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Bridgewater Church of the Brethren Goes from “Two Out of Ten to Ten Out of Ten” with New Danley Loudspeakers

BRIDGEWATER, VIRGINIA: The deep history of Bridgewater Church of the Brethren in Bridgewater, Virginia stretches back into the late 1700s, when the first Europeans migrated into the area. Centuries of branching and growth led to the construction of the church’s current sanctuary in 1998. The fan-shaped room seats approximately five hundred people and is open, inviting, and beautifully appointed. However, its existing sound reinforcement system (as old as the sanctuary itself) was broken and behind the times. The church’s property is on the campus of Bridgewater College, a facility that earlier in 2020 received a Danley upgrade for their chapel. A member of the church was very impressed and excited about bringing local integrator RTW Media, of Orville, Virginia, into Church of the Brethren to transform their old system. RTW replaced the previous system with a state-of-the-art Danley Sound Labs point source sound reinforcement system. Danley’s impeccable pattern control and clarity have taken Bridgewater Church of the Brethren from “two out of ten to ten out of ten,” in the words of RTW Media Logistics Manager Zack Guida.

“Bridgewater Church of the Brethren has a stunningly beautiful sanctuary with a 65-foot ceiling at its peak,” Guida explained. “They’re very into music and regularly bring notable Christian musicians in for services and concerts. However, their existing loudspeakers were only mid-grade when they went in over twenty years ago. They were flat sounding and threw energy all over the ceiling and walls. One driver was blown completely. However, every sound company they called to replace the old system would look way up at the existing cluster and say, ‘nope.’ Since they were positioned over the lip of the stage, there was no way to get up there except by scaffolding. We were the first company that would entertain the idea.”

He continued, “The walls are reflective and the room is pretty live. They wanted something that was custom-designed for the space, which we knew meant something that was really directional so that all the energy would be focused on the seats and the ears. Full-frequency, phase-coherent audio with impressive pattern control is Danley’s specialty. Because Danley offers so many choices for beam width, it was really just a matter of matching the right models to the specifics of their sanctuary.”

As it turns out, a beefy Danley SH96 flown directly above the stage covers over 70% of the seats with a 90deg by 60deg output pattern. It uses eleven drivers ingeniously coerced into phase coherence through a single horn using Tom Danley’s patented Synergy Horn technologies. A pair of Danley SM60F loudspeakers flank the SH96 to provide fill to either side. And that’s it! Simplicity contributes to fidelity!

Although Covid-19 has prevented congregants from taking in the new Danley sound reinforcement system, the technical staff at Bridgewater Church of the Brethren are abuzz with excitement over the new system’s capabilities. “It’s like they had a beater and now they’re driving a Ferrari,” Guida said. “The system has so much headroom and horsepower – it won’t break a sweat for a standard service. They’ve already run tests mic’ing instruments like flutes and brass that weren’t even reproducing through the old system. They soar through the Danleys! Things are so good that we’re already working on phase two. They’re considering Danley Nanos for choir monitors so that the church’s unusually-large choir can get the same Danley experience!”

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.