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First Alcons “The Ribbon” Line Arrays Hit the Road

In November 2003, German company Kohlmann Veranstaltungstechnik (event technology) took delivery of a large Alcons “The Ribbon” system

In November 2003, German company Kohlmann Veranstaltungstechnik(event technology) took delivery of a large Alcons “TheRibbon” system, comprising 18 LR16 line array modules withdedicated transport cases, six ALC2 controller amplifiers, completewith cables, connector panels with AC power distribution and dedicatedprocessing.

Pictured: “The Ribbon” system delivery to HerbertHeinze/BSV (first from left) and Jens Wiegand/Kohlmann (second fromright) and part of the Alcons team.

The second company was Blue Sound Veranstaltungstechnik fromPlumpsfort, Germany, which purchased a complete “TheRibbon” system: 12 LR16 line array modules, four ALC2 controlleramplifier and all accompanying hardware.

Jens Wiegand, managing director of Kohlmann, commented,“Kohlmann is active in very different projects in the Bremer andHannover exhibition and congress halls, ranging from productpresentations to music events. Flexibility and fast response arecrucial to offer our clients the best service. We always focus onquality in our projects and the equipment inventory reflects thisphilosophy. We were looking for a new sound system and we came acrossAlcons, a new company making very strong product claims that initiallysounded too good to be true. As we didn’t want to step into thisnew technology overnight, especially with a new company, we decidedextensive tests had to convince us.”

Herbert Heinze, managing director of Blue Sound said, “BSV ismore active in music events and concerts. We were already familiar withthe smoothness of ribbon technology, as we have had custom-build ribbondriver cabinets for quite some time. With the ribbon’s naturalcylindrical wavefront, the use of ribbon technology in a line arraydidn’t surprise me, but when it comes to sheer SPL and throw, Ihad to be convinced on the application in higher-SPLconcerts.”

Both companies decided to use two Kohlmann events for theevaluation: one congress event and one hip hop event. The SAP-congressevent was held in the Bremer Stadthalle and included speech andmultimedia presentations.

According to Wiegand, “With a nine-element Alcons line arrayper side, we not only had even coverage on the ground floor andbalcony, saving time and delay equipment, the sound was alsointelligible and ‘in-the-face’ everywhere at all SPLlevels. But the most striking difference, however, was the huge‘gain before feedback’ we had with our lavaliermicrophones, even directly under the array. The client was verysurprised and asked where the feedback was, as they got accustomed tothat with their presentations! We now also have to do their future jobswith this system.”

The second evaluation project was a large event in the HannoverMesse, called “Next Generation,” with high-SPL hip hopbands and other music styles. Again, a nine-element Alcons array incombination with subs crossed at only 63 Hz, as this is where the LR16line array cabinets -3dB frequency response start.

According to Heinze, “The throw and even SPL coverage over the50 meter/150-foot-deep hall were very convincing. The overallperformance was very surprising: You expect a ribbon system to soundgreat at moderate levels, but this typical fast transient response athigh SPL’ is an amazing experience. Such dynamic power outputfrom such a small box. Each time, we get a lot of positive reactionsfrom clients on the system!”

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