Pure Groove Systems and Tom Danley create new high-power dance music loudspeaker systems. Rob Speight grooves along
In the world of club systems, one would think that brightly-coloured boxes are a pre-requisite. Think purple from Funktion-One, crimson from Void Acoustics… and now to add to the palette, Pure Groove’s orange offering.
However, it’s not just the paint job that’s unique when it comes to the new PG range (pictured in action above). The systems, designed by Tom Danley of Danley Sound Labs – arguably best known for equipping sports arenas and the like in the US – have a high power-to-size ratio and therefore are also ‘green’, according to Pure Groove, requiring less amplification and processing.
But what makes these boxes any better for dance music than some of the more established and loved brands? “Our boxes feature 3-way Synergy Horn technology,” explains Damian Murphy, founder of Los Angeles-based Pure Groove Systems. “They are full-range, point-source designs that utilise multiple drivers of different bandwidths in a single horn that is phase accurate, and consistent in response over the entire coverage area.
“Our systems deliver superior clarity, power and definition, with warm analogue bass that immerses and energises the crowd. As a veteran promoter, I have used many sound systems over the last 27 years and I can honestly say that I’ve never heard anything that comes close to their hi-fi quality.” He would say that, of course: but DJs including John Digweed and Jody Wisternoff (Way Out West) have supplied glowing testimonials regarding the sound, too.
Tom Danley himself enthuses about the collaboration: “The project with Pure Groove has been particularly exciting due in large part to their foresight and imagination. Taking our patented systems designed for the country’s largest sports arenas and fine-tuning them for the musical complexity of EDM is an exciting new direction.”
Is so-called ‘Electronic Dance Music’ really that musically complex to reproduce? “EDM is made up of many layers and sonic elements blended together, so as you rightly point out, on most systems, it can sound very loud and bass heavy with screaming hi-frequencies,” says Murphy. “However, with our Synergy Horn technology, you can actually hear every detail and texture in the music, particularly in the mid-range frequencies that get lost on most systems.”
The PG range, which currently consists of the PGJ-94 — a 90 x 40 degree dispersion mid-high box loaded with 18 drivers (6 x 12” and 8 x 6.5” drivers coupled with 4 x 1.4” compression drivers) can deliver an output of 142dBSPL continuous (band dependent) and weighs in at 420lbs (190kg)— as well as the BC218 sub-bass which is loaded with 4 x 18” drivers onto two horns, sharing a single exit port, and capable of providing 148dBSPL and a frequency response of 26-150Hz.
One challenge to any loudspeaker manufacturer, especially one based in the United States, is how to be competitive in the European marketplace with the added costs of shipping and fluctuating exchange rates. Murphy confidently tackles this concern head on: “Although international shipping does add to the cost, there are many customers who don’t mind spending the additional money because they want to have, in their opinion, the best sound system in their country. We are also currently in discussions about manufacturing outside of the USA.” As if to prove a point, the new system was demo’d in Salisbury, UK in March.
The boxes (pictured) can be combined into either a ground-stacked or flown system and are suitable for install or touring – though weight may become an issue. “In a permanent install, there are 3/8” fly points all over the cabinet,” details Murphy. “For portable applications there is L track on the sides which can be used in a couple of different ways-depending on how the user wants to do it. You can attach directly to the L track with fly points or the L-track can attach to a bumper bar and hung from a single motor.”
The eye-catching boxes have already found a home in venues including the Opera Nightclub (Atlanta, US), Clash Club (São Paolo) and De Marktkantine (Amsterdam).
To power the system, Pure Groove recommends its British-made Danley DNA amplifiers, released last year and incorporating all the DSP (crossover and limiting etc) to get the best from the PG system.
Ultimately, how can Pure Groove really make headway into this already busy market place? “There are many choices when it comes to sound systems, and even though there are some with impressive looks and cleverly packaged features, it’s basically the same technology that’s been used for decades,” says Murphy. “When it comes to pure audio quality, our Synergy Horn technology is in a league of its own and we would gladly go side by side with any other system to prove it because the difference is clear.”
Like any other orange, you’re just going to have to suck it and see.