A dozen Danley TH-115 horn-loaded,
weatherproofed subs sitting on top
of the press box brings the roar
of the crowds to the Liberty Bowl.
Memphis, TN (September 23, 2009)--The 60,000-seat Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium (LBMS) in Memphis recently got an audio upgrade consisting of a dozen Danley TH-115 horn-loaded subwoofers, replacing part of a system that has been in place and exposed to the elements since 1981.
David Pierce is in charge of "everything audio" at LBMS. An employee of Running Pony Productions, the company that holds the contract for the stadium, Pierce deals with in-house sound and broadcast feeds to radio and TV. "The high-end horns are fiberglass and are still working, but the woofers were literally in tatters," said Pierce. "There were simply no more places to screw, glue, or duct tape the things back together. Only a third of the original cabinets were even functioning at all!"
As the sound at LBMS was becoming progressively more anemic with every season, the demands placed on it were growing. Ambient noise from fans at the big games, including the Liberty Bowl and the Southern Heritage Classic, seemed to be increasing with every passing year. "It was a fine system when it was installed over a quarter of a century ago, but time and exposure was getting the better of it," said Pierce. "Lately, we were pushing it to the limits and it was coming up short, especially in the low-end!" As Pierce tells it, the city was reluctant to pay for a new sound system, but agreed to "part with enough money to get some good subs in time for our two biggest early season games."
The stadium hired Steven Durr Designs to come up with an effective, but low-cost, solution to its low-end woes. Durr included a request that the winning contractor actually build horn-loaded bass cabinets because their inherent efficiency would maximize "bang-for-buck" with limited city dollars. "But in a pre-bid meeting, none of the contractors wanted to build cabinets," explained Pierce. "We searched around and found that Danley was making truly weatherproof, horn-loaded subwoofers and that people were saying a lot of nice things about them. We arranged a demo, and that sealed the deal."
Twelve weatherproof Danley TH-115 subwoofers replaced the existing bass cabinets in the first week of September, just ahead of a big Labor Day weekend game between the University of Memphis and Ole Miss. "The sound system is booming now," reported Pierce. "Danley owner, Mike Hedden suggested that we might have gotten away with half as many boxes, but I knew he had never heard the roar of impassioned Tigers fans. But after hearing the new system in action in their game against Ole Miss, he might have been right. The whole thing pumped and bumped! We went from way-less-than-adequate to more-than-adequate. It feels great!"
Now that the most critical shortcomings have been addressed, the stadium is keen to put some sheen on the top-end as well. If all goes according to plan, the high-end will catch up with the low-end before the Liberty Bowl in December.
Danley Sound Labs