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Author Topic: Danley Sound Labs SM96 1st gig  (Read 18510 times)

John Halliburton

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Danley Sound Labs SM96 1st gig
« on: December 13, 2011, 09:29:43 am »

I managed to be the first user of a pair of these from TC Furlong here in the Chicago area.  The gig was last Saturday in the Winter Garden Room on the 9th floor of the Harold Washington Library-a large "Plus" shape atrium space full of marble floors, open steel ceiling framing lots of glass in lovely arc shapes focusing sound back down all over the place.  The walls have details that break up the flat surface areas, but not enough, and up towards the ceiling it gets very flat and reflective. 
No rack FX needed. ;>)

The stage was 16'x12'x 24", with a 12' high lightweight fabric scrim hanging at the back.  Setup was back into one of the ends of the "plus" sign footprint of the floor.  I don't want to give the wrong impression of the room, it's closer to square really.

The SM96's were mounted on a pair of Ultimate stands off the front corners of the stage, about 7' high to the bottoms of the cabinets.  I had a pair of JTR Growler subs on together on the floor in front of the stage.  They also were a nice monitor stand for the center stage wedge-one of four of the BMS coaxial units.

Coverage worked out very well for this set up.  The center of the room was open for dancing, and seating around the area.

In spite of the reverb and slap, the SM96's sound quality was undeniable.  The band was Billy Branch and the Sons of the Blues, a three time Grammy nominated group, and they had a guest sax player and a guest female vocalist. 

One thing I noted is how things don't disappear in the mix-a vocalist or instrument sometimes drops level or changes timbre and you lose them on some systems-it doesn't happen on these.  The female vocalist, while having a great voice, had a bit too much "mic technique", so I would have to adjust her levels to taste and the mix, but she could always be heard AND understood.  The sax player moved in and out a lot depending on what he was doing, and it worked beautifully in the house mix-you could always hear him easily in the mix, soft or soloing.

Bleed from FOH around to the stage is very minimal-with a horn mouth of 20"x30", the SM96's have great pattern control, especially for such a relatively small cabinet.  At 73lbs., it should be easy enough for most folks to get up on a basic quality stand like the Ultimates.

As one of the guys at Furlong pointed out, having a lift or tall stand of some kind(say the Penn Elcom SAS-4M-36) that would allow downward aiming of the boxes from higher up would be more desireable in this room, minimizing more sound energy from slapping against the upper walls.  I'm afraid I don't see any CLF files on the 96 at the Danley web site yet.

At 98db sens./2.83v/full space, and 1600watt program amp rating(I was using a PLX3602 in stereo, so roughly half of what I could have used), the SM96 can get pretty loud-I know I was not even close at this gig.  I'm looking forward to getting them into the 650 seat theater space I do a lot of work at, and putting the JTR Orbit Shifers under them.

Attached is a very lousy cell phone picture, and you can hopefully make out the SM96 in the upper left on the stand.  I was about 15' away looking at the stage.

Best regards,

John
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John Halliburton

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Re: Danley Sound Labs SM96 1st gig
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2011, 09:39:21 am »

I did take a photo of one of the SM96's sitting on my workbench, with a cordless drill for scale.

Best regards,

John
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Weogo Reed

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Re: Danley Sound Labs SM96 1st gig
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2012, 07:36:33 pm »

Hi John,

Just now found this review, thanks!

I would find the SM60F and SM96 boxes useful for several gigs I do...

Good health,  Weogo


I did take a photo of one of the SM96's sitting on my workbench, with a cordless drill for scale.

Best regards,

John
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John Halliburton

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Re: Danley Sound Labs SM96 1st gig
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2012, 09:47:59 pm »

Hi John,

Just now found this review, thanks!

I would find the SM60F and SM96 boxes useful for several gigs I do...

Good health,  Weogo

Weogo,

Just found your response. I agree, I'm looking forward to using these more, and hopefully buying a pair this year.

Best regards,

John
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Rick Powell

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Re: Danley Sound Labs SM96 1st gig
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2012, 02:27:00 pm »

Weogo,

Just found your response. I agree, I'm looking forward to using these more, and hopefully buying a pair this year.

