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Technology Showcase: Line-array Loudspeakers

May 1, 2008 12:00 PM, By Bennett Liles

The latest range of enclosures pack more audio punch.

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The field has become quite competitive in the area of line-array loudspeakers. In an effort to gain the edge, companies have introduced a new level of soundscaping through hardware rigging, multi-amplifier control, and software sound-tailoring applications. Smaller enclosures packing more punch are showing up everywhere, and the specs on these systems have reached a new plateau for efficiency and power handling.

From Adamson Systems Engineering, the Metrix is a light, ultra-compact two-way true line-array system. Designed for medium SPL for small to mid-size venues or as an under-hanging side and front or balcony fill in arrays of six or more elements, the Metrix offers two rigging system options. It also incorporates a newly designed Adamson ND8-ML 8.5in. Kevlar neodymium low-mid frequency driver and the B&C DE800 1.4in. high-frequency compression driver with a patented high-frequency wave-shaping chamber. Each enclosure has a 5-degree vertical and 120-degree horizontal coverage pattern.

Alcons Audio offers the LR14, a passive, two-way line-source loudspeaker system as a vertical array either stacked or flown for both touring and permanent installation. The unit features an RBN401 pro-ribbon HF driver, and it is SignalIntegritySensing (SIS) pre-wired for very high damping and reduced distortion. The horizontal dispersion is 120 degrees and the vertical dispersion is 15 degrees with a maximum RMS power-handling capability of 400W and maximum peak power spec of 1000W. For extended bass response, the LR14 can be combined with the pressure-bass LR14B, the deep sub-system BF181, or both.

The 2"×10" AL10 line-array system from A-Line Acoustics features Line Source Replication for maximum projection and detail, and it uses dual 4-pin or optional 8-pin Speakon connectors for a high-power solution in a small package. The frequency response spec is 75Hz to 18kHz with an 800Hz crossover through 10in. neodymium woofers. The AL10A is available as a powered version and hybrid-active line-array version using the AL10X unpowered slave enclosure. The unit uses XLR connectors — those used by all ICE modules in the A-Line Acoustics product line.

The ALA-9 — the largest of the ALA line-array series from Apogee Sound — is a triamped three-way, electronically coupled system with 1200W LF, 600W MF, and 450W HF response. The unit exhibits a vertical dispersion of 10 degrees and a horizontal dispersion of 90 degrees. The nominal impedance on the low-frequency section is 8Ω and 4Ω on the mid- and high-frequency sections. The ALA-9 provides a maximum SPL of 136dB continuous and 142dB peak. In either a flat-pack or tight-pack configuration, the enclosures are joined together with connecting bars for the desired angular relationship and secured in place by aircraft-grade retention pins.

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