue
operational if any one internal amplifiers fail.
The suppliers and installers are authorised by the manufacturers and will be
responsible for adjusting the system precisely to the Cathedrals acoustic. They have
great experience in this field and are easily contactable for any future adjustments
and maintenance. The system is capable of online access to authorised persons,
which allows also for ongoing remote adjustment whenever needed.
Stephen Cumming