From lighthouse to U.S. military base to military prison to federal prison to National Park Service historic site, it’s been an interesting ride into history for Alcatraz Island. Now, new tenants on the island that improve their surroundings dramatically: Danley G02 loudspeakers.
Alcatraz attracts more than 2,000 visitors every day more than 40 years after it ended a three-decade run as a federal prison in 1963 and it lives on in the cultural consciousness as the most notorious and inescapable prison ever. It’s been the subject of books, TV shows, and movies.
True to its reputation, the government sent all of its worst criminals there, including Al Capone and George “Machine Gun” Kelly, and, despite numerous attempts, no one is believed to have survived an escape from Alcatraz.
Escape TO Alcatraz
Recently, local AV integrator San Francisco Audio designed and installed a sound system for the nine most important docent locations on Alcatraz using fully-weatherized Danley GO2 8CX loudspeakers.
“There is a huge volume of visitors to Alcatraz, and the National Park Service docents give tours explaining the island’s features and history,” said Radley Hirsch, owner of San Francisco Audio.
“We needed a solid outdoor loudspeaker for the places where the docents stop.”
Each docent station has a Lectrosonics wireless microphone system with an ear-worn microphone, a Surge-X power conditioner to tame Alcatraz’s off-the-grid solar panel system, and a small 120-watt mono JBL CSA1120Z amplifier.
The JBL amp takes a balanced, line level input and outputs to 8 Ohms with a sleep circuit to minimize power usage.
Hirsch found that the best way to attach each Danley GO2 8CX to its pole was with a stainless-steel U-bolt.
“The system sounds lovely, and the Rangers love it,” he said.
“There’s no EQ except a bass roll-off from the Lectrosonics transmitters, and the amp to loudspeaker run is pretty short with good 12-gauge West Penn Wire.
Apparently, not everyone is a fan of the new Alcatraz sound system.
“Although the Danley GO2 8CXs can handle a lot of power and deliver a lot of volume, we’re deliberately keeping them quiet: just enough to cover a group of 20 to 200 people for spoken word and not so much as to bleed into other areas of the island.”
“Although there’s been some talk of painting the Danley boxes, the historical committee has yet to decide on a color, and the seagulls have taken it upon themselves to paint them ‘guano’ in the interim,” said Hirsch with a laugh.