It’s not uncommon to see the same sound reinforcement gear found on major tours used in large churches and other fixed installations where great sound is paramount. But the high-end goods, especially loudspeakers, are not only too big to hang in some venues, but they also bring more power than you’d need to cover a small space. Manufacturers have answered the call for higher-end speaker solutions for use in clubs, small houses of worship, hotels, corporate event centers by scaling down larger rigs to more manageable sizes and prices. This month’s feature is an A to Z roundup of compact line arrays with woofers that measure 9 inches or less that are currently shipping. Please visit the companies’ websites for more information and additional product options.
The LR7 is a passive 2-way line-source loudspeaker system featuring Neodymium drivers. The system is designed for use as a vertical array, either in stacked or flown configuration, for both portable and permanent installations and is available in 90- and 120-degree configurations. The LR7 features the RBN401 pro-ribbon driver on a “Morpher” lens, offering up to 94-percent frontal radiation and 90-degree dispersion that benefits from the ribbon’s all-natural cylindrical (Isophasic) wavefront. The system’s transient response and high peak power handling (800 watts/200mS) promises superb intelligibility and throw, while promising maximum “gain-before-feedback” up to directly under the array. The Morpher is mounted in the ALrad waveguide, which uses the stiffness and heat transfer capabilities of aluminum.
Clair Brothers’ i208 is a three-way active line array element offering a frequency response of 60Hz–20kHz, 129 dB SPL, and peak operation at 132dB SPL. Drivers include: 8-inch LF, 8-inch LMF, ¼-inch exit HF, as well as a voice coil diameter of 3 inches. Nominal impedance is listed as LF, 8 ohms; LMF, 8 ohms; and HF, 16 ohms. Power handling is rated at LF: 400W program, 800W peak; MF: 400W program, 800W peak; HF 220W program, 440W peak. The i208 offers a nominal dispersion of 120×10 degrees (HxV; standard) and 90×10 degrees (HxV; optional). Other features include input connections are on two EP-8 connectors (one male, one female), integral i208 bimodal rigging, which is compatible with Clair Brothers’ iS118 Arrayable Subwoofer.
The D.A.S. Audio Event 208A is a three-way powered line array with double 8-inch woofers. The loudspeaker units have been teamed up with a single M-75 compression driver and a purpose-designed injected aluminum high frequency waveguide. The enclosure is powered by a 3-channel Class-D amplifier, which provides 360 watts peak per channel. The amp´s rear panel includes quality Neutrik XLR and powerCON connectors, status LEDS to facilitate setup and D.A.S.’s Easy-DSP interface which simplifies preset selection for the number of units and throw depth. All units have professional grade Baltic Birch plywood construction and are finished using the tough D.A.S. ISO-flex paint for durability. Steel rigging hardware is included on the line arrays systems and allows for safe and precise flying.
The DVA MINI two-way active line array system (comprising the DVA M2M plus DVA M2S) offers a Master + Slave design for simplified system wiring and less total weight. For example, the M2M weighs 16.8 pounds and the M2S weighs 15.7 pounds. The module uses neodymium magnets and features two 1-inch drivers and two 6.5-inch neodymium woofers with custom dual phase-plug, improving the midrange efficiency and making horizontal coverage more homogeneous and consistent. An integrated USB B-type port on the M2M amplifier allows the user to monitor the status of every element in the system, including reports on total hours, temperature and performance. The system is optimized for installation and rigging via the quick-locking system.
KF720 delivers the three-way design, power and fidelity of the KF Series line array systems in an ultra-compact enclosure weighing less than 44 pounds. The unit’s output capability in a small, lightweight package allows KF720 to fill a range of application requirements from small theaters and houses of worship to live concerts and corporate events. KF720 features an internal, passive MF/HF crossover filter network to deliver bi-amplified powering of the three-way system. Dual 6-inch LF cone transducers in a sealed enclosure deliver horizontal pattern control via tuned spacing. Dual 6-inch MF cone transducers are mounted in a large horn that fills virtually the entire face of the enclosure, maximizing horizontal pattern control as well as driver efficiency. Six 1-inch dome tweeter HF transducers share the same horn with the MF transducers.
At InfoComm 2015, Fulcrum Acoustic of Rochester, N.Y., and Whitinsville, Mass., launched the FL283 line array module. The FL283 uses dual 8-inch horn-loaded woofers and three 1.5-inch compression drivers in a compact enclosure. The enclosure is shaped to accommodate up to 20 degrees of splay between adjacent boxes, allowing for more sharply curved arrays than comparable line arrays. The FL283 also incorporates Fulcrum’s Passive Cardioid Technology to overcome one of the major challenges of most line arrays, excessive rear LF radiation. Unlike active cardioid loudspeakers, Fulcrum’s passive cardioid technology does not require an additional amplifier channel or additional enclosure volume. It achieves impressive low frequency directional control without the loss of efficiency that characterizes active cardioid devices.
