Jul 22, 2013 3:18 PM, By Mark Johnson
Portable PA systems literally come in all shapes and sizes. Many have multi-angle, asymmetrical cabinets, so they can double as floor monitors. Some include onboard amplification and DSP for efficient set up and operation. These systems often offer multiple ways to mount and rig including the ubiquitous pole-mount socket and integrated rigging points. And some speakers feature rotatable horns that can be used at any angle or orientation. There’s no shortage of manufacturers for this market segment, so we’ll get right to it.
The LX10 comes from Canadian manufacturer Adamson and features a frequency response of 55Hz to 18kHz from a passively crossed over 10in. AX10 low-frequency driver and a 1in. compression high-frequency driver mounted on a patented Adamson Acoustic waveguide. The coverage is 70 degrees by 50 degrees, and the maximum SPL is 121.1dB. The speaker features an integral pole mount.
The Alto TS115 Vibe is an active loudspeaker system incorporating an 800W Class D power amplifier driving a 15in. low-frequency driver and 1in. neodymium high-frequency driver. The speaker features an onboard solid-state media player. The system is compatible with MP3, WMA, and AAC files, which can load into the media player or play directly from a USB drive or a microSD card.
American Audio’s ELS15A comprises Class A/B bi-amplifiers, a titanium high-frequency driver, and a 15in. low-frequency driver. The speaker also features XLR and RCA line inputs, and XLR and TRS mic inputs, along with input gain control and two band EQ. The ELSA15A incorporates nine fly points and can be stand-mounted, as well. The total weight is 39.5lbs.
The Anchor Audio Beacon is a battery-powered, portable line array tower with eight 4in. woofers and a base with three 8in. woofers powered by a proprietary Class D amplifier. The system features single or dual built-in UHF wireless with 16 user-selectable channels, optional built-in MP3 player that accepts an SD card, USB flash drive, or 3.5mm input for an iPod. The system will operate six to eight hours on a charge.
The Bose L1 Model II System with ToneMatch port comes with the L1 model II power stand, the L1 model II cylindrical radiator, and the B1 bass module. The optional T1 ToneMatch audio engine provides DSP, additional inputs, and user-interface control. The power stand can drive up to two B1 bass modules (available as additional options), and the accessory PackLite power amplifier can drive up to two additional B1 bass modules.
The PowerPro SD Model PA919SD from Califone is a 16-channel wireless system that can support multiple powered companion speakers via the built-in wireless transmitter. The system includes an SD card slot and USB 2.0 port for playback and recording, two wireless mic receivers, and an onboard CD player. The system also provides two combo XLP/1/4in. mic inputs and AC/DC power supply. \
Cerwin Vega brings the self-powered, bi-amplified P1500X to the table (or pole mount). The system comprises a 15in. woofer and a high-frequency compression driver mounted on a proprietary hemi-conical horn, which provides 90 degree horizontal and 65 degree vertical coverage. The frequency response is 55Hz to 20.5kHz, and the maximum SPL is 134dB. The speaker features an angle adjustable pole-mount socket, threaded M10 suspension points, and an onboard three input mixer.
Community’s SLS920 is a three-way electronically controlled loudspeaker system. The speaker can be used in passive mode or bi-amplified. Two 8in. low-frequency drivers, one M200 2in. mid-frequency driver, and one VHP100 1in. high-frequency driver provide a frequency response of 95Hz to 18kHz with a maximum peak SPL of 137dB. Mounting and rigging provisions include 3/8-16 rigging points and 5/16-18 inserts for stand adapter or mounting bracket.
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