SwimRVA is the largest aquatic center in Richmond, Virginia, and its beautiful 50-meter competition pool with ample mezzanine spectator seating remains in nearly-constant use by local schools, clubs, classes, and members. Last year, SwimRVA hosted a portion of the US Open Swim Championships, which were covered on ESPN. To improve SwimRVA’s ability to attract similar big-name events in the future and to improve the spectator experience for the myriad events SwimRVA routinely hosts, regional AV integration firm RTW Media recently installed five Danley SBH20 column-form loudspeakers for spectator coverage. Danley’s patented technologies deliver incredible pattern control and phase coherent intelligibility, and Danley’s optional weatherproof construction will extend the new system’s life in the pool room’s extremely challenging atmosphere.
“By all accounts, the previous sound system was terrible,” explained Zack Guida, Logistics Manager at RTW Media. “The previous loudspeakers were big and boomy and threw sound all over the room. The system was straight-up unintelligible. Period.” The technicians at RTW Media added acoustic treatments to the ceiling in the form of sound-absorbing fabrics that now hang down between support structures and soak up excessive acoustical energy. That is a big help, and the entire room sounds better overall. However, new loudspeakers with excellent pattern control and tremendous fidelity would still be required to deliver the kind of intelligibility that SwimRVA required.
“There’s lots of advice on the Internet for how to build a church sound system, but you’re not going to find similar advice for aquatic centers,” Guida observed. “At SwimRVA, we didn’t need low-mid response, and their existing subwoofers would fill in the deep low end without affecting intelligibility. We have had great success with Danley’s patented point-source loudspeaker technology in the past, and we knew it would provide the directivity and fidelity that we needed at SwimRVA. The Danley SBH20 column-form loudspeaker has the very tight vertical and very wide horizontal pattern control that we needed for the mezzanine seating, and it is purposely designed without a lot of low-mid output. That was exactly what we needed.”
RTW Media demoed the system for SwimRVA and received commitment for the installation. Guida’s design called for five Danley SBH20 loudspeakers distributed evenly in front of the long mezzanine seating area. Importantly, Guida ordered the SBH20s with Danley’s optional weatherizing treatment. “It’s so humid in there that everything breaks,” he said. “Danley’s weatherizing is the best in the industry, and that was critical at SwimRVA.”
He continued, “The spectator system at SwimRVA went from unusable to amazing! They couldn’t be any happier! It went so well that they are looking forward to upgrading to Danley TH115 subwoofers in the next month or so.”