Originally Posted by jheyau
You can easily take off the grill covers. Put them with their backs on the floor and just take off the screws, remember to put the screws back on otherwise the horns would slip out of the cabinets when you put them back in the upright position!! They are there for live sound usage protection only. I took mine off for a while but decided to put them back on after reading Tom Danley said there is no difference in the sound, and with the grill covers on one doesn't need to worry about having to clean out dust and tiny debris being gathered inside the horn mouth over time. The "naked" SM60Fs look even better than its bigger brother the SH50 because the mouth is much smoother due to the fact that the horn is molded. The polar plots look smoother also!
If I have enough money I'd build a large properly proportioned and acoustically treated listening room (not much room treatment is needed with these Danley designs!) and set up a 5.2 system with three SH50s for the front channels, two SH100s for the rear channels and two TH50s for the low end, all driven by 4 powerful QSC plx 3602 pro amps (1250W/ch into 4 ohms). This no non-sense setup might not win any beauty contest nor have enough lust-factor for most people, but it would challenge any hi-end system regardless of price!! I have recently listened to four hi-end system costing from about $100,000 to $150,000 (Magico Q5, Wilson Sasha, B&W Nautilus 802D, Soundlab U1, all with ultra expensive associate gears and garden hose size "magic" cables) and yet I sincerely felt that I get deeper satisfaction from my own extremely modest SM60F based 2-channel system.
Most experienced seekers of high fidelity acknowledge that the transducers which convert electrical energy back into acoustic energy are the weakest links in the signal chain, being the farthest from ideal, compared to the state-of-the-art in the electronic components.
When vinyl was king, the transition from media to electrical signal was also a problematic link. Even with SACD or the new lossless media on Blu-ray, the quality of the source signal dominates our perceptual experience, being a larger factor than the electrical path.
With the Danley synergy design, the weakest link has grown much much stronger!
Having heard only the SM60M, SM60F and the SH100 personally, I will not speak to Paul's claim that one must have large listening room for the SH50's.
With the smaller beam width (50 degrees x 50 degrees) vs. (60 degrees x 60 degrees for the SM60) AND the larger horn mouth with more drivers packed into it, the SH50 may behave significantly differently than the SM60. However, my experience in an under-sized room and Tom's own comments about how one can move forward into the horn's mouth and not reach a point where the speaker sounds like a horn or loses integration, lead me to just say that the SM60 WILL work in smaller rooms.
Paul does specifically focus on the size of the sweet spot increasing as you are farther away from the origin of the spherical wave and of course he is correct. This is a generally true characteristic, not exclusive to the Synergy design.
However, one of the truly unique characteristics of the time and phase coherence of the Synergy horn is that in the near field, I mean right up to the grill cover, the sound is completely integrated at the mouth of the horn! Listening at 12' from a pair separated by 6' (center to center), the sweet spot is wide enough for two people sitting tete a tete!
Walking back from the LP, into an alcove to the tiny room, of course the soundstage grows in size as the diameter of the spherical wave front increases, but the soundstage from 12' back already appears larger than the 10' room width would seem to allow. This feat, among a list of superlative characteristics, is what is deeply impressive about the Synergy design! You don't have to get way into the far field to get a realistic soundstage and even sitting ignominiously on the floor, the Synergy horns create a seamlessly coherent recreation of the acoustic space.
In a larger space, you get more perceptual volume in terms of the scale of the acoustic space and the sweet spot will expand. But these speakers are just such a tour de force, a nonpareil, a musically satisfying means to the end of "being there", that no one should miss the opportunity to include them in their system due to misconceptions.
Pro versus home, SPL versus detail, utilitarian versus esthetic, larger room versus small room, all of these distinctions are falsified when it comes to the Danley Synergy design. Well, the stock cabinets may not meet the WAF but in the thread referenced above, Ivan stated that other custom finishes CAN be had, removing the esthetic distinction.
One last point about dispersion: Paul's thread-leading post seems to credit wide-dispersion designs with adding more room reverberance to the sound field, which is technically correct. But more detail must be added: the control of directivity, how the frequency response varies (or not in the case of the Synergy design) off-axis makes a significant difference in whether the extra reverberance will be pleasing or will time smear so much as to mar the direct arrival.
Since mine is a ridiculously small room for musical recreation, the controlled directivity of the Synergy is saving the day, making a clean first arrival even possible. Even so, the room's boundaries inevitably get involved BUT the tonal uniformity across the entire pattern and the time/phase coherence still make the room's reverberance less destructive to the illusion of the soundstage than it would be otherwise.
This is what is so exciting about the release of the SM60 design! For rooms where previously only bookshelf form-factor speakers would have been considered appropriate, the SM60 can be placed hard against the left and right walls, as Tom says, removing the early reflections from the side walls. And since they do not need to be placed out away from the front wall and can be placed on a (deep) bookshelf, they can be deployed in most situations where bookshelf speakers are, but providing an order of magnitude better performance!
Sorry, my smitten ears demanded that I speak for these superb speakers, since they are so self-effacing, getting completely out of the way of the music, that they do not talk about themselves.
As jweiss in the referenced thread points out, these Synergy speakers and now especially the SM60 models, are a sleeper bargain, allowing anyone serious about enjoying high fidelity sound to own them.