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Live Sound

U.S. Nets First Martin Audio WPL Systems

Virginia’s Soundworks and Southard Audio first to acquire Martin Audio WPL flagship PA.

Virginia (February 26, 2019)—They say Virginia is for lovers, but that seems to have been revoked—now it appears to be for Martin Audio’s new Wavefront Precision Longbow system, as two Virginia-based sound providers were the first in the world to purchase the new flagship PA.

Soundworks in Richmond, VA and Southard Audio in Mount Crawford, VA share a cooperative relationship within the Middle Atlantic region, and purchased systems that include 24 WPL cabinets, 12 SXH218 hybrid subs and 12 iK42 amps.

Officially launched at ISE 2019 in Amsterdam, WPL is designed as a complete system with external iKON multi-channel amplifiers, automated DISPLAY optimization software and VU-NET control platform. A three-way, bi-amped system, WPL uses Martin’s horn-loading technology across all frequency bands, increasing the acoustic output of the low frequency section as well as the midrange and HF.

Martin Audio Unveils Wavefront Precision Longbow PA

Soundworks founder and CEO Steve Payne explained, “Soundworks and Southard Audio have worked closely together since 1990 and we’d both been using the same model line array system since Mike (Southard) and I decided early on not to compete with but support one another.” Once Payne was convinced that WPL was the way to go, Mike Southard, founder and owner of Southard Audio, checked it out. “For me, WPL is essentially an MLA system with less processing power,” said Southard. “As far as SPL output, audio acuity and all of the tangible sonic points of the box, WPL is pretty close to MLA with the only real difference being external amplifiers and a lower resolution even though WPL does have certain features such as Hard Avoid up to a point. Plus MLA has been out there, it’s a known quantity and people seem to like it a lot which made it a lower market risk for us to go with Martin Audio. We went in very confident that we had a known entity even though WPL is a brand-new system.”

Their first listening session for the WPL system was at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, VA. As Southard reported, “Overall, WPL exceeded my expectations even though the Coliseum is a very difficult space with lots of slap and echo. We started off by doing a Hard Avoid on the ceiling down to the top rows as a default and the coverage was seamless. We walked the room carefully and the prediction software was very accurate.

“I was also very impressed with the availability of SPL and the headroom. I feel confident we could do any type of act in that space with this amount of PA. I was really happy. Everything they told us was going to happen, happened. WPL rigged easily and the software, cabling, and amp settings worked perfectly right out of the box.”

Martin Audio •