Once a bedroom community for Chicago, the village of Bolingbrook, Illinois has developed far beyond its suburban origins. While its close proximity to the metropolis still plays a large role in its economy, Bolingbrook has created infrastructure that encourages a sense of community and provides its 73,000+ residents with plenty of opportunities for recreation right in town.
A good example is the Bolingbrook Performing Arts Centre (BPAC), which provides a beautiful outdoor venue for everything from local theatre to national music acts. Built 16 years ago, BPAC recently replaced its original sound reinforcement system with a Danley Sounds Labs design that includes new Danley amps, processing, mains, and subwoofers. Critically, the Danley system ably meets all of the village’s requirements while costing less than half the cost of other manufacturer’s designs, which allowed Bolingbrook to revamp the entire system in one fell swoop instead of dragging the process out over several years.
“The manufacturer of the Performing Arts Center’s original sound reinforcement system went out of business, and we had used up the last of our replacement parts,” said Steve Dollinger, owner of Music Solutions, the local music store and pro audio tech company that, having worked extensively with BPAC in the past, was hired to help guide the village in the design, purchase, and installation of a new system. “If anything else failed, we were totally out of luck! The village had to get a new system. We received quotes from several well-known loudspeaker manufacturers, but all of them were at least twice what the village could afford. Thus, they all proposed multi-phase installations that would require multiple years. That wasn’t very appealing because it’s hard enough to get funding once and because it still left the village vulnerable with at least part of a system that was no longer serviceable.”
He continued: “In contrast, Danley proposed a system that could replace everything at one time and still stay within budget. Perhaps more impressively, the Danley system would meet and exceed all of their performance requirements. For example, pattern control had always been challenging with the old system. It’s difficult to simultaneously cover the flat deck of premium seating near the stage and the inclined lawn area without also firing past the lawn into the neighbourhood beyond.
“Danley is famous for its pattern control, and the Danley design would provide excellent coverage of both seating areas without upsetting the neighbours. And to top it off, Danley arranged to have the well-known acoustician Doug Jones come in to commission the system at no extra charge.” Don Ludwig of Ludwig Marketing, the Midwest distributor of Danley Sound Labs equipment, helped coordinate everything.
The BPAC’s new system consists of mirror image left and right clusters, each consisting of a Danley SH-96HO full-range loudspeaker, a Danley SH-69 full-range loudspeaker, and two Danley DBH-218 subwoofers. “When we were testing out the subwoofers, we got a call from the village office at the opposite end of the facility,” Steve said. “We asked, ‘oh what, can you hear it?’ and they laughed and said, ‘no, we can feel it!’ I knew we had hit a home run!” In addition to the left and right clusters, the BPAC now also has a tight pack cluster of three Danley SM-60F full-range loudspeakers to serve as fill and as a centre channel.
Danley’s affordable package included a Danley DSLP48 digital signal processor and seven Danley amplifiers: three dual-channel Danley DLA 7500 with additional onboard DSP and four dual-channel Danley EDA 12000 amplifiers. “No doubt, the Danley system has plenty of power and headroom,” Steve said. “And all the Danley components work seamlessly together – it was practically plug and play! They’re going to be able to hit big volumes with national acts without fatiguing the system or running into distortion.”
Once everything was installed, Doug Jones arrived with his calibration equipment and proceeded to make the already-great sounding system sound even better. “After it was up for a week or so, the facilities director gave me a call,” Steve said. “He told me, ‘we didn’t just hit a home run… we hit a grand slam!’ Everything was crystal clear and all of the vocals that had previously been so unintelligible cut right through the mix. All the instruments were well separated and easy to listen to. Even spoken word got a very noticeable improvement. It’s been up a while now, and I keep getting positive comments from folks around town. Bolingbrook has a performing arts centre to be proud of!”