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LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – FEBRUARY 2010: After spending more than a decade with the drib-drab sounds of passionless loudspeakers clamped to the rafters, the students and faculty at Eldorado High School in Las Vegas were happy to hear that the school district had approved an audio retrofit for their gymnasium – the site not only of sporting events, but also of speeches and pep rallies. The new system, which centers on Danley SH-100 full-range loudspeakers and a muscular TH-115 subwoofer, catapults the school from the technological dark ages to the bold new future of intelligibility, fidelity, and thump that few schools have yet to enter. And at a better value than few would imagine.

Robert Sims, systems engineer at Las Vegas-based Communication Electronic Systems (CES), designed and installed the new eight-ohm system as an adjunct to the company’s longstanding expertise in low-voltage systems – from phones to fire alarms

to distributed audio. He used six Danley SH-100 full-range loudspeakers, with 100-degree beam widths, to cover the court and the bleachers, using proximity and the Haas Effect to simultaneously deliver clarity and imaging. With the Danley TH-115 subwoofer time-aligned to the image-source speakers, the system communicates low-end with authority.

Two of the SH-100s reside above center-court, providing both the primary coverage for the court itself and the image-source for the entire system. With bleachers on both sides of the court, Sims added two SH-100s per side in front of the bleachers. The forward clusters are delayed a few milliseconds behind the center cluster so that the listeners perceive the image at center-court, but with volume and clarity conveyed by the nearer speakers. The Danley TH-115 subwoofer, also located center-court, is time-aligned to the center cluster. The low-end responses on all the SH-100s are rolled off slightly so that all the bass in the room originates just with the TH-115, just at one location. That provides tremendous clarity for speech, while still delivering a musical response that is anything but anemic.

“I had heard a lot about Danley loudspeakers, but this was my first project that involved them,” said Sims. “I read all the published specs, and thought, as I do with all specs, that they had some loose affiliation with reality. But I really needed to hear things for myself. It turns out that the Danley numbers hold up! I was especially amazed to hear the drop-off outside the prescribed beam-width. That tight pattern control keeps a lot of energy off the walls so that the system sounds more like an auditorium than a gymnasium. The low end power of the TH-115 sub really adds a new dimension to pep rallies, where the kids like to crank hip-hop and other bass-heavy music.”

Surprisingly, the high-fidelity Danley system had a lower price tag than similar designs involving other manufacturers allowing funds for higher quality components and added wireless gear at the head-end, according to Sims. Because they are highly efficient, Sims was able to bring the overall number of units down without sacrificing coverage or SPL. Perhaps more importantly, Danley loudspeakers require only one amp channel per speaker (no bi- or tri-amplification), so that he was able to keep the number of QSC amps to a minimum, with a modest Biamp Nexia process to kick it all off. A Rane mixer provides a simple user interface.

With the new school year in full swing, Eldorado faculty are capitalizing on the upgrade to reinvigorate school spirit, and the students are capitalizing on the 1/8-inch iPod jack and bumping bass CES provided to make that school spirit their own!

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.

PHOTO CAPTION School spirit soars at Las Vegas’ Eldorado High School as students and guests enjoy the intelligibility and musicality of the Danley Sound Labs speakers installed by Communication Electronic Systems (CES) in the new gym audio retrofit.