Grund Audio Design
The Grund Audio Design GALA system is fully ground stackable, while still maintaining the performance parameters of the line array concept. For absolute safety when the system is flown, fully tested and certified ATM flying hardware is used, and the company states that an entire 24-box stereo hanging system can be flown by only one person. Grund Audio uses two 1-inch Neodymium drivers coupled to a dual, asymmetrical fiberglass horn. The GA-1621 line array module is made of 13-ply Baltic birch, provides a nominal impedance of 8 ohms and 100-degree horizontal dispersion, and offers a frequency response of 67 to 18k Hz with a maximum output of 128dB SPL. It has two 8-inch cone low-frequency drivers, and two 1-inch compression drivers to handle high frequencies. Power handling includes 500W RMS and 1,000W program.
The JBL VT4886 subcompact, passive, three-way line array element has an integrated midrange/high waveguide for vertical wavefront control and 110-degree horizontal dispersion. The VT4886 houses two 6.5-inch low-frequency transducers, four 2.5-inch midrange components and two 1-inch high frequency compression drivers. Advanced component design and density provide an extremely high power-to-weight ratio with more SPL output than other systems in its class. A proprietary waveguide seamlessly integrates MF and HF section output in JBL’s patented R.B.I. (Radiation Boundary Integrator) technology, providing precise wavefront control and optimum inter-enclosure coupling. JBL Thermomaster technology improves heat transfer while reducing midsection power compression. LF transducers feature patented Differential Drive technology and are matched to a low-frequency diffraction absorber with a tuned resonant-chamber that reduces cavity resonance and cabinet edge diffraction effects.
L-Acoustics’ KARA full range modular active 2-way WST cabinet has an operating frequency bandwidth from 55 Hz to 20 kHz. KARA features a 2-way, bi-amplified design and is equipped with two 8-inch neodymium LF speakers in a bass-reflex tuned enclosure. The HF section features a 3-inch neodymium diaphragm driver coupled to a DOSC waveguide. The K-shaped coplanar transducer configuration generates a symmetric horizontal coverage of 110 degrees without secondary lobes over the entire frequency range. The combination of coplanar symmetry and DOSC waveguide allows the system to fulfill the five WST criteria. Any KARA line source can be curved up to a maximum of 10 degrees for each element without breaking the inter-element acoustic coupling. Each enclosure is made of first grade Baltic birch plywood to ensure maximum acoustical and mechanical integrity. The 4-point rigging system allows suspending up to 24 KARA in a single array. The system is driven by the dedicated LA8 amplified controller, which ensures active system linearization, intelligent transducer protection, and optimization for three operating modes.
Martin Audio’s scalable, ultra-compact MLA Mini shares the company’s award-winning MLA technology across a wider range of smaller-scale portable and installed sound applications. The MSX mini-sub power plant complements the main system and houses the amplification, networking and DSP necessary to power and control itself and four MLA Mini enclosures. Each MLA Mini enclosure houses two 6.5-inch/2-inch voice coil LF drivers and a vertical column of three 1.4-inch aluminum dome HF drivers on a 100-degree horizontal dispersion horn. The 15-inch reflex loaded MSX can be integrated into flown arrays or ground-stacked separately. MSX also contains nine channels of Class-D amplification to provide cellular drive, while the on-board DSP interacts with proprietary DISPLAY2.1 intelligent software for accurate array optimization. The system can be flown, ground-stacked or pole mounted.
Meyer Sound’s new LEOPARD and 900-LFC line array system, available in summer 2015, join the company’s flagship LEO Family as its smallest and most versatile member, offering power-to-size ratio with ultra-low distortion. The new system promises greater phase coherence; seamless, uniform coverage; and 10 times less distortion with newly designed and highly efficient Class-D amplifiers that eliminate distortion while consuming less power and generating less heat. With an operating frequency range of 55 to 18k Hz and reported phase response of 92 to 18k Hz, ±30 degrees, LEOPARD, which weighs 75 pounds, has two 9-inch long-excursion LF cone drivers and one 3-inch compression driver coupled to a constant-directivity horn through a patented REM manifold. It includes a complete system solution with MAPP XTfor acoustic prediction, Compass RMS for real-time system performance monitoring, the Galileo Callisto loudspeaker management system, and the new MDM-5000 distribution module for routing AC power, audio and RMS signals.
RCF’s TTL33-A II is a compact, wide dispersion, 3-way active line array module with 750W RMS, 750W switching amplifiers with a soft limiter and RMS protection, 32-bit/96 kHz DSP processing, and onboard RDNet. It provides horizontal coverage of 100 degrees, a vertical coverage angle of 15 degrees, high output and dynamics, extreme accuracy, high frequency extension and compact size for outdoor sound reinforcement, live performances and events as well as fixed installations in theaters, concert halls or auditoriums. The frequency response is rated at 60 to 20k Hz, with a maximum SPL of 135 dB. The TTL33-A II has six high power neodymium transducers: two 8-inch woofers, one 8-inch midrange driver and three 1-inch voice-coil compression drivers.
