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Sports facilities: large venue audio

Andrew Brister 25 July 2012
Sports facilities: large venue audio

Danley Sound Labs’ new addition to its Jericho Horns family addresses some important drawbacks commonly found in large venue audio. TFA reports. With the launch of the J4 Super-Tweeter, Danley Sound Labs’ family of Jericho Horns is now composed of four members – the J1, JH 2, J3, and J4. Jericho Horns are said to provide stunning fidelity at great distances, ideal for large venue audio. Such applications are commonly addressed with line arrays, but by ingenious design, the Jericho Horns sidestep the line array’s many faults to deliver phase coherence, frequency response, and imaging detail typical of a professional reference monitor.  Whereas the J1, JH 2 and J3 represent variations on a full-frequency theme that fulfil the coverage requirements of different long-throw situations, the J4 is designed to address a problem long ignored by the majority of the market, says the company. Composed of 64 one-inch compression drivers combined into a single point source design, the J4 extends the upper three or four octaves that can often be consumed by atmospheric conditions to dramatically improve the presence and impact at great distances.  Combined with extreme pattern control, the J4 can produce these high sound pressure levels on axis while being -15dB or more down off axis. The J4 does for large venue audio what large venue video screens have done in creating intimacy at great distances; “it is a total game changer,” claims the company. “The problem that led the industry to the line array in the first place was the inverse square law,” said Mike Hedden, Danley Sound Labs president. “You’d rip the faces off folks in the front row but leave folks in the back row asking for more. Since its reintroduction to the market, many variations of line array designs have attempted to address this problem. However, all the elements interact, which makes the phase coherence, frequency response, and imaging detail of a line array system very different based on listener location with the net result being something that is anything but high fidelity. “The Jericho Horns, using our Synergy Horn technology and pattern control that only comes from large horns, solve all of the problems that led to the line array, but without incurring all of the problems inherent to the line array. Listen to a stereo pair of our Jericho Horns and you’ll hear the phantom centre channel, something only achieved with accurate phase relationships. As one moves off the centre position even to extreme left or right, as long as you are in the direct field of both cabinets, you still experience some stereo imaging. Using a pair of J2s you’re listening to almost one-hundred drivers yet the phase relationships are dead on accurate. Add to that vastly superior pattern control in both horizontal and vertical planes compared to any line array and there’s no hyperbole in our claim that these are the world’s loudest reference monitors.” The original J1 is effectively two horns in one: a low frequency horn together with a true 90 x 40 Synergy Horn. Capable of producing 3000 acoustic watts in the subwoofer section, the J1 conveys stunning low end. The 90 x 60 JH 2, and the more compact version, the 60 x 40 J3, are both true Synergy Horns across their full-range frequency responses and are seamlessly arrayable. Of the first three, the J3 is purpose-built with the expectation that a subwoofer will provide low-end support. The other two can stand on their own, but play nicely with subs where desired. In contrast, the J4 makes use of the same engineering principles, but for a very different purpose. Although its frequency response will naturally extend down to 600Hz, the J4 is recommended for use with high-passed material above 2500Hz. The J4’s beamwidth is a narrow 30 x 10, and it is hard-pack arrayable so that multiple units can seamlessly provide necessary coverage. “The J4 is an industry first,” said Hedden. “Long have we recognized how severely high-end content can be attenuated due to air absorption, but conventional loudspeaker technologies weren’t able to effectively address the problem. We saw a new path forward in the innovative Jericho Horn technology. The J4 is a ‘super-tweeter’ that can deliver up to 150dB+ of high-frequency content.” www.danleysoundlabs.com 

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