AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS: Doka nightclub inhabits the basement of the colorful and eclectic Volkshotel in southeast Amsterdam, Netherlands. With a maximum capacity of two-hundred festive souls, Doka set out from the beginning to be a place where real music lovers – even real sound lovers – could get together and dive deep into amazing tracks delivered by Amsterdam’s most innovative DJs. Its website observes that Doka is the place where “listeners become dancers and vice versa.” To meet that mission with something more nuanced than the conventional high-volume, high-distortion club PA, Doka hired pro audio distribution and integration company Firm4 to install the unconventional loudspeaker and subwoofer designs of maverick acoustician Tom Danley. Four Danley SH50 full-range loudspeakers and two Danley TH118 subwoofers give Doka’s patrons the kind of transcendent experience worthy of such an underground legend.
“The old system wasn’t meeting the high standards that Kerwin Groot, Doka’s chief sound engineer and Julian Chaptal, the club’s producer and programmer expected,” explained Robert Pigeaud, representative of Firm4. “Kerwin reached out to us because he had heard Danley systems at Oosterbar and Marktkantine and at regional festivals. He was impressed by the Danley fidelity and overall performance. As part of our due diligence, we gave them several other options and performed a demo at Doka. The demo consisted of a pair of Danley SM60F full-range loudspeakers and a Danley TH118 subwoofer up against other ‘A-list’ brands. Within five minutes, everybody involved was convinced that Danley was undoubtedly the way to go.”
The new system at Doka centers on four of Danley’s flagship SH50s. They are arranged two per side, close-packed. Danley’s patented point-source designs couple perfectly, which means Doka gets a stereo field with perfect phase coherence on each side and stunning depth and detail of the stereo imaging. Two Danley TH118 subwoofers round out the low end with undistorted bass that has to be heard to be fully understood. Whereas other subwoofer manufacturers let a surprisingly large amount of distortion pass in order to boost volume, Danley’s patented subwoofer designs break that tradeoff. Doka’s TH118s are loud and honest. Bass notes play at their intended frequency, which makes the entire sonic picture coherent and stunning.
One four-channel MC2 Audio Delta DSP 80 powers the Danley SH50s, and one four-channel MC2 Audio Delta DSP 100 powers the Danley TH118s. The Delta DSP 80 provides the modest front-end processing and loudspeaker conditioning required for the system. The DJ booth is state-of-the-art, starting with a hydraulically height-adjusted work surface. A Pioneer CDJ2000NXS2 digital media system joins a pair of Technics SL1210 mk2 turntables via an Alpha Recordings AR9000 DJ mixer. A vintage Roland effects unit and a pair of Avalon VT747 tube “channel strips” give the front end an analog soul worthy of the Danley loudspeakers and subwoofers.
“Danley builds products with unmatched sound quality,” Pigeaud said. “The Danley SH50 specifically provides great fidelity and pattern control that extends down to surprisingly low frequencies. Within the coverage angle, the magnitude and phase response are perfectly uniform. Really, the Danley boxes are like high-volume studio monitors, which is exactly what Doka was after. They love it! We even sold two new systems to people who visited Doka and were blown away by its Danley sound system!”
ABOUT DANLEY SOUND LABS 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.