The HX-7 expands the HX Series with a larger, more powerful configuration. Designed to meet the needs of medium-sized venues, it adds true line array performance to its range of configurations. Its improved high-frequency driver compliment improves output, power handling, and provides enhanced intelligibility within the vocal range. Multiple HX-7s may be stacked together vertically for increased power handling and coverage. Like its smaller sibling, the classic HX-5, the HX-7 offers four cell-configurations, each incorporating two 5-inch low-frequency drivers and one center-mounted, waveguide-loaded, 1-inch-exit compression driver. The HX-7 has flexible vertical angle adjustment between 0 and 45 degrees (60 degrees with second HX-7 unit and optional adapter). Power handling is 750W continuous program @ 8 Ohms. Sensitivity is rated at 100 dB (1W @ 1m). Optional hardware for stand, wall, ceiling and flown installations is available.
The two-way full range TCS62 is a compact passive 6.5-inch 700W arrayable loudspeaker system that is ideally suited for a wide range of speech and music sound reinforcement applications. Designed to work in conjunction with Turbosound loudspeaker management systems, the TCS62 provides optimal infill, front and downfill solutions, and its compact size makes it a choice for under balcony and monitoring applications. The TCS62 arrayable loudspeaker features a carbon fiber loaded 6.5-inch low frequency driver with a low mass voice coil for improved transient response and an aluminium dome 1-inch neodymium motor compression driver mounted on a 100-degree horizontal by 60-degree vertical converging elliptical waveguide. When the waveguide is rotated 90 degrees from the standard position, a 60×100-degree HxV dispersion is achieved. All drivers are matched with an internal passive crossover network in a reflex-loaded enclosure.
The al-8 is the second member of VUE’s al-Class, with the al-4 Subcompact Line Array System. The al-8 features beryllium compression drivers, Kevlar/Neodymium transducers, onboard networking, and full compatibility with VUEPoint beam steering technology. The al-8 system components include flying, transport and handling accessories, the al-8 acoustic element, and the rack-mount V6 Systems Engine, which provides system amplification, DSP and networking capabilities via the SystemVUE control software. The al-8 acoustic element houses a pair of proprietary 8-inch LF transducers with large 3-inch voice coils for improved thermal performance. The LF transducers flank four 4-inch Kevlar/Neodymium mid-range units equipped with VUE’s unique lateral acoustic shades. High frequencies are delivered by a pair of neodymium compression drivers with Truextent beryllium diaphragms for extended high frequency response beyond 25kHz. All transducers are housed in a birch plywood enclosure protected by a 12-step Dura-Coat LX finish.
The V5 is a two-way, high efficiency, line array loudspeaker designed as an ultra compact high performance system. It incorporates a medium format 1-inch exit compression driver coupled to a stabilized proprietary FlatWave Former (wave shaping device) that delivers clear but penetrating high frequencies over a predictable and controlled coverage area. Dual 5-inch neodymium magnet cone transducers coupled to the Acoustic Integrating Module minimizes comb filtering throughout the entire operating range. The V5 is housed in a sturdy multi-ply plywood enclosure, with a multi-layered catalyzed polyurea finish. A perforated, powder coated steel grille with a high transmission ratio promises excellent protective properties. The custom designed flyware enables the user to easily array the system to the precise desired coverage area. The V5 is available in dark black or white exterior.
Yamaha displayed the new NEXO ID Series at InfoComm 2015. Using a variety of mounting options, the ID24 compact cabinet can fit into almost any environment offering high SPL output with variable directivities enabling it to “beam” sound into difficult spaces. The new series is comprised of the ID24 full-range compact speaker that uses twin 4-inch drivers in a V formation, in combination with an HF compression driver offering two preset directivity options. The ID24i is designed specifically for installation. The ID24 has a user-adjustable horn that can be rotated easily without the need for tools by a switch on the rear panel to give 60- or 120-degree HF coverage using the standard fitted horn.
The Modular PSA1 system can be configured for optimum coverage in most installations. Its cabinet design uses Yorkville’s Paraline high-frequency lens technology pioneered in the company’s flagship VTC Elevation Series line array cabinets. Two BMS 1.75-inch compression drivers mounted to the patented Paraline lens delivers a focused 15-degree vertical dispersion and 110-degree horizontal coverage. Celestion 6-inch woofers provide a tight and ultra responsive low frequency program. The Yorkville PSA1 cabinet mounts quickly and securely on a typical speaker stand. Innovative dual position stand mount offers two potential cabinet angles for expanded setup options. Up to two PSA1 cabinets can be stacked safely and securely on a single traditional stand. Yorkville Paraline Series PSA1 cabinets can be flown in any installation with the addition of optional flying hardware (PSA1RIGKIT) and a proprietary bumper (PSA1FRAME).