A recent renovation of Ontario’s J.D. McArthur Arena took the sound system from terrible to fantastic with the replacement of the existing loudspeakers to the fully-weatherized Danley Sound Labs OS80s.
The J.D. McArthur Arena seats 3,500 for ice hockey games and 3,000 for lacrosse games and resides within the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre in Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada. The Owen Sound Attack of the Ontario Hockey League and the Owen Sound Woodsmen of the Ontario Lacrosse Association both call it home. Although thoroughly modern in most respects (including private boxes and a restaurant), the arena suffered from a sound reinforcement system with poor intelligibility and impact. A recent renovation, led by Straight Street Event Services of Cambridge, Ontario, took the sound system from terrible to fantastic with the replacement of the existing loudspeakers with the fully weatherised Danley Sound Labs OS80s.
“The owners of the hockey team wanted a better experience for their ticket holders,” explained Keith Broughton, an independent contractor who led the design and installation on behalf of Straight Street. “The existing system did not provide clear announcements, and the quality and SPL of music playback did not cover all seating areas sufficiently. Many people complained that they couldn’t understand the announcer, and, this being a fairly small town, those complaints reached the right ears… many times!”
Broughton’s requirements for the new loudspeakers were exceptional vocal clarity, high directivity, good visual appeal, and even coverage across the spectrum. A lightweight, easy-to-rig design was also important, as was a weather-resistant enclosure since the arena becomes very humid during the transition from lacrosse to hockey. “I originally spoke with Ivan Beaver, Danley’s chief engineer, about the Danley SM-80, which met my requirements,” said Broughton. “He turned me on to the new Danley OS-80, which has the SM-80’s characteristics plus a truly weatherproof enclosure and less overall weight. A visit to Danley headquarters gave me a chance to listen to the product and to talk with Ivan about its technical points. I left confident that the OS-80 was the right product.”
The new system covers the seating area only and was “piggy-backed” onto the existing control system. The Straight Street installation team removed the old loudspeakers and amplifiers and left the rest of the house system as it was. Broughton added a new Xilica processor, which conditions the system and feeds three Crest Pro9200 amplifiers. The amplifiers power five sets of four Danley OS-80s each and the remaining channel powers a new Danley TH-118 subwoofer mounted over centre-ice.