ATLANTA, GEORGIA: For the past fifteen years, the Infinite Energy Arena has served the greater Atlanta, Georgia area as a state-of-the-art venue for concerts, graduations, and sporting events of all types, from basketball to ice hockey to professional lacrosse. Depending on the nature of the event, the arena holds between 11,000 and 13,000 people. After its original sound reinforcement system fell out of date and beyond repair, the Infinite Energy Arena management chose AV integration firm Logic Systems Sound & Lighting, of St. Louis, Missouri, to install an extremely cost-effective Danley Sound Labs system. The Danley system reuses existing wiring & rigging and far exceeds the design criteria for fidelity and sound pressure level, all while simultaneously slashing the system’s energy budget in half.
“The old system relied on obsolete technology and discontinued products,” explained Chip Self, president of Logic Systems Sound & Lighting. “Components were failing and there was no way to repair them. The arena needed a new sound reinforcement system. Instead of hiring someone to design and spec a system for bid, the management team took a different approach. They specified the performance criteria – such as maximum SPL, maximum SPL variation from seat to seat, frequency response, and intelligibility – and then allowed the integrators to bid on design/installs that would meet those criteria. In an arena, a lot of the money goes to rigging and pulling speaker cable – stuff that no one cares about. But those are also the components that don’t go bad… in fact, they’ll probably outlast us! Since we could reuse any components from the old system that were still working, we designed a Danley system that could use those very rigging points.”
He continued, “By reusing the existing rigging and cable, we saved a week of work and expense. It also gave us an edge because there were no existing drawings of the old system. Anyone who wasn’t using Danley either had to go with mono-amped boxes that couldn’t meet the SPL requirements, or they had to gamble on the existence of speaker wire to support bi- or tri-amped loudspeakers. If they lost that gamble, they’d lose big. In contrast, we had a safe bet: since there was already an existing loudspeaker at each rigging point, it was guaranteed we would have the cable needed for Danley’s passive, internal-crossover boxes. No other loudspeaker manufacturer that I’m aware of makes a passive, internal-crossover box that comes close to Danley’s output.”
Logic Systems Sound & Lighting won the bid with a system that uses 26 Danley SH96 full-range loudspeakers, eight Danley TH118 subwoofers, and nine 4-channel Danley DNA 20k4 Pro amplifiers with integrated on-board processing. Since the old system was distributed, the new Danley system is distributed as well, with each of the SH96s covering its own section of seating. “Danley offers so many different loudspeakers with so many different output patterns that it was easy to model the room and then find the pattern that fit it perfectly,” Self said. “Together, with the presets that are pre-loaded into the Danley DNA amplifiers, it was easy to basically plug them in, turn them on, and have great sound. In fact, the frequency response and the headroom of the Danley system go way beyond what the management was hoping for in the criteria.” Four clusters of two subwoofers each round out the low end from the corners of the arena. A QSC Q-Sys front end makes it easy for the staff to operate.
“They love the new system – especially the extra headroom and low-end extension,” Self said. “They were only hoping for something adequate, something only as good as the old system. We far exceeded that with an extremely affordable system. In addition, we managed to remove an entire amp rack; the Danley DNA amps deliver 5000W per channel and manage to pack four channels into a two-RU box. All told, the new Danley system not only exceeds the performance expectations, it does so on only half the energy of the old system. In addition, we gave them a few nice interface features. For example, the hockey announcer likes to walk through the stands and interview people. Now, it’s easy for the engineer to track his movement and omit the mic from whatever zone he’s standing in, eliminating the threat of feedback.”
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.