LITHIA, FLORIDA: Fishhawk Fellowship Church (FFC) brings a contemporary worship style to its 400-seat sanctuary and a welcoming attitude that has drawn together a devout community of worshipers from the Tampa suburb of Lithia, Florida. Like so many mid-sized churches, FFC went in for a “one size fits all” sound system many years ago that, predictably, would have been more truthfully described as a “doesn’t fit at all” sound system. FFC called on Christian Sound Installation (CSI), a Tampa-based AV design and installation firm to remedy their woes. CSI in turn called on a full complement of Danley Sound Labs loudspeakers, subwoofers, stage monitors, amplifiers, and DSP to deliver coverage that is uniform, audible-range fidelity that is musical, and bass that warms the soul.
“They were having all kinds of problems with the old system. It was a mess,” said Paul Garner, founder and president of
CSI. “The main issue was poor coverage. People in the front were blasted while people in the back couldn’t hear at all. Designing even coverage is important in any installation, but it is critical in a house of worship. If you can’t hear the message, you can’t receive the message! Apart from coverage, the system lacked the punch necessary for a contemporary service style. While they weren’t looking for a rock concert, they definitely wanted the sort of bass that you can feel in your chest.”
Garner first met the folks behind Danley Sound Labs at the recent InfoComm trade show and was immediately taken with their outlook – both spiritual and technical. Danley Sound Labs and CSI both describe the core of their businesses as ministries, helping to spread the word of God by a technical mastery of the very earthly laws of physics that govern how effectively a spoken or sung word reaches the ears via a modern sound reinforcement system. Not unlike the storied path that brought Danley Sound Labs into existence, Garner’s history positioned him perfectly to realize that mission. He spent his formative years as a traveling musician, transitioned to become a live sound engineer, enjoyed regular hours as an electrical contractor, and, in the last move before the birth of CSI, took on responsibilities as a general contractor.
The system that Garner designed is deceptively simple. Nine feet off center on either side of the stage, a Danley SH-100B integrated full-range and sub, oriented 20-degrees off-axis and tilted down 15-degrees, provides coverage to the first half of the room. Halfway back and identically positioned and oriented, a pair of Danley SH-100 full-range boxes cover the back half of the room. As part of the general upgrade, Garner replaced the stage monitors with a pair of Danley SH-100M, very-low profile wedges. FFC likes the Danley stage monitors so much that they are planning to replace their choir monitors with Danleys as well. Repurposed QSC amps provide power.
Contrary to the church’s expectations, Garner recommended placing the Danley TH-212 subwoofer in the center of the room. “Part of what made this installation particularly challenging was the fact that the ceiling is only fifteen feet high,” he said. “Because imaging of very low frequencies isn’t a consideration, I knew we could get more even coverage by putting the very low frequency source in the center of the room, rather than blasting the front row and merely tickling the back row.” Using the system’s Danley DSLP48 processor, the subwoofer is low-passed at 65 Hz and high-passed at 35 Hz, ensuring that its output is more felt than heard. A Danley DSLA 1.7k amplifier delivers 1,700 Watts to the sub. “It sounds phenomenal,” said Garner. “And I always point out that if you can get an amp to respond well to low end, it will do well with everything else.”
He continued: “Overall, the prescribed system generated the most uniform EASE model that I have ever seen. It was so good that it was really hard to believe. But when we fired it up, sure enough, there it was. I went around to about fifty points in the room, including corners and mid-ways, and there was no more than 2 dB of variation! In addition, I followed just a few minor EQ and filtering suggestions provided by Ivan Beaver, Danley’s engineering guru, and the system sounded natural and full.” Garner has already given the Danley DSLP48 an IP address so that he can make adjustments remotely over the Internet.
The staff and congregation at FFC are thrilled with how great the new system sounds. “Even at 75 dB, you still get that nice warm thump in your chest and the mids and highs still sound vibrant,” said Garner. “That’s saying something, because inferior sound systems start to flag at low volumes due to inefficiencies in their design.” Right now, CSI is working with FFC to provide a quote for a Danley system to be installed in a 200-seat overflow center.
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