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Danley SH-50/SH-60 for dedicated Home Theater

post #1 of 703
Thread Starter 
Hello!

Right now I am considering going with either Danley's SH-50 or SH-60 as FCR for a pretty high end home theater setup.

My upcoming dedicated room will be about 22'x19'x12'. I have been using 5x Genelec 1037Cs for the past couple of years. Before that I made my experiences with horn speakers: Klipschhorn, THX ULTRA 2, JBLs and even Avantgarde Acoustics at some point. I generally like the sound signature of horn speakers.

Lately I bought a Seaton Catalyst 12C to benchmark it against the Genelecs - you can read about it over here: http://www.seaton-sound-forum.com/post?id=4897368

In short: I am not quite satisfied with the relative performance of the Catalyst versus the Genelecs - despite its much greater dynamic headroom.

So I am thinking about going back to my first love - horn speakers. And that's were Danley enters the picture...

I would appreciate it to get some advice on the following points:

- I am considering the SH-50 or the SH-60. Both will work in my setup and the ~12 feet listening distance. I noticed that the driver/component configuration is different (6x4" versus 4x5"). I take it the SH-60 is the more recent design. What are the differences between those two regarding "sound quality" (other than the different dispersion)?

- Both speaker come in a passive and active version. The active uses IcePower moduls with DSP crossovers just like the Seaton Catalyst does (they use the same OEM for the amps). My question is: Would the version with passive crossovers together with a decent external amp (I am thinking about the MC2 MC 1250) give me "better sound quality" compared to the powered version? I guess the tri-amplified Class D amp with digital crossovers has its advantages but I don't like the concept of going through additional A/D-D/A steps.

I take it Tom Danley himself uses the passive version together with external amps. Is SQ the reason for that? (Note: I don't have any amps right now that I could simply use - so the question is whether to buy the "turn key active version" or the passive one with appropriate amps).

- Are there any European Danley dealers listening?

I am looking forward to any advice! Thanks.

- Walter
post #2 of 703
Regarding your question about active or passive.

Tom Danley mentioned on a post here on AVS as he was addressing other topics regarding speaker tech which went over my head. At the end of his post he mentioned that the OP should consider the passive version as "so much time is spent fixing time and space."

I am not speaking on his behalf of course, just remembered those words from his post.

Lion, like you said there are advantages to going active as well.
post #3 of 703
Link to Danley SM60M and Epik Empire: Creating a full range
hybrid!


I thought to add some feedback about the little brother of the SM60F, the SM60M, mated with dual Epik Empires to create a full range stereo pair.

For your amusement!
post #4 of 703
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by robobob View Post

Link to Danley SM60M and Epik Empire: Creating a full range
hybrid!


I thought to add some feedback about the little brother of the SM60F, the SM60M, mated with dual Epik Empires to create a full range stereo pair.

For your amusement!

Thank you very much! Exactly what I am looking for. I see a SH-50 in my future... ;-)
post #5 of 703
Hi Walter,

Here's a pic of Paul Casper's three SH50s.

http://www.pbase.com/pcasper/image/109260354

I have been enjoying my SM60Fs for almost half a year now. Just like Paul, the Danleys replaced my electrostatics of 20+ years.
post #6 of 703
Man I wish my SM60s looked as cool as the SH50s. I really like having the horn mouth visible, to bad the SM60 have a grill in front .


Forin
post #7 of 703
Forin,
The SH50's have a grill on them as well. Some user's tend to take them off. Can you take the grills off the SM60's?
post #8 of 703
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.
post #9 of 703
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jheyau View Post

Hi Walter,

Here's a pic of Paul Casper's three SH50s.

http://www.pbase.com/pcasper/image/109260354

I have been enjoying my SM60Fs for almost half a year now. Just like Paul, the Danleys replaced my electrostatics of 20+ years.

A thing of beauty! Thanks!

