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Author Topic: 2x Danley SM80 replacing 6x KLA12?  (Read 34900 times)

Andrew Henderson

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2x Danley SM80 replacing 6x KLA12?
« on: September 09, 2016, 01:53:08 pm »

***EDIT/UPDATE: We actually got to hear both systems, side-by-side! See post #64. Original post starts below***

My current "A rig" tops are 6x KLA12 (flown), and 6x KW181 subs, renting additional subs as needed. I have other powered QSC speakers that are fine for monitors, fills, and smaller events. Our rig sounds great for 500 to 1000 people outdoors, no question, and it is stupid-easy to fly. I can set up the truss and fly the array by myself if I have to. My "limit" (pun intended) is SPL. As many of you have heard and read, when you approach clipping on the KLA12, the highs get harsh. For 1000 people outdoors, I can get great sound at "family festival" volume levels and maintain clarity, but I can't push it beyond that without distortion.

My next goal: I would like to be able to provide higher fidelity and have more headroom for the types of shows we currently do, while setting myself up with some of the building blocks I need to be able to provide sound at larger events.

I've started to form a plan to move to a Danley rig, based on all I've read here and heard from others. I have an appointment at HQ for a demo, and my expectations are high. Assuming all will go well at the demo, and I'll be as impressed as everyone else is by the sound and output, I'm looking at:

PHASE 1 (subs): sell 4 of my KW181 subs and purchase 2 TH118 subs (with amplification). I know it's not a gigantic step forward, but again... building blocks. I would keep a pair of KW181 and my 2 QSC K-Subs for smaller events and versatility, and plan on purchasing another pair of TH118 in the future.

PHASE 2 (tops): I gather that four SH46 with amps (2 splayed per side) would be a significant upgrade in coverage, output, and fidelity from the KLA12, but it may be a while before I could make that financial move, and I imagine that flying the tops splayed would require quite a bit more effort than flying the KLA12 and using our Global Truss ST-180 lifts.

I started looking at the SM80, and it looks like the peak SPL output is 3dB more than the KLA12. At 80x80 coverage, it's close enough to be able to cover the same area. On paper, it looks like I could replace all 6 KLA12 speakers with 2 SM80 speakers, and take a step forward in both fidelity and a little bit more headroom. Has anyone used both of these systems? Am I missing anything? Again, I have other powered speakers for smaller events.

Thanks in advance for your insight.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2016, 07:00:41 pm by Andrew Henderson »
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Corey Scogin

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Re: 2x Danley SM80 replacing 6x KLA12?
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2016, 03:03:52 pm »

I'd consider something a bit stronger. The SM80, while an improvement, is not enough of a step up to justify the move in my opinion.  I'd wait and get the 4 SH46s or try the SH96HO. I have no idea what pricing looks like on those though.
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Robert Piascik

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Re: 2x Danley SM80 replacing 6x KLA12?
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2016, 12:12:44 am »

I'd consider something a bit stronger. The SM80, while an improvement, is not enough of a step up to justify the move in my opinion.  I'd wait and get the 4 SH46s or try the SH96HO. I have no idea what pricing looks like on those though.

Corey beat me to it here. The SM80 are really, really impressive for their size but they aren't invincible. If you want a 'big boy' PA Danley makes other, also spectacularly impressive, bigger boxes you should check out.
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Scott Slater

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Re: 2x Danley SM80 replacing 6x KLA12?
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2016, 08:04:16 am »

I think you will probably want 3 to 4 TH118s per SH46.

The SM80s are definitely a step up from the KLA12s  I ran 4 KLA12s over 2 TH118s, and it's a nice rig for smaller outdoor events.  I now run 2 SM80s over 4 TH118s.  The sound from the SM80s is much more ineligible over a longer distances than the KLAs, and the coverage is much more even.

The volume is much more consistent as you walk around the coverage area with the Danley rig, where as the KLAs were more focused on specific areas.

I don't fly either of these as they are typically put up on a pair of flat bed trailers that are 56" up from ground level.

I kept my KLAs and run them as singles on poles over JBL subs for small events.  The resale value didn't justify selling the gear.
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Scott Carneval

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Re: 2x Danley SM80 replacing 6x KLA12?
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2016, 09:22:24 am »

The SH46 is a LOT louder than the SM80. Something like 4db higher sensitivity and almost 4x the power handling. It would be roughly 9dB louder, which is almost twice as loud. Also roughly twice the price.

This is many steps up from a KLA rig, and maybe unnecessary depending on the gigs you do.




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Andrew Henderson

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Re: 2x Danley SM80 replacing 6x KLA12?
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2016, 10:08:45 am »

The SM80s are definitely a step up from the KLA12s  I ran 4 KLA12s over 2 TH118s, and it's a nice rig for smaller outdoor events.  I now run 2 SM80s over 4 TH118s.  The sound from the SM80s is much more ineligible over a longer distances than the KLAs, and the coverage is much more even.

The volume is much more consistent as you walk around the coverage area with the Danley rig, where as the KLAs were more focused on specific areas.

Thanks for chiming in, Scott. That's what I was hoping to hear, especially from someone who owns both models. I actually drove over to Danley and heard the SM80 yesterday, and was really impressed. I am hoping to get my hands on one in the near future for a day or so, so that I can actually A/B it with my KLA rig. If that happens, I'll definitely invite anyone in the area to come listen.

The goal is definitely to add more subs later, but from what's on paper and from what I heard with my own ears yesterday, the 2 TH118 subs should easily replace 4 of my KW181 subs to start with, so at least I won't be taking a step backward.



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Andrew Henderson

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Re: 2x Danley SM80 replacing 6x KLA12?
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2016, 11:07:49 am »

The SH46 is a LOT louder than the SM80. Something like 4db higher sensitivity and almost 4x the power handling. It would be roughly 9dB louder, which is almost twice as loud. Also roughly twice the price.

This is many steps up from a KLA rig, and maybe unnecessary depending on the gigs you do.
Yes, I'm hoping we will move toward that a couple of years down the road, but I believe (I am hoping) the SM80 can at least replace our current rig in the meantime,We probably do about 4-6 events a year that would warrant 4x SH46, so I'll wait until the frequency of those gigs increases before making a move on anything like that, but the goal is to go ahead and build up some of the sub inventory we would need for both systems.


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Andrew Henderson

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Re: 2x Danley SM80 replacing 6x KLA12?
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2016, 11:12:25 am »

Corey and Robert, thanks for chiming in too. I need some caution to counter my excitement :) If I get a chance to put the two systems next which other, I'll report back.


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Rick Powell

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Re: 2x Danley SM80 replacing 6x KLA12?
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2016, 11:13:54 am »

The SH46 is a LOT louder than the SM80. Something like 4db higher sensitivity and almost 4x the power handling. It would be roughly 9dB louder, which is almost twice as loud. Also roughly twice the price.

This is many steps up from a KLA rig, and maybe unnecessary depending on the gigs you do.




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Wouldn't it be possible to cross the subs an octave lower for a SM46/TH118 combo (say 60/70 Hz) than would be necessary with the SM80, and thus be asking the subs to take lesser of a sonic load? I think John R. of Clear Impact runs more of a 2 subs to 1 top ratio when he runs this combo outdoors.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: 2x Danley SM80 replacing 6x KLA12?
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2016, 11:59:52 am »

Wouldn't it be possible to cross the subs an octave lower for a SM46/TH118 combo (say 60/70 Hz) than would be necessary with the SM80, and thus be asking the subs to take lesser of a sonic load? I think John R. of Clear Impact runs more of a 2 subs to 1 top ratio when he runs this combo outdoors.
If you look at the actual raw freq response of the TH118, you will see that there is a good bit of extra output-in the range you would need it for the SM80.

So there would not be any extra "strain" on the driver going a little bit higher.  The crossover point is more like a 1/2 octave-not an octave higher.

Where the strain comes into play on most loudspeakers is trying to make them go lower and then adding boosts.

Raising the xover 1/2 octave does add a little bit of extra heating "power", but not enough to worry about.  Most of the overall energy in normal music would still be in the  "below 80Hz" area.

Also the horn loading provides a lot more control over the woofer excursion, so the distortion is greatly reduced (as compared to a front loaded woofer) due to cone excursion.

The more a loudspeaker physically moves-the more distortion it produces.  This happens with ANY loudspeaker.  So the less it moves-the cleaner it is.  Horn loading (when done properly) greatly reduces the excursion.

The horn loading (because of the bends) reduces the upper harmonics (that don't make it around the bends) so it sounds cleaner.

But some people actually like the "sound" of sub distortion.

For those people a horn sub is not the answer.

Horn loading can greatly increase the output SPL of a driver as well.  In many cases we get more than 10dB greater output (in some cases 15dB)-as compared to a front loaded driver.

That would be like taking a 100 watt driver (in a proper horn) and then having to give it over 1,000 to 3,000 watts (when front loaded).  The driver would quickly fail at those levels.


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Ivan Beaver
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Re: 2x Danley SM80 replacing 6x KLA12?
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2016, 11:59:52 am »


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