The First Baptist Church of Smithville in Tennessee is the sort of small town church that has served as a community hub for decades. Its sanctuary is in a traditional rectangular building that seats around 400 people, with a small balcony, a high ceiling, pews and carpet. Services call on a talented choir, but these voices are mixed these days with an equally-talented band, making First Baptist Church solidly committed to a blended service.

First Baptist Church of Smithville in TennesseeDesign and integration firm Centerline Audio Visual recently installed a Danley Sound Labs system for ‘hi-fi’ support of the church’s services. ‘The existing system at First Baptist was in terrible shape – a lot of the loudspeaker drivers were blown and the whole thing was really only marginally functional,’ explains Scott Oliver, President of Centerline Audio Visual. I didn’t need to ask what was wrong with the existing system; it was obvious.

‘But I did go over all of the current and future needs so that we could deliver a system that would capably meet those needs without going overboard. I met with the church, measured the acoustical properties of the room, and built out a model in Ease. From there, I found the ideal Danley loudspeaker configuration that would cover the congregation in glorious stereo without hitting the walls or ceiling.’

Oliver is known for having originated the use of Danley’s massive Jericho Horn loudspeakers (commonly used in 100,000-plus seat football stadiums and other huge-SPL venues) as stereo replacements in larger churches that would have otherwise used line arrays. Danley’s point source clarity, phase coherence, and complete lack of comb filtering make those system amazing hi-fi experiences, and legendary acoustician Tom Danley refers to Oliver’s designs as ‘hi-fi systems’.

First Baptist Church of Smithville did not require Jericho Horns, but Oliver used the same simple approach. A pair of full-range SM100B loudspeakers deliver stereo content from left and right positions above the stage, with supplemental low-end content from a THmini15 subwoofer on the floor near the band. ‘The biggest reason I keep coming back to Danley loudspeakers and subs is pure sound quality,’ Oliver says. ‘I’ll admit I was surprised by the output from the THmini15,’ he adds. ‘It fills the entire room with well-defined bass.’

Since the church already had a rack of newer Crown amplifiers, Oliver repurposed them for the new system to keep costs as low as possible. A new Xilica XP-4080 DSP completes the system.

‘The difference the Danley sound system has made in our church is night and day,’ Smithville FBC Lead Pastor, Chad Ramsey reports. ‘The previous system worked but it was very muddy; words just never seemed to be clear when someone spoke or sang. I can remember the first time I heard the system working. It was truly amazing. You could hear everything crystal clear. Not only that, there was depth to the sound. It sounded as if the band leader or speaker was sitting right next to you. Additionally, you could hear consonants clearly. One of the most impressive aspects of the system is how much our congregation enjoys it.’

Once installed and tuned, a neighbouring church came over to hear the new system: ‘They called me up and asked for a quote on a similar “hi-fi” system for their church,’ Oliver says. ‘We might just turn Smithville into Danleyville.’

More: www.danleysoundlabs.com

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