Do you have any links to forums threads where Paul's writes about his experiences with them?
post #10 of 703
Here's Paul's long thread in AudioAsylum

http://db.audioasylum.com/mhtml/m.ht...rder%3DDESC%26

Near the bottom of the thread, pay special attention to the posts of "endust 4237" and "jweiss". The former poster Ferenc has THE most extensive experience with the MOST number of Danley models in his home (Tom Danley said that himself); he is the technical director of a large Hungarian sound company. I've communicated many times with him and gotten much useful info from him. The latter poster is Jonathan Weiss who has his own company building ultra hi-end horns for wealthy private clients. Do search out their posts on Danley products.
post #11 of 703
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jheyau View Post

Here's Paul's long thread in AudioAsylum

http://db.audioasylum.com/mhtml/m.ht...rder%3DDESC%26

Near the bottom of the thread, pay special attention to the posts of "endust 4237" and "jweiss". The former poster Ferenc has THE most extensive experience with the MOST number of Danley models in his home (Tom Danley said that himself); he is the technical director of a large Hungarian sound company. I've communicated many times with him and gotten much useful info from him. The latter poster is Jonathan Weiss who has his own company building ultra hi-end horns for wealthy private clients. Do search out their posts on Danley products.

Thanks alot. I happen to have my own SH-50 thread over at Asylum. Tom Danley himself is giving me good input there. Ferenc is pretty much in the neighborhood (me being from Austria). His Asylum contact info is down. Could you provide me with his email per PM?! I would love to get in touch with him. Thanks again!
post #12 of 703
Awesome guys thanks for the info! I might tear off the grills this week when I finish my shifts this weekend.


Forin.
post #13 of 703
Quote:
Originally Posted by jheyau View Post

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.

Well said!

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.
post #14 of 703
Here's a pic of the SM60F with the grill cover removed and a cut-away side view.

http://srforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/fa/31429/0/
post #15 of 703
Quote:
Originally Posted by robobob View Post

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.

.

Here is a link to some of the custom finishes that have been done. Pretty much anything is available-just ask.

http://www.danleysoundlabs.com/danleyport.asp?ID=53
post #16 of 703
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan Beaver View Post

Here is a link to some of the custom finishes that have been done. Pretty much anything is available-just ask.

http://www.danleysoundlabs.com/danleyport.asp?ID=53

Really nice looking work.

Ivan, if you were spec'ing mains for a HT, given the typical ~14' width, which model would opt for, and could you share your thought process?


Thanks
post #17 of 703
I wish some pics ans info where out on the new SM-96. Ivan said they where shipping a while back and I keep checking the website but, still nothing. Ivan any pictures of the shipping SM-96?
post #18 of 703
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Bley View Post

I wish some pics ans info where out on the new SM-96. Ivan said they where shipping a while back and I keep checking the website but, still nothing. Ivan any pictures of the shipping SM-96?

The reason for nothing on the website is that we are waiting on specific data from me. Between the weather (it has to be measured outside), and my schedule on other projects I have not gotten the data/measurements together. Sorry.

It looks just about like a SH69 (except the holes are a bit different) but has the shape of a SH95 (flat on one side so it will fire straight forward when on its side). It is still arrayable-up to 2 wide) when stood vertical.

It is a tad bit smaller than the SH69 on the frontal dimensions.

Getting the data is up on my list of to-do's.
post #19 of 703
Quote:
Originally Posted by FOH View Post

Really nice looking work.

Ivan, if you were spec'ing mains for a HT, given the typical ~14' width, which model would opt for, and could you share your thought process?


Thanks

There are several different options which have different consequencies and results-which drive for different choices.

First is price-is that an object? If it is, then nothing else matters if it is a better solution, but can't be afforded.

Is depth an issue?

How fullrange of a cabinet is needed? Is going down to 60Hz fine? what about 50hz? Or what if you want to go to below 40Hz without a sub? Different people have different requirements.

How loud do you need it? What power is available-if power is limited, then a cabinet with a higher sensitivity will be able to get louder.

What are the acoustics of the listening room? Is it live? If so, a cabinet with greater pattern control down to a lower freq, will energize the room less and have a "clearer" sound.

