I just got home from a 3.5 hour road trip each way to audition the Danley Sound Labs Showroom. First off let me say this is just going to be my honest to GOD impressions. For the trip I had to beg my brother to go with me since its makes the drive much easier and plus I needed an extra set of ears to help me in my quest of audio excellence. If anyone has read my posts here on AVS Forum over the last 3 years you already know that I’m a very very hard one to please. I have went through many different brands in the quest to satisfy my hunger. Every time I sell a speaker, projector,amp,processor or screen I also have to justify it to my brother since we are very close and we both like many of the same things. Up until today he thought I was insane with all the so called upgrades. I had to sugar coat the amounts of money that I was loosing on buying and selling equipment. Just a little about my history. I come from years of competing in car audio competitions. So therefore it takes something really special to impress me.
When we first got to Danley we were met by Jeff, Ivan and Mike and a few other guys who I cant remember their names. After asking Ivan on the AVS Forums many many help related questions regarding my 3 DTS 10'S it was nice to meet him in person. He was working on the new Jericho Sub which all I can say is OMG. I was looking around the room and everywhere you looked was a different type of speaker or sub. I was amazed with how awesome and manly everything looked. The Danley Cabinets have that mean look.
Ivan helped me with all my amplification questions regarding the SH 50'S, SH 69 and the SH 100'S. It was very nice to pick his brain about different Home Theater Gear there at Danley. This man has a wealth of knowledge.
For the Trip I brought along a competitors pro audio speaker set so I could do a side by side comparison. They have an electronic switching system in their demo room which allows you to switch to different speakers on the fly without stopping. So you can immediately hear the difference.
We first started off with their smallest sub CS 30which has a single 12 inch driver. It was being played along with the SH Mini. You would be amazed at how well this small solution sounded. Then we switched from the SH Mini to the SH Micro and you could hear the small steps of improvement as we climbed the ladder toward the bigger speakers.
Next up Mike played several music songs with the SH 100'S which I was very interested in hearing since that is what I’m wanting to use for my surrounds. I couldn’t believe the fidelity coming out of that box which has a single 8 inch coaxial.
Then it came time for me to bring in my speakers which has 2 8" inch drivers and a 8 inch coaxial with tweeter. When listened to it against the SH 100 and I couldn’t believe the difference. My speaker sounded very muddy compared to the SH 100. To explain this where you might be able to understand Ill say it like this. The sound coming out was in a straight path from the speaker to the listening area. It was very narrow. Kind of like if the speaker was 12 inches wide that’s how wide the sound was. The SH 100 was much cleaner and fuller. You couldn’t tell where the speaker was. The Danley sound comes to you in a wide pattern and envelopes your whole body. My speakers timing was off. In other words it seemed the 3 drivers were not hitting at the same time. That’s all I can guess. Basically it sounded like a transistor radio from the 70's. My brother leaned over and said wow I cant believe how much difference there is.
Then Mike switched over to the Danley Flagship the SH 50'S. These speakers made mine sound like the cones were full of gobbed up mud. OMG I don’t know what to say. Without any other speakers on and no sub on these sounded so realistic. Again the sound came out wide and crisp and clean. The mid bass was overwhelming. These things sound great without a sub! We played many different types of music. JAZZ, Gospel, Rock and Roll and Opera. The voice coming out of the performers mouths were so real! It was amazing. Right then and there I knew I was buying these! Before going to Danley my brother and I auditioned very expensive speakers from Wilson, Focal, JM Labs, Revel and a few others at this very high end well known brick and mortar store. Heck they even used a 40,000 set of ribbon speaker cables! These SH 50'S were BEST In Show! I also want to comment on the look of The Danley Gear too while I’m at it. I was really impressed how nice a pro audio speaker could look. They have this raw mean look like don’t piss me off.
The next thing we done was to hear the SH 69 which I want to use as a Center Channel. Like the SH 50 the fidelity was great. Its basically a SH 50 with different coverage pattern. Now came the fun part. Mike teamed the SH 50'S AND THE SH 69 and the front stage was crystal clean and just loafing along at 122 db. They were not even straining. Then we began to have fun integrating various sub woofers with this front stage. We were going from the dbh 218, TH 221, TH812 and a single DTS 10. Omega what fun it was. The TH 812 IS A GUT WRENCHING unit. On some songs my pants legs were flapping in the wind. The TH 221 has the look of a muscle man. With its open look into the massive 2 21" drivers it says don’t piss me off. I could not believe how sweet this was. Many of you write about the fact they don’t go down to 10 HTZ. Let me tell you the TH 221 and the TH 812 give more room shake than a trailer load of DTS 10'S could ever do. In that HTZ area of mid 20's to 45 it was in your face chest pumping bass. When I say this I mean it. I think either of these subs could make a person have a heart attack! We were also listening to the DBH 218 and its no slouch either.
The best part about the whole visit was how well we were treated at Danley. Here you had the co owner Mike Hedden , the magenious Ivan and Jeff giving up 4 hours to show us around. One thing that I never had to ask was "Could you please turn that up a little" lol. Mike had it cranking. What a real demo. We went from low volume critical listening to hard core rock and roll. The fidelity of all these speakers were unbelievable. If you want to test your high dollar speakers against theirs they encourage you to bring them along. Just be ready to sell them when you leave! My brother and I talked about the experience all the way home.
Here is what im ordering for now.
2 SH 50 for fl rf
1 SH 69 for center channel
4 SH 100'S for surrounds. One set will be the cinema version which has the slanted offset in the back of the cabinet for side surrounds.
I am thinking of selling my 3 DTS 10'S and replacing them with one single TH 221. I’m really concerned that it may knock off the bricks on my outside walls.
I have to get to bed now. My electrician is coming over at 7am to run 3 30 amp lines in preparation for the Danley Gear! Have a good weekend and I hope you find what I had to say enjoyable. I’m not the best writer but I know what my ears told me.