Opus 1 employs a total of 76 Def Tech speakers. The 170-plus organ stops are produced by a combination of sixty BP 10B and eight BP 30 towers, along with eight StudioMonitor 450s dedicated to a trumpet stop so powerful that a single note can be clearly heard over the full organ. Called the Trompette des Tours (Trumpet of the Towers), this commanding stop commemorates the fallen World Trade Center.
Six massive, custom-designed subwoofers handle all frequencies from 16 to 50 Hz. One Crest Audio amplifier and 38 Carver Pro amps power the system, delivering a total of 16,200 watts. The computers, sound cards, and amps are installed in professional rack systems in an environmentally controlled room.
As any home theater enthusiast knows, placing six speakers can be a challenge. How about finding the right locations for 82?! Still, with the removal of all 9,000 damaged pipes from Trinity's old organ, space was available in the now empty chambers on the chancel end, near the altar, with additional rows of tower speakers placed on three levels in the large rear gallery chamber behind the choir loft.
(60) Definitive Technology BP 10B bipolar towers
(8) Definitive Technology BP 30 bipolar towers
(8) Definitive Technology StudioMonitor 450
(6) Custom-made subwoofers (to be replaced with Definitive Technology SuperCube Trinity Signature subs)
During my visit, I was treated to a mini-concert by the brilliantly gifted Cameron Carpenter, who didn't so much play the organ as become one with it. When I stood "onstage" next to the organ console, the effect was overwhelming. As Carpenter's hands and feet flew maniacally over keys, drawknobs, and pedals, sounds erupted in response from all around - especially the ultra-powerful Trompette des Tours, which heralds unmistakably from the rear balcony. When I moved several pews back into the church, the sounds from the front and rear blended beautifully, cocooning me in a wonderful, warm glow of music. What I heard, with all the speakers singing at once, was perhaps the truest definition of surround sound.
Both Marshall and Ogletree know a little something about surround sound at home, too, where they enjoy their own Definitive Technology systems. Marshall's setup includes five BP10 speakers and one SuperCube Trinity Signature sub, which he uses mostly for listening to - what else? - organ music. Ogletree, who actually sold stereo gear when he was in high school and spent his earnings to buy high-end equipment, uses Mythos speakers and a SuperCube II sub.
Quipped Marshall, "Dave's young boys are aficionados of The Polar Express. You would swear his furnace was exploding or something when that train pulls in!"
As wowed as everyone at Trinity has been by the Opus 1, it was originally intended as merely an interim solution until another pipe organ could be commissioned. But now that the Trinity vestry has lived with the organ for 4 years, they've voted to make it a permanent feature of the church - a decision Dr. Burdick couldn't be more pleased with. "I am more than happy to keep the Opus 1 and continue developing it," he says. "It is so close to perfect. It is a real musical instrument."
John Sciacca began his career as a custom installer in 1998 at Custom Theater and Audio in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, where he still works. He's still trying to figure out how to get the members of his family to turn the lights off when they're actually in the house, let alone from hundreds of miles away.
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