All that being said-the SH50 is what all the other Danley products are judged.
post #20 of 703
TheLion I have read your seaton vs Genelec thread and while I don't believe I would have made the same choice given your observations I did find them invaluable. I greatly look forward to you comparing the Danleys to the Seatons and Genelecs. I myself am trying to decide between these 3 brands atm. I keep reading that the SH50 are the best of the line, but the price is alittle step for me, does anyone know the price of the SH69 ?
post #21 of 703
Hi guys,

Check out a great new forum if you haven't already done so.

http://www.whatsbestforum.com/forum.php

There are already 25 VERY interesting and informative posts by Tom Danley in just a little over a month.

Ivan, just curious, any Jericho Horns went to deep-pocketed audiophiles' systems?
They certainly aren't any bigger nor heavier than many of the ultra-expensive object d'art speakers in the market; I've never come across any pricing info on these monsters but whatever the price, they should be only frictions of those speakers which all trying to play on people's psychology--"mine is bigger, heavier, has more layers of glossy paint, uses more drivers, more exotic cabinet material, more pure silver internal connecting wires, (you can think of many other cleaver "design advances") and above all more expensive than yours, so my speakers must be superior to yours" mentality.

Danley makes incredible speakers based on real breakthrough design but attracting the attention of most audiophiles, especially the deep-pocketed ones, is not an easy thing.

Perhaps run the following ad in The Stereophile and Absolute sound would help, hahahaha!

http://translate.googleusercontent.c...6V562hz5l-lGDA
post #22 of 703
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan Beaver View Post
There are several different options which have different consequencies and results-which drive for different choices.

First is price-is that an object? If it is, then nothing else matters if it is a better solution, but can't be afforded.

Is depth an issue?

How fullrange of a cabinet is needed? Is going down to 60Hz fine? what about 50hz? Or what if you want to go to below 40Hz without a sub? Different people have different requirements.

How loud do you need it? What power is available-if power is limited, then a cabinet with a higher sensitivity will be able to get louder.

What are the acoustics of the listening room? Is it live? If so, a cabinet with greater pattern control down to a lower freq, will energize the room less and have a "clearer" sound.

All that being said-the SH50 is what all the other Danley products are judged.
Thanks Ivan,
I'm keeping all options open for new mains. I didn't want to include constraints on your suggestion for a Danley product. In addition to Danley, I'm considering Seaton's Cats, Meyer two ways, JBL, a custom used TAD set, and Geddes Summas..and I'm open to all comers. Among other aspects, I value a responsive, dynamic presentation.

Thank you, I'd enjoy hearing your products at some point in this process.
post #23 of 703
Quote:
Originally Posted by FOH View Post

Thanks Ivan,
I'm keeping all options open for new mains. I didn't want to include constraints on your suggestion for a Danley product. In addition to Danley, I'm considering Seaton's Cats, Meyer two ways, JBL, a custom used TAD set, and Geddes Summas..and I'm open to all comers. Among other aspects, I value a responsive, dynamic presentation.

Thank you, I'd enjoy hearing your products at some point in this process.

I know it can often be hard, but a side by side is the best way to pick out a favorite.

If you could arrange it, Danley welcomes side by sides at the Gainesville office.

We have a couple of Meyer products (along with other manufacturers (none of which you mentioned) that you could listen to.
post #24 of 703
Quote:
Originally Posted by jheyau View Post

Hi guys,

Check out a great new forum if you haven't already done so.

http://www.whatsbestforum.com/forum.php

There are already 25 VERY interesting and informative posts by Tom Danley in just a little over a month.

Ivan, just curious, any Jericho Horns went to deep-pocketed audiophiles' systems?
They certainly aren't any bigger nor heavier than many of the ultra-expensive object d'art speakers in the market; I've never come across any pricing info on these monsters but whatever the price, they should be only frictions of those speakers which all trying to play on people's psychology--"mine is bigger, heavier, has more layers of glossy paint, uses more drivers, more exotic cabinet material, more pure silver internal connecting wires, (you can think of many other cleaver "design advances") and above all more expensive than yours, so my speakers must be superior to yours" mentality.

