The history of Market Square in Knoxville, Tennessee stretches back to 1854, when it was first used by local farmers to sell their produce and wares, a use that continues today. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984, its use was (and is) much more than a farm stand, however. Booker T. Washington, William Jennings Bryan, and Ronald Reagan all made speeches at Market Square. And musicians, from Duke Ellington to Steve Winwood, have long used its pedway and dedicated stage for performances. In recent years, however, lackluster sound quality from the stage put a damper on enthusiasm for concerts. Local A/V integration firm Stellar Vision and Sound fixed that problem with the design and installation of a stereo pair of Danley Sound Labs SH-96HO point-source loudspeakers, which now fill Market Square with colossal, reference-monitor quality sound.

“A lot of jazz enthusiasts and audiophiles regularly attend Market Square performances, and they were able to put their finger on the low-quality audio that everyone else was experiencing,” said Eddie Speeks, president of Stellar Vision and Sound. “They needed a system with vastly better fidelity and consistency within the area of coverage. Those are the hallmarks of Danley’s innovative speaker designs, and the folks at Danley helped us zero in on the perfect solution for the space. And that’s not all; they also helped us arrange a demo to provide proof of concept. The demo – at the stage itself – convinced everyone involved that we had the right solution.”

The stereo pair of Danley SH-96HOs ride ten feet atop two custom-built stands, and they shipped from Danley’s North Carolina manufacturing facility with optional waterproofing installed. Because each SH-96HO has four 15-inch low-frequency drivers per box, it produces smooth, phase-coherent audio down to 66Hz, mitigating the need for additional subwoofers. A single Danley DNA 20K4 provides biamped power to both loudspeakers with four channels of 5000W amplification. In addition, the DNA 20K4’s integrated DSP provides all of the input signal conditioning and loudspeaker conditioning necessary for the system. A new Midas M32 digital console gives the system user control with high fidelity and instant recall.

“The system looks and sounds like a giant reference monitor,” Speeks said. “There’s a nice big sweet spot in the middle that really makes it feel like you’re sitting in a colossal control room. It’s been a hit, especially with the regular shows like the area’s premier jazz act, Marble City 5. The audiophiles can put their finger on the natural transparency and honest low-end of the Danley boxes; everyone else is just enjoying some great sounding music!”

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