Best regards,

John

I tried the SH50 (beautiful sounding box but I fear having to hoist 135 lb. in a one man op) and considered the SM60 or 96 (sounded great in your app, but would it cut the mustard with a full on rock band at a small outdoor show?).  I am waiting for the SM80 12" coax to come out, which will supposedly fill the "dB" void between the SM 60/96 series and the SH50/60/46 series.  It might actually be as loud or louder than the SH50 from what I am told, but by sacrificing sub-100Hz performance - I always use subs anyway, so no big deal.
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John Halliburton

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Re: Danley Sound Labs SM96 1st gig
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2012, 09:36:04 am »

I tried the SH50 (beautiful sounding box but I fear having to hoist 135 lb. in a one man op) and considered the SM60 or 96 (sounded great in your app, but would it cut the mustard with a full on rock band at a small outdoor show?).  I am waiting for the SM80 12" coax to come out, which will supposedly fill the "dB" void between the SM 60/96 series and the SH50/60/46 series.  It might actually be as loud or louder than the SH50 from what I am told, but by sacrificing sub-100Hz performance - I always use subs anyway, so no big deal.

I think you could do rock shows up to a point, and with subs.  The SM96 is pretty loud, puts more articulate full range sound in the pattern-certainly better than the typical two way trap up on sticks.

As always, it depends.

Attached is a shot of a show handled by Pinnacle Audio up in central Wisconsin.  Matt, the owner, has a pair of SM60's, which you can hopefully just make out up on stands on either side of the stage.  He's used this setup for about two years, with some TH115(IIRC) subs.  I'll shoot him a message, and ask him to comment.

Best regards,

John
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Rick Powell

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Re: Danley Sound Labs SM96 1st gig
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2012, 04:00:46 pm »

Attached is a shot of a show handled by Pinnacle Audio up in central Wisconsin.  Matt, the owner, has a pair of SM60's, which you can hopefully just make out up on stands on either side of the stage.  He's used this setup for about two years, with some TH115(IIRC) subs.  I'll shoot him a message, and ask him to comment.

I also run TH115's one a side.  Powered by Crown xti 6000 on subs and xti 4000 on mains.  Right now I am using JTR triple 8's which do well in small spaces, which I am envisioning going to floor monitor duty.  With similar components as the T8 (two 8"s and a small-dia coax), I am wondering how much of a diffence I would hear with the SM60 or 96 boxes.  I do like the arrayability factor if I ever doubled up.  Being 85 miles west of Chicago, i am close enough to be within driving distance of a Pinnacle Audio provided show - or one of yours for that matter.  Most of what I do is with my own band, and we play a variety of venues, and stylistically ranging from acoustic ballads to alt rock to classic rock; but I do hire out my system from time to time.
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John Halliburton

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Re: Danley Sound Labs SM96 1st gig
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2012, 04:35:10 pm »

I also run TH115's one a side.  Powered by Crown xti 6000 on subs and xti 4000 on mains.  Right now I am using JTR triple 8's which do well in small spaces, which I am envisioning going to floor monitor duty.  With similar components as the T8 (two 8"s and a small-dia coax), I am wondering how much of a diffence I would hear with the SM60 or 96 boxes.  I do like the arrayability factor if I ever doubled up.  Being 85 miles west of Chicago, i am close enough to be within driving distance of a Pinnacle Audio provided show - or one of yours for that matter.  Most of what I do is with my own band, and we play a variety of venues, and stylistically ranging from acoustic ballads to alt rock to classic rock; but I do hire out my system from time to time.

I'm looking at renting the SM96's from Furlong for a show on the 27th, for the 640 seat theater space at one of my regular venues.  It isn't rock though, it'll be the Makem/Spain Brothers, promoting the family tradition of song set down by their famous father and his buddies the Clancy Brothers. 

They will be pretty loud though, but no electric guitars or drum kits. ;>)

Give me a shout if you think you'll head in for the show.

Best regards,

John
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Danley Sound Labs SM96 1st gig
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2012, 05:18:54 pm »

I also run TH115's one a side.  Powered by Crown xti 6000 on subs and xti 4000 on mains.  Right now I am using JTR triple 8's which do well in small spaces, which I am envisioning going to floor monitor duty.  With similar components as the T8 (two 8"s and a small-dia coax), I am wondering how much of a diffence I would hear with the SM60 or 96 boxes.  I do like the arrayability factor if I ever doubled up.  Being 85 miles west of Chicago, i am close enough to be within driving distance of a Pinnacle Audio provided show - or one of yours for that matter.  Most of what I do is with my own band, and we play a variety of venues, and stylistically ranging from acoustic ballads to alt rock to classic rock; but I do hire out my system from time to time.
I don't know what actual components are in the JTR's-but you can't just go on component size.  There could be a differnce there-quality-power capacity-sensitivity etc

One of the big differences is the fact that all of the drivers on the SM96 (like other Danley products) are mounted on a single horn.  This does several things.  One is pattern control (it goes where you want it-and helps to keep the energy off of hte walls/ceiling-so the sound is clearer/less reflections, it also has "gain"(which means you get more out of the componet than if it was just mounted flat on a baffle). 

