ATLANTA, GEORGIA - NOVEMBER 2008: Up-and-coming pop/punk powerhouse All Time Low have played to packed houses night after night on their nationwide headlining tour. Nowhere did things start out more sketchy, but end more rocking, than a recent performance at Atlanta's Masquerade, a club that draws the crowds despite a woefully outdated and semi-functional sound system. With the help of Danley Sound Labs engineer, Ivan Beaver, the band's FOH engineer Evan Kirkendall, owner of Harford Sound, located in Abington, Maryland, replaced the Masquerade's crusty horns and tattered woofers with a stack of Danley loudspeakers and subwoofers, led by eight of Danley's new powerhouse full-range SH-46s. Despite prospects to the contrary, All Time Low rocked the Masquerade with clarity, bass, and hit-you-in-the-chest punch that left the club's seasoned staff uttering rivers of awe-inspired and artfully crafted expletives.
"I was at this venue back in April of this year and did not have a very pleasant experience at all," stated Kirkendall. "Consultant Phillip Graham and Ivan also attended that show, and they both shared my disappointment in the house system. It sounded thin, harsh and old. It lacked the get-up-and-go required to put on a real rock show in the 21st century."
This time around, Beaver along with another Danley employee, Dale Skrobot, helped Kirkendall with the sound. It was an opportunity to show what a Danley system could do in a raucous club and, perhaps more importantly, an opportunity to help his friend. Beaver brought eight Danley SH-46s and two SH-50s for front fill. Unlike the flagship SH-50, the SH-46 is new to Danley's lineup. The SH-46 delivers noticeably more output than its sibling with a modest trade-off in frequency range. The SH-46 measures 58Hz to 16kHz, whereas the SH-50 measures 50Hz to 18kHz. With a 40 x 60-degree dispersion pattern, the SH-46 may be operated vertically or horizontally and either alone or in an array.
To provide a low-end worthy of All Time Low Zack Merrick's Fender J-Bass, and Rian Dawson's kick drum of death, Beaver brought six Danley TH-115 and four of the Danley new prototype subs currently dubbed "Hot Rods." The Hot Rod is a current Danley work-in-progress, and, while not ready for "prime-time" by Danley's standards, proved more than up to snuff by anyone else's.
"Danley has always had the reputation of building great 'sounding' boxes, and their subs have always had huge low-end but they're not well-known for delivering tons of output with their full range products," remarked Kirkendall. "The SH-46 is really Danley's answer to that perception. It delivers Danley's characteristic undistorted sound with really loud output. To me, the SH-46 is more of a "rock n' roll" type box compared to other Danley boxes. The Hot Rods are also very impressive subs. They are solid to 30Hz and really crank out the lows."
Beaver also brought the power and processing so that they could completely avoid anything supplied by the house. Danley Sound Labs DSLA 6.5k amps handled the bulk of the work supplemented by a few amps from Yamaha and Crown and a Danley 4x8 DSP provided the moderate processing needed to make the system shine.
"Truth in advertising is a good thing," noted Graham, who was given the honor of tuning the system while Beaver chased down all the sorts of things one chases down in such a "seat-of-your-pants" situation and who, incidentally, reported that the Danley subs were setting off car alarms outside the club. "Tom Danley and Ivan say the SH-46 is over 6dB louder than the SH-50, but that it loses a little over 14kHz, and that is exactly what it does. But since it's easy to include a shelf for the high frequencies in the processing, this isn't a big deal. I would say that the SH-46 isn't as buttery smooth as its older brother, but any compromises are well worth the generous increase in output. Any "rock n' roll" concerns with the SH-50 are not a problem with the SH-46."
As it turned out, everyone had a great night except for Beaver and Skrobot. "Ivan and Dale spent most of the night holding the speakers in place," explained Kirkendall. "Another 'feature' of the Masquerade is its floor, which bends and sways when the kids start jumping. It's wooden and on the second story of an old mill building. Despite being strapped down as tightly as humanly possible, the stacks were still swaying. All that being said, in my opinion, this was one of Masquerade's best concerts in a long time!"
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