CARROLLTON, GEORGIA: Carrollton High School in Carrollton, Georgia is an exemplary institution. It has earned the Georgia School of Excellence Award three times, and its innovative (and demonstrably effective) approach has been highlighted by U.S. News & World Report. Recognizing that its infrastructure is critical to its success, Carrollton High School recently undertook a $1.5 million renovation of its aging gymnasium. In addition to comprehensive structural work guided by Southern A&E (Austell, Georgia), the renovation included an all-new sound reinforcement system designed and installed by Performa Technologies (Millbrook, Alabama). To address the school's longstanding complaints about indistinct, unintelligible gymnasium sound, Performa President LaDon Findley specified Danley Sound Labs loudspeakers and subwoofers because of their remarkable pattern control and fidelity.
The gym seats approximately 1,750 students for basketball games, other sporting events, or assemblies. Although the school considered leaving the old gymnasium as it was and building an entirely new facility, it didn't have the real estate. "The economically sensible thing to do was to gut the old gym," said Findley. The overhaul included a new hardwood floor, new bleachers, new lighting, a new HVAC system, a new lobby, a new concessions area, and updated lockers and restrooms. "The sound system was critical," explained Findley. "The school had received innumerable complaints in the past about the terrible acoustics. It was a tremendous challenge to understand what the announcer was saying."
Part of the solution involved damping the room itself. The ceiling now supports Auralex ProBanners, which cut down noticeably on the room's otherwise lingering reverb. Although they considered treating the walls as well, Findley realized that Danley Sound Labs offered an effective, and ultimately more economical solution. "Two of the hallmarks of Danley's designs are well-defined pattern control and distortion-free reproduction at any volume," he said. "I knew we would be able to keep the direct energy off the walls and focused on the bleachers, which did away the need for costly wall treatments. Moreover, Danley's great fidelity directed at the bleachers would improve intelligibility in its own right."
In the center of the gymnasium, Performa Technologies installed four Danley SM-96 molded-horn, full-range loudspeakers. Two address the home-team bleachers and two address the visitor's side. To either side, an additional SM-96, paired with a Danley TH-MINI subwoofer, delivers stereo content to the larger home-team side. Eight Danley SH-MINIs provide delay coverage of the uppermost bleachers. A Yamaha IMX644 rack-mounted mixer gathers input from microphones and music playback devices and, via two Crestron touch-panel controllers, allows scene changes and output configurations appropriate for the room's multiple uses. A Danley DSLP48 processor provides loudspeaker and subwoofer conditioning. Crest amplifiers power the system. And lastly, a local RF transmitter provides output for the hearing impaired.
"Carrollton High School is jubilant about the new, intelligible sound system," reported Findley. "It's a complete turnaround." In addition, the school now has flat screen monitors placed throughout the atrium and concessions area so that fans won't miss a minute of the on-court action. A state-of-the-art scoreboard with video playback completes the upgrade from a rickety past to a well-tuned future.
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. www.danleysoundlabs.com