Another is that the signal alignment is much better -all the sound gets to you at the same time-yes little differences matter-often more than large offsets.

I have no real experience with the JTR's-so cannot comment on them-particularly sound output SPL.
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Mike Christy

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Re: Danley Sound Labs SM96 1st gig
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2012, 06:31:21 pm »

Just a quick point of reference for the JTR T-8s - just did did an open barn type biker bar -> B-I-K-E-R <- bar and was asked to turn it D-O-W-N down. The T8s do Ok for themselves.

Wish they weren't 90s though.
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John Halliburton

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Re: Danley Sound Labs SM96 1st gig
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2012, 07:07:31 pm »

Just a quick point of reference for the JTR T-8s - just did did an open barn type biker bar -> B-I-K-E-R <- bar and was asked to turn it D-O-W-N down. The T8s do Ok for themselves.

Wish they weren't 90s though.

I agree. For what they are, a really good product, along with the Triple 12. 

Best regards,

John
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Matt Pea

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Re: Danley Sound Labs SM96 1st gig
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2012, 09:17:53 pm »

I think you could do rock shows up to a point, and with subs.  The SM96 is pretty loud, puts more articulate full range sound in the pattern-certainly better than the typical two way trap up on sticks.

As always, it depends.

Attached is a shot of a show handled by Pinnacle Audio up in central Wisconsin.  Matt, the owner, has a pair of SM60's, which you can hopefully just make out up on stands on either side of the stage.  He's used this setup for about two years, with some TH115(IIRC) subs.  I'll shoot him a message, and ask him to comment.

Best regards,

John


Hey there,

(sorry about the length ::))

My system consists of two SM60Fs and 2 TH-118s, one per side. In some places I'll center cluster the subs - depends what sounds better in that room. In most circumstances, at least for me, it covers the room. The picture that John posted was a large ballroom and was the first show I used the Danley stuff on (it showed up the day before  :)). The SM60s covered the majority of the audience, but I added in some small center fills for up front. FOH was set up just shy of 100ft. out from the stage and I think I was mixing around 95-98dBC. The ceiling were pretty high, maybe 30ft. They were expecting a larger crowd then they got, so I could have been 15ft or so closer, but it worked out. The audience loved it!  Since it was the first day I didn't have system architect running - as that was new to me - so I'm not sure how the levels were looking with respect to the limiters that I set in the iTechs. The lighting tech was amazed at the sound from those little boxes. This is the smallest show he does every year and is used to listening to much larger setups. Before this point, I had never heard a Danley box. They definitely put a smile on my face  :D Crowd size: ~350

I did a show for the same group this past January, but in a smaller, odd shaped venue. FOH was somewhere in the 50ft range from stage with levels ranging (on average) from 98-108dBc, tickling the limiters on the louder transients. Here, I had an engineer from the audience come up and comment on how much he liked it: it was clean, intelligible and not overwhelming on the ears. Crowd Size: ~300

For outdoor gigs it has been hit or miss. There have been a few that went well, but I think it's because the 'stage' was significantly higher than the audience and I was able to place the stands at that level, pushing them higher in the air than usual. The subs have always given me enough juice, but the SM60s - even though it sounds clean - can lack outdoors (IMHO). The one thing I noticed outdoors though, is that you can walk a few hundred feet back and still understand everything that's being said. I've never been able to test that with the other rig I use, as the show is so involved, so I have nothing to compare it to aside from listening to others mix.

I did rent the subs to a group I tour with during the summer months for an outdoor show in Fond du Lac, WI to fill in the bottom end a bit. Their rig has four EAW SB-600e subs and four KF650e tops (2 each per side). On average, 2,000 people show up to this concert every summer. I ran my TH-118s on a separate send from the EAW subs and during sound check, I played around with the two brands a little. The 2 TH-118s (1 in each stack) were able fill the area with higher quality bass at the same SPL as the 4 SB600s. I didn't run like that for the show - as I'd never pushed them that hard before - but they did it. I'm assuming they had some headroom yet as they were getting 2kW each at 4ohms, and are rated higher. FOH was ~180ft from stage and around 25ft higher than the stage.

My favorite show, by far, that I used my Danley rig for was a group traveling through Madison called Jaron and the Long Road to Love. This system was perfect for the country music they played. This was in a square room with two ceiling heights: the high portion was around 25ft with the shorter area coming in around 15. I was about 30ft out averaging 105dBC at FOH. Here, the audience size was around 100. The band loved it and commented on how great it sounded.

