Oct 2, 2013 3:05 PM, With Mark Johnson
The line array concept has been around since the late 1950s, though for more than 35 years, the systems were column arrays, primarily for vocal reproduction in installed systems. It wasn’t until the mid 1990s that line array systems were developed for large-scale, full-range, high-performance touring loudspeaker systems. Now, they’re commonplace in touring, as well as installations, and the systems come in all shapes and sizes for a multitude of applications. We’ll be looking at a mixed bag of implementations representative of the diversity of available products. As such, there will be examples of column arrays as well as modular systems.
Adamson’s Metrix W-i is a compact, two-way line source array incorporating EIR (Enclosed Installation Rigging) for installation applications. The system comprises an Adamson ND8-ML Kevlar neodymium low-mid driver and a B&C DE800 1.4in. compression driver mounted on a high-frequency wave-shaping chamber. Horizontal coverage is 120 degrees and vertical coverage is 90 degrees with a peak SPL of 132.5dB. The frequency response is 95Hz to 18kHz.
Intended for portable and permanent installations, Alcons Audio’s LR16 features the RBN601 6in. pro-ribbon, high-frequency driver on a “morpher” wave guide and two 8in. AMB8 low-frequency drivers, which provide a frequency response of 70Hz to 20,000Hz. A single element provides a 90-degree horizontal by 40-degree vertical coverage pattern. The high-frequency horn revolves allowing application in a line array system or as a standalone loudspeaker.
A-Line Acoustics’ AL123A-B is a powered, three-way line array system with two 12in. low-frequency drivers, four 6in. midrange drivers and two 1.4in. high-frequency drivers. The system is powered by 3600W for a maximum SPL of 136dB. The frequency response is 70Hz–18 kHz. The system utilizes A-Line’s EZAL rigging system.
Bogen’s SCW35 Sound Column comprises six 6in. full-range drivers and provides a maximum SPL of 105dB and a frequency response of 70Hz to 18,0000Hz. The vertical coverage is 25 degrees and the horizontal coverage is 120 degrees.
Designed for fixed installations, Bose RoomMatch modules come in a vast array of coverage pattern combinations (five vertical and four horizontal coverage pattern choices), which are incorporated to form Progressive Directivity Arrays. The coverage and directivity of each module is selected to optimize room coverage and system efficiency. All modules provide a frequency response of 60 Hz to 16 kHz.
The i-3 from Clair Global is intended for small to midsized applications or as fill as part of a larger system. The centrally located mid/high section provides 140-degree horizontal by 10-degree vertical coverage. Integrated rigging hardware allows for 0 to 10 degrees adjustability.
For indoor and outdoor applications, the all-weather Community Professional ENT200 two-way compact column array loudspeaker features selectable low impedance or 70V/100V operation. The frequency response is 80Hz to 22kHz and the maximum SPL is 130dB from 20, 80mm long excursion Mylar drivers and four, three element Compact Ribbon Emulators. The horizontal coverage is 140 degrees and the vertical coverage is 15 degrees.
d&b audiotechnik’s Qi1 is the installation version of the Q1 line array loudspeaker comprising a passive two-way design that houses two 10in. low-frequency drivers and one 1.3in. high-frequency compression driver mounted to a toroidal waveshaping device. The coverage is 75 degrees horizontal by 15 degrees vertical. The frequency response is 60Hz to 17kHz, and the maximum SPL is 139dB with the D 12 amplifier. Four M10 threaded inserts on each side panel of the cabinet enclosure are provided for attaching installation hardware.
The Convert 12A from D.A.S. Audio is a powered, two-way curved source array unit. A two-channel Class D power amplifier provides 550W low frequency and 220W for high frequency. The frequency range is 63Hz to 18kHz with a rated maximum peak SPL of 128dB. Horizontal coverage is 90 degrees and vertical coverage is 15 degrees. The Convert 12A includes a pole-mount socket with variable inclination for use as a satellite unit in combination with subwoofers.
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