Danley makes incredible speakers based on real breakthrough design but attracting the attention of most audiophiles, especially the deep-pocketed ones, is not an easy thing.

Perhaps run the following ad in The Stereophile and Absolute sound would help, hahahaha!

http://translate.googleusercontent.c...6V562hz5l-lGDA

No Jerichos in a home-yet. But the amazing thing when listening to them is that they "feel" as if they want to unleash their output-so the dynamic range is HUGE!

It is looking like there will be an install in a church in the near future of a pair of them. The contractor wants to have studio monitors for a couple of thousand people. We did a demo in the church and all were impressed.

If you want impressive-wait till you see the new cabinet-it only has 42 drivers in it (on a single horn)-and should go louder than the Jericho!. Any more information will have to wait.
post #25 of 703
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan Beaver View Post

No Jerichos in a home-yet. But the amazing thing when listening to them is that they "feel" as if they want to unleash their output-so the dynamic range is HUGE!

It is looking like there will be an install in a church in the near future of a pair of them. The contractor wants to have studio monitors for a couple of thousand people. We did a demo in the church and all were impressed.

If you want impressive-wait till you see the new cabinet-it only has 42 drivers in it (on a single horn)-and should go louder than the Jericho!. Any more information will have to wait.

Whoa...! Newsflash!
post #26 of 703
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan Beaver View Post

I know it can often be hard, but a side by side is the best way to pick out a favorite.

If you could arrange it, Danley welcomes side by sides at the Gainesville office.

We have a couple of Meyer products (along with other manufacturers (none of which you mentioned) that you could listen to.

I may take you up on that. I'm in the Buckhead/Roswell areas on occasion, so I'll need to find some time. You're right, side by sides are invaluable for context.

Thanks
post #27 of 703
FOH,

Appears as though Ivan is ever so slightly guiding you towards the SH-50.
This is the direction I'm currently leaning, but would like to hear a pair of JBL 4675C too.

Paying the SH-50 entry fee would require me to run a phantom center for the near-term. Trying to think-through how that would sound...

Larry

Quote:
Originally Posted by FOH View Post

Thanks Ivan,
I'm keeping all options open for new mains. I didn't want to include constraints on your suggestion for a Danley product. In addition to Danley, I'm considering Seaton's Cats, Meyer two ways, JBL, a custom used TAD set, and Geddes Summas..and I'm open to all comers. Among other aspects, I value a responsive, dynamic presentation.

Thank you, I'd enjoy hearing your products at some point in this process.
post #28 of 703
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan Beaver View Post

No Jerichos in a home-yet. But the amazing thing when listening to them is that they "feel" as if they want to unleash their output-so the dynamic range is HUGE!

It is looking like there will be an install in a church in the near future of a pair of them. The contractor wants to have studio monitors for a couple of thousand people. We did a demo in the church and all were impressed.

If you want impressive-wait till you see the new cabinet-it only has 42 drivers in it (on a single horn)-and should go louder than the Jericho!. Any more information will have to wait.

Well, I better begin construction of my private concert hall at once so I can take delivery of these godzillas in time!
post #29 of 703
Quote:
Originally Posted by 04FLHRCI View Post

FOH,

Appears as though Ivan is ever so slightly guiding you towards the SH-50.
This is the direction I'm currently leaning, but would like to hear a pair of JBL 4675C too.

Paying the SH-50 entry fee would require me to run a phantom center for the near-term. Trying to think-through how that would sound...

Larry

I'd like to hear them, I'd love to mix a show on a set
post #30 of 703
04FLHRCI,

Do not let having a phantom center scare you off. I ran my SM-60s with no surrounds and a phantom center for 5 months before buying a center and surrounds. Of course having a real center is better but the SM-60s imaged wonderfully and even with the dts-10s pumping hard in movies I had no problems with dialogue. When I did plop an SH-100 between them I noticed and increase in clarity and detail but it was not as large as I had expected.

Forin
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