I set the SM60s on Global Truss st-132 stands at whatever height I can get them at. Once they get above 8ft, I start using a couple tilters to aim them down slightly, usually only a few degrees. The SM60s and TH-118s are powered by iTech 4000s (1 per channel) with peak limiters set at 1600w and 2000w respectively. The tops are rolled off at 100Hz and the subs come in at 90Hz with a HPF at 30Hz.

This stuff works for what I do, but if I mixed much louder groups, I'd need some stuff with more horsepower. With my experiences with Danley, I'd probably go with the SH-46s with a pair on a side, using the SM60s as fills. Since I tour with a group all summer, using their system, I don't have a use for a large outdoor system, so what I have definitely does the job. The music the legends group does is stuff from Buddy Holly, Neil Diamond, the Blues Brothers, Elvis, Rod Stewart, Tom Jones, and the like. I've also mixed country and some harder rock on these. I'm thinking metal bands are probably out of the question for my rig, but that's okay ::)

One last thing (take this as you may): I mix the summer shows on the EAW system with a peak around 98-100dBC (average 90-92) and usually get a couple people complaining. I have never had a complaint using the Danley rig :)
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Rick Powell

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Re: Danley Sound Labs SM96 1st gig
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2012, 08:55:54 am »

Thanks, John, Ivan, Mike and Matt for your detailed information and insights.  Our choices in lightweight, high quality full-range boxes that can cover a variety of situations have certainly expanded in the last several years, with more to come.
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John Halliburton

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Re: Danley Sound Labs SM96 1st gig-update from 2nd gig
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2012, 05:59:28 pm »

I used the pair of SM96 cabinets last weekend, stacked on top of my JTR Orbit Shifters, in place of the Triks over Growlers shown in this older picture.  Everything else in the system was the same, so technically all the FOH speakers are "underpowered". ;>) Theater space seats 640.

I got to sit around for an hour playing music through the system, tweaking settings, checking coverage, etc.  I wound up with a crossover of 80hz/LR24 LPF for the subs, 90hz/LR24 HPF on the SM96's.  I didn't officially get to time align them, so went with the Smaart derived figure we measured when using Runts on top of the Orbit Shifters, app. 14ms. if I recall correctly.

As I'd estimated, the 90x60 coverage of the SM96's is almost perfect in this room deployed on either side of the stage.  I toed in the tops about 5 degrees, and pretty much had nice hf coverage across the whole front row, which is about eight feet back from the stage front.  The SM96's are roughly 80" above the main floor.

Balcony coverage was fine, and perhaps the first few rows up there in the middle are the best sounding seats in the house.

Now, the Triks won't win any efficiency contests on paper, they're rated at 95db @2.83volt/1m half space ground plane, vs. the SM96 which are 98db @2.83volt/1m whole space, PLUS the wider horizontal coverage. 

So one of the first things observed during soundcheck was how much more of the bandwidth was "in your face", and I mean that in a good way.  I was providing sound for the Makem/Spain Brothers, four very strong mature male singers-two tenor, two baritone, and Rory can push it down a bit into bass range.  They also play guitars, mandolin, banjo, bouzuki, concertina, whistle, and acoustic guitar style bass.

Typically, I was -7 to -10 db down on my main faders compared to similar concerts in there.  An added benefit was a cleaner stage sound, as the much larger horn in the SM96 reduces spill onstage.

A very cool design, and it only weighs 75lbs. too.

Oh, they loved the BMS wedges Curtis, Jack, and I designed.  Even got a testimonial from Connor to the crowd at the end of the show.  Very nice.

Best regards,

John
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Rick Powell

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Re: Danley Sound Labs SM96 1st gig-update from 2nd gig
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2012, 07:49:20 pm »

So you stacked them height-wise instead of width-wise to get a 90 deg vertical and a 60 deg horizontal, for main floor-to-balcony coverage?  Sounds like it was a cool gig.
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John Halliburton

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Re: Danley Sound Labs SM96 1st gig-update from 2nd gig
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2012, 11:20:03 pm »

So you stacked them height-wise instead of width-wise to get a 90 deg vertical and a 60 deg horizontal, for main floor-to-balcony coverage?  Sounds like it was a cool gig.

No they were stacked in the 90deg horizontal position.  The photo shows my other speakers at an older show.  The Triks are 60x60, but the low freq section is not loaded into the horn, they're direct radiating.  The 60 degree vertical part of the pattern is plenty to hit the balcony in this venue.

Best regards,

John
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Re: Danley Sound Labs SM96 1st gig-update from 2nd gig
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2012, 11:20:03 pm »


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