Danley reinforces historic Bearsville Theatre
Monday, 11 January 2021
bearsvillestageThe theatre is set to re-open with a Danley sound system in place
USA - Albert Grossman – music industry guru and manager of Bob Dylan, The Band, Janis Joplin, Odetta, and Peter, Paul, & Mary, among many others – founded the Bearsville creative complex in the 1970s in Woodstock, New York. Sadly, Albert died while the Bearsville Theatre was still under construction, and his widow, Sally Grossman, saw it through to completion in 1989.
The John Storyk-designed theatre remains part of a complex that included restaurants, residences, the Utopia production studio, and a recording studio. The Rolling Stones, Isley Brothers, Ozzy Osbourne, REM, Peter Tosh, Phish, Dave Matthews Band, and many others recorded at the studio. The theatre is set to re-open with a Danley sound system in place.
“Woodstock obviously holds a special place in music history, starting with the ‘Sound-Outs’ of the 1960’s that inspired the much larger Woodstock Festival,” explained Lizzie Vann, new owner of the Bearsville Theatre. “It’s an amazing place, just two hours from New York City, and Albert really created the renown of today’s Woodstock’ by building the Bearsville complex here. We’re excited to revive it and build the Bearsville Theatre into the musical heartbeat of the region again.”
“Albert Grossman originally intended the Bearsville Theatre to be a showcase venue for his artists to present to the industry,” said Robert Frazza, veteran live sound engineer (Todd Rundgren, Adrian Belew, ABBA, and 30-plus year Woodstock resident and Bearsville Theater engineer. “The property was an old farm, and the theatre is built into the barn. Albert brought in John Storyk to make sure the acoustics were outstanding, and even with a terrible reinforcement system, it’s a great-sounding room. With the new Danley system, it’s blowing everyone away.”
The Danley system found its way into the Bearsville Theater via Stan Denis and his Albany-based production company, Denis Entertainment Group. Frazza had used Denis’s portable Danley SM80 and TH118XL rig for Woodstock-area shows to mix Orleans, Tony Levin’s Stick Men, and Phil Keaggy. “My Danley rig is famous for showing up, getting deployed in minutes, and then inspiring the sceptical question, ‘will it be enough?’” said Denis. “They always ask because the Danley SM80s look so small compared to the inefficient conventional boxes that they’re used to. Then I fire it up and they’re like, ‘what the heck?!’ Not only is it plenty loud enough, it sounds way better than what they’re used to.”
That said, Frazza knew different tops would be needed at the Bearsville Theatre, so Denis worked with Skip Welch, eastern regional sales manager with Danley, to arrange a demo of the Danley SH46 full-range loudspeaker together with TH118XL subwoofers in the theatre itself.
Now, a stereo pair of Danley SH46s cover the 400-capacity room, supported by four Danley TH118XL subwoofers. A single, four-channel Danley DNA 20k4 Pro 20,000-watt amplifier powers the entire system: one channel each for each SH46, two central TH118XLs together on channel three, and two flanking TH118XLs together on channel four.
Figuring that any acts that are very particular about the choice of console will likely travel with their own, Denis installed a workhorse Midas M32 since most engineers are already familiar with it. To round things out, a pair of Danley GO2 8CX full-range loudspeakers provide front-fill when needed from movable positions at the front-lip of the stage. Two additional stereo pairs of Danley GO2 8CX cover the bar, where patrons get an amazing view of the stage through angled glass windows. They are slightly delayed so as to synch perfectly with the low end coming from the TH118XL subwoofers fifty feet away.

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