ORMOND BEACH, FLORIDA – MARCH 2013: Over twenty years ago, the city of Ormond Beach, Florida purchased an old church building and had it retrofitted. In 1991, the gorgeous space opened as the Ormond Beach Performing Arts Center, with capacity for 600 in a fan-shaped auditorium. Today, it hosts national, regional, and local musicians, theatrical troupes, dancers, and other performing artists, as well as school groups, seminars, and other events. Since veteran pro audio designer and engineer Marc Schwartz became the center’s director several years ago, he longed to elevate the room’s sound reinforcement capabilities to equal its stellar acoustics. Recently, that wish came true as local integration firm and new Danley dealer Protechs installed a system comprised of Danley Sound Labs loudspeakers and subwoofers. Schwartz designed the system with input from Danley’s application engineers.
Schwartz owned his own sound production company for decades before settling down to direct the Performing Arts Center. “I was a regular on Pro Sound Web, and that’s where I first heard about Danley Sound Labs,” he explained. “Of course, I knew about Tom Danley through his ServoDrive subwoofer technology, which was a very advanced idea. I was impressed by that sort of innovative engineering. Then I heard that he and Mike Hedden got together to form Danley Sound Labs and would be introducing a range of new designs. I was intrigued, but I didn’t have the opportunity to hear Danley loudspeakers or subwoofers for a while.”
It was a few years later that Schwartz attended InfoComm with his supervisor from the city’s parks and recreation department. “Danley had a demo room that we checked out,” he said. “Of course it was a convention room, which was terrible, acoustically-speaking. Nevertheless, when they fired up, my supervisor turned to me and said, ‘we need some of these for the Performing Arts Center.’ I couldn’t have agreed more. What was really impressive was the pattern control – I felt like I was listening only to the loudspeakers; the room was out of the equation.”
In anticipation of the old sound reinforcement system’s eventual replacement, Schwartz had the room modeled in EASE five years ago. That proved useful because it allowed him to pick the ideal coverage patterns from Danley’s now-extensive catalog, patterns that would allow him to provide uniform coverage over the seating area without energizing the walls. Danley’s application engineers assisted, directing him to the right models and helping to keep the project on budget.
Most of the seating is covered by a stereo pair of Danley SH-60s, which are 60-degree versions of Danley’s flagship SH-50. Flanking them are two single-fifteen Danley TH-115 subwoofers, which Schwartz asserts deliver as much bass as most other manufacturer’s double-eighteens, but with far less distortion. Finally, two Danley SH-100s occupy the outside positions to provide front- and side-fill. An existing 40-channel Soundcraft console provides input to the system, and new QSC and Crown amplifiers power it.
A basic DBX unit handles straightforward processing. “We only really needed the processor to filter out subharmonic content for the subs,” explained Joseph Carpenter, principal at Protechs. “It’s a great sounding room by itself, and the Danley’s are naturally well-balanced. Of course, we’re still tweaking things here and there, but it doesn’t take much.”
Given the Ormond Beach Performing Arts Center’s busy schedule, Carpenter took advantage of the MLK holiday weekend to quickly pull the old system out and put the new system in. “I’m accustomed to having happy clients,” he said, “but this one’s special. Marc is a true audiophile, and he was certain that Danley was the way go. Indeed, the system sounds fantastic!” As a bonus, Carpenter gets to use the new system from time to time when the center hires him as a guest engineer.
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Danley Sound Labs is the exclusive home of Tom Danley, one of the most innovative loudspeaker designers in the industry today and recognized worldwide as a pioneer for "outside the box" thinking in professional audio technology.