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At the age of nine, Tom Danley was at church after the morning's services and it hit him-the booming, shaking, powerful sound of the church organ while he was in the pipe loft. "It was so intense that I didn't know whether to run or stand there," recalled Danley, director of research and development at Danley Sound Labs. Since then, he's been working to reproduce that experience through the loudspeakers that he develops.

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Danley has been in the electronics and acoustics fields for over 25 years, and has originated nearly 20 patents in a number of areas including electromagnetic levitation, acoustic levitation, speaker design, and most recently, loudspeaker enclosure design.

His most recent patent is on the SH-50 Synergy Horn, a truly unique loudspeaker design. The SH-50 is Danley Sound Lab's horn-based product, which has a 50- by 50-degree coverage angle. The SH-50 is unusual in that it has the radiation pattern of a single horn, although it has seven different drivers in it. "The basis of the patent that it's built on is in the way that the output from a one-inch compression driver and four midrange drivers, and two woofers are added sequentially into the body of the horn," explained Danley.

"If you're trying to produce a really powerful loudspeaker what you need to do is divide the frequency ranges into specific bands and then use speakers that are suited for just that band instead of trying to produce all the high notes and low notes all at the same time. There's a problem in commercial sound in that controlling the direction of the sound has a great deal to do with the orientation of the different speakers relative to each other. In the geometry of the SH-50 we have the relationships such that the output from the compression driver and midrange driver add together seamlessly as if there were just one source. The low frequency driver also combines with the midrange driver the same way. And when you measure the sound radiation pattern of the SH-50, what you see is that it has the pattern you would get if it only had one driver connected to it, and that's very much unlike conventional loudspeakers."

The idea for the new loudspeaker design came about several years ago at a conference while Danley was talking to a colleague about what would make an ideal loudspeaker for commercial sound use. While working at Sound Physics, Danley was trying to figure out how to build a conventional driver-based loudspeaker that would accomplish something unique. He went back to the discussion he had had at the conference, and slowly the basic idea for combining all of the sources evolved. Fast forward seven or eight years to a couple of years ago. Danley had figured out more about how the basic approach worked and applied for a new patent based on what he knew up to that point.

"One of the parts that makes working on new things fun is that there isn't any book that you can look anything up in. You have to measure and postulate and make a modification and measure again and see if you were right. The SH-50 is the latest product of that evolution, and it is certainly the best performing one so far."

ETC Test Danley Loudspeakers
Gainesville, Ga-High-resolution independent data for Danley Sound Labs' SH-50 full-range, horn-loaded professional loudspeakers gathered by Electro-acoustic Testing Company (ETC), sister company of Synergetic Audio Concepts (Syn-Aud-Con) is now available.

ETC, headed by Syn-Aud-Con co-principal, Pat Brown, provides comprehensive third-party loudspeaker testing services, delivering data required by sound system design programs such as EASE, CATT-A, Ulysses, LARA, and others. Most acoustical consultants consider this information a "must" for a device to be seriously considered for a project.

For the Danley Sound Labs SH-50, ETC gathered Common Loudspeaker Format (CLF) data. The CLF was developed to provide a common format for the presentation of loudspeaker data. It also serves as a stand-alone specification sheet for the loudspeaker parameters required by system designers, with a free data viewer program available for download.

ETC also generated data for EASE 4.0, the most widely used acoustic prediction software platform, for the Danley Sound Labs model. Specifically, ETC collects the full impulse response of the loudspeaker at each measurement angle, which EASE converts to its native file format.

"Danley Sound Labs has the unique distinction of being the first manufacturer in the industry to produce independently measured data for a point source array. The average furthest listener in auditoriums within the U.S. is less than 80 feet with a typical required horizontal coverage angle of 150-220 degrees or so. The SH-50 horizontal array product fits this application perfectly and does so with substantially better fidelity and pattern control in both horizontal and vertical planes than any vertical array product," noted Mike Hedden, president of dB Audio/Video, and partner with loudspeaker manufacturer, Danley Sound Labs.

Common Loudspeaker Format (CLF)...www.clfgroup.org

Danley Sound Labs...www.danleysoundlabs.com

dB Audio and Video... www.dbasi.com

Electro-acoustic Testing Company...www.etcinc.us

Danley Sound Labs... www.danleysoundlabs.com