Poland’s iconic Spodek Arena upgrades with Danley

Poland: Every major musical act that tours through Poland is sure to play Spodek, the 40-year old, UFO-shaped building whose name translates as ‘saucer’, and the arena hosts a range of athletic events, including the recent 2009 EuroBasket championship. At that event, a temporary sound system composed principally of Danley Genesis Horns inspired the stadium owners to invest in a permanent system from the loudspeaker manufacturer.

The new system sounds (almost literally) stunning, with abundant fidelity and volume delivered by twelve Danley Jericho Horns, two Danley Genesis Horns, and several dozen Danley subwoofers and full-range cabinets.

Piotr Pronko, veteran A/V designer of four decades and head of the firm Natural Sound Service and Danley Sound Mission Europe, designed both the temporary system for the 2009 EuroBasket and the new permanent system for Spodek. “Everyone who heard the temporary system at EuroBasket was impressed,” he said. “The system had the clarity of a home hi-fi set and the well-resolved impact of a great club system. We only used four Danley Genesis Horns to cover 11,500 seats! After that, the owners weren’t interested in sampling any other speakers. They were happy and settled on Danley horns for the permanent installation.”

Not only did Pronko design a system for the main arena, but he also designed Danley-based systems for the adjacent Ice Arena and the outdoor video screen. Trias integrated and installed the A/V system, including the design of a spectacular 100-square meter screen outside and another spectacular 90-square meter wrapped screen inside the arena.

Twelve Danley Jericho Horns (JH-90) and two Danley Genesis Horns (GH-60) comprise the main system for the main arena. Both models incorporate Tom Danley’s acoustics-bending, patent-pending technologies to deliver powerful single point source performance across the audible frequency range, a feat heretofore undocumented in the annals of acoustics. The well-defined beam widths of the Jericho and Genesis Horns allowed Pronko to aim specific boxes at specific seating sections, with virtually seamless transitions at their edges. As such, the Horns form an exploded circle around the arena’s central screen. Each one is separately controlled and voiced, and each is self-powered. Two Danley TH-215 and six Danley TH-118 subwoofers provide the system with an almost limitless bottom end.

Respected acoustician Doug Jones flew in from the States to take measurements on Spodek’s Danley horns and found remarkable consistency from seating area to seating area and from seat to seat. “They couldn’t have achieved that level of performance with line array technology,” he explained. “The advantage of the Danley Jericho and Genesis Horns is that they are true point source boxes. In contrast, line arrays inherently introduce tremendous interference that damages intelligibility and makes the frequency and phase response deeply inconsistent from seat to seat.”

In the Ice Arena, Pronko covered all 2,500 seats with sixteen of Danley’s flagship SH-50 full-range loudspeakers. Like the Jericho and Genesis Horns, they provide point-source clarity and knit together seamlessly. Four additional SH-50s with mobile hardware provide the Spodek A/V technicians with the flexibility to cover events that don’t conform to the standard set-up. To support the immense outdoor screen, which provides bystanders with a view of what’s happening inside, Pronko installed eight Danley SM-60s. Even at a distance, the molded and compact SM-60s deliver clearly intelligible audio across the audible frequency range. Eight Danley SH-100s serve as mobile stage monitors, and 130 Yorkville C130 100-volt speakers cover the hallways, the bathrooms, and the like.

Eight Lake ML26 processors in a centrally-located control room provide all of the system’s input and output conditioning. Every Danley loudspeaker in Spodek is self-powered, with each of the Jericho Horns receiving more than 18,000-Watts. Jones noted that other venues with greater seating capacity had been abundantly covered with fewer Jericho Horns. “Spodek wanted a sound system with impact, and they got it,” he laughed. “Even at top concert volume, you get the sense that there is still tons of headroom. Nothing’s working hard – not the amps and not the Danley Horns – so you still have that comfortable sound that other systems only display when they are very quiet. The Danley installation at Spodek is truly remarkable.”

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