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Hands On: Martin Audio W8lm Mini Line Array

I love the sound and the fact that the package is so well thought out. Being 12-ohm modules, I can run up to six cabinets per channel if necessary.

Mark Waker, Principal, Balanced Input, North Attleboro, Mass. Balanced Input is a consulting/contracting firm focused on audio and video solutions for corporate, commercial, education, and entertainment uses.

MY PICK: Martin Audio W8LM mini line array module

LIST PRICE: $4,099

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT IT: I love the sound and the fact that the package is so well thought out. Being 12-ohm modules, I can run up to six cabinets per channel if necessary. They can be used passive or bi-amped, are very

efficient, and go low enough so that we only need subs for high level music/video applications. The W8LM system has very tight vertical dispersion and can be trimmed so that virtually all the energy is focused where you want it, on the listeners.

WHAT I WOULD CHANGE: The angle adjustment system relies on good old elbow grease, so trimming the rig is a two-man operation. A foam-wrapped pry bar works well but looks so low-tech. Also, the handles could be deeper, and they are a little pricey.

WHERE I USED IT: We used these at live outdoor events during dedication ceremonies at Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, N.H.

MY RESULTS: Following a dreadful hailstorm that damaged the planned venue, the dinner ceremonies were moved to a large tent (120 feet by 60 feet). A stage was placed midway down the long wall and dining tables were crammed in almost every inch under the tent. We set up against the wall behind the stage. We also used Martin Audio's W8LMD modules for downfill as part of the array cluster, because they have a 20 degree vertical dispersion. Although the main speakers were behind the microphones, the smooth response and linear behavior of the W8LM system ensured that every word was heard — without feedback, without distortion, and without drama.

The next morning, for the outdoor dedication ceremonies, we were again forced to place the loudspeakers well behind the presenters. We also added subwoofers, as we were amplifying a jazz trio and got the same excellent results, only this time we were covering almost two acres. I know of no other system that can do this, and do it on a single amp run from a wall